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"The number of people per representative has grown dramatically since the nation's founding"
Posted by: Ted King
Date: June 07, 2019 04:06PM
[www.pewresearch.org]






Is this a problem? If so, how should we address the problem? What obstacles are there to addressing the problem if there is one?
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Re: "The number of people per representative has grown dramatically since the nation's founding"
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: June 07, 2019 04:20PM
Obstacle #1-
[history.house.gov]

Obstacle #2- "State's Rights". As long as we continue structure our legislative bodies around states, and the benefits that this brings to the less populous states, it will be difficult to get around Obstacle #1.
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Re: "The number of people per representative has grown dramatically since the nation's founding"
Posted by: numbered
Date: June 07, 2019 04:29PM
In California we passed the 40m people mark this Spring. And we have a state senate with 40 members. We have 53 House members...so the state senate has a worse ratio than the Congress.
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Re: "The number of people per representative has grown dramatically since the nation's founding"
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: June 07, 2019 05:03PM
They need to do something to balance out the representation in the U.S. Senate. Sacramento (within the city limits, not the metro area) has almost as many people as all of Alaska. Alaska's state budget is about twice as much as Sacramento, but they do need to cover the largest state and give every resident ~$2000.



In tha 360. MRF User Map
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Re: "The number of people per representative has grown dramatically since the nation's founding"
Posted by: Acer
Date: June 07, 2019 05:34PM
Eh, nvm.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/08/2019 01:02PM by Acer.
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Re: "The number of people per representative has grown dramatically since the nation's founding"
Posted by: Steve G.
Date: June 07, 2019 05:44PM
aside from any fairness questions, I think it became apparent long ago that one person cannot represent the interests of so many hundreds of thousands of people.
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Re: "The number of people per representative has grown dramatically since the nation's founding"
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: June 07, 2019 07:44PM
in 1810 the House ratio was set at 1 representative per 35,000 citizens. That ratio held true for a long time and the number of Reps grew until 1911 when it was locked at 435. If that ratio was still held today, there would be 8,828 representatives.

We are having problems finding 435 sane Representatives, imagine the freaks we would have with 8,800+



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld

"WE CALL BS!" -- Emma Gonzalez
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Re: "The number of people per representative has grown dramatically since the nation's founding"
Posted by: gabester
Date: June 07, 2019 11:58PM
The OECD chart is interesting, but is it truly apples to apples? If this is looking at Federal representation in the US house but some place like France where they may be counting the equivalent of state representatives in that figure? (Exposing my lack of knowledge about French governance...)

I'd been thinking that the US has a serious imbalance in the senate where 1.5% of the population gets 15% of the representation (Alaska, Delaware, Dakotas, Montana, Wyoming, Vermont) a way to correct that would be the say that if a state doesn't get more than one Federal House Rep, it only gets one Senator too... but a better answer would be to double the number of reps for all states, and the number of Senators for states that have more than 4 reps (so 38 states would have 4 senators each, 12 would continue to have two.)

Of course this also plays to alter the political bias in the senate somewhat away from the party that is currently doing everything it can to continue to steal power from the majority for an exceedingly small minority, so I realize it won't happen... It's a novel solution I've not heard discussed.
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Re: "The number of people per representative has grown dramatically since the nation's founding"
Posted by: Ted King
Date: June 08, 2019 03:00PM
Quote
cbelt3
Obstacle #1-
[history.house.gov]

Obstacle #2- "State's Rights". As long as we continue structure our legislative bodies around states, and the benefits that this brings to the less populous states, it will be difficult to get around Obstacle #1.

Thanks for that link. I didn't know the history of apportionment.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 06/08/2019 03:23PM by Ted King.
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Re: "The number of people per representative has grown dramatically since the nation's founding"
Posted by: rjmacs
Date: June 08, 2019 03:23PM
Quote
Ted King
I don't recall there being any amendment to the Constitution that changed that and it sure seems like, as was brought up at the time of the 1929 Act, that the Act is unconstitutional - breaks the 30,000 limit in the Constitution.

Huh? It didn't break that limit - by 1929, there was only one representative for a quarter millions Americans, for less than one for every 30,000.

Quote
Ted King
If so, we should amend the Constitution, but change it to what number? While we were about amending the Constitution about Representatives, why not make some changes to the Senate like gabester mentioned. I'm in favor of at least states that only have one representative also only having one Senator with the relinquished seats being allocated to the states with the greatest populations.

Of course, small population states have populations that tend to think they are special and deserve significantly more representation than large population states so they'll never go for the Senate modification stuff, but they might go along with some modification of the number of people represented by each Representative.

Well, to be fair, they think that because the Constitution says so.



rj
AKA
Vreemac, Moth of the Future
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Re: "The number of people per representative has grown dramatically since the nation's founding"
Posted by: Ted King
Date: June 08, 2019 03:32PM
Quote
rjmacs
Quote
Ted King
I don't recall there being any amendment to the Constitution that changed that and it sure seems like, as was brought up at the time of the 1929 Act, that the Act is unconstitutional - breaks the 30,000 limit in the Constitution.

Huh? It didn't break that limit - by 1929, there was only one representative for a quarter millions Americans, for less than one for every 30,000.

Sorry I didn't see your response before I edited out almost my whole post. Read more and saw that there does seem to be an okay for the Act by the Supreme Court.

Quote
rjmacs
Quote
Ted King
If so, we should amend the Constitution, but change it to what number? While we were about amending the Constitution about Representatives, why not make some changes to the Senate like gabester mentioned. I'm in favor of at least states that only have one representative also only having one Senator with the relinquished seats being allocated to the states with the greatest populations.

Of course, small population states have populations that tend to think they are special and deserve significantly more representation than large population states so they'll never go for the Senate modification stuff, but they might go along with some modification of the number of people represented by each Representative.

Well, to be fair, they think that because the Constitution says so.

This is what the Constitution says, but I intended to be talking about what ought to be - as in the Constitution ought to be changed. I've had several discussions with people who live in a small population states that have rigorously defended the idea that small population states ought to have even grossly disproportionate representation because they raise our food or large states will run roughshod over small states interests or the like. (That's why I used the term "deserve".) That was what I was talking about.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/08/2019 03:38PM by Ted King.
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Re: "The number of people per representative has grown dramatically since the nation's founding"
Posted by: vision63
Date: June 08, 2019 08:22PM
Quote
Ted King
Quote
rjmacs
Quote
Ted King
I don't recall there being any amendment to the Constitution that changed that and it sure seems like, as was brought up at the time of the 1929 Act, that the Act is unconstitutional - breaks the 30,000 limit in the Constitution.

Huh? It didn't break that limit - by 1929, there was only one representative for a quarter millions Americans, for less than one for every 30,000.

Sorry I didn't see your response before I edited out almost my whole post. Read more and saw that there does seem to be an okay for the Act by the Supreme Court.

Quote
rjmacs
Quote
Ted King
If so, we should amend the Constitution, but change it to what number? While we were about amending the Constitution about Representatives, why not make some changes to the Senate like gabester mentioned. I'm in favor of at least states that only have one representative also only having one Senator with the relinquished seats being allocated to the states with the greatest populations.

Of course, small population states have populations that tend to think they are special and deserve significantly more representation than large population states so they'll never go for the Senate modification stuff, but they might go along with some modification of the number of people represented by each Representative.

Well, to be fair, they think that because the Constitution says so.

This is what the Constitution says, but I intended to be talking about what ought to be - as in the Constitution ought to be changed. I've had several discussions with people who live in a small population states that have rigorously defended the idea that small population states ought to have even grossly disproportionate representation because they raise our food or large states will run roughshod over small states interests or the like. (That's why I used the term "deserve".) That was what I was talking about.

Why would Idaho support an Amendment designed to reduce its powers? To hand it over to California, Texas and New York? 27 amendments total. This is what we have and it includes the Electoral College.

Just vote for the Democrat.
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Re: "The number of people per representative has grown dramatically since the nation's founding"
Posted by: Ted King
Date: June 08, 2019 09:47PM
Quote
vision63

Why would Idaho support an Amendment designed to reduce its powers? To hand it over to California, Texas and New York? 27 amendments total. This is what we have and it includes the Electoral College.

Since people tend to desire as much power as they can get - deserved or not - then, of course, they wouldn't support efforts to reduce their power. If more people believed that "all men are created equal" meant something with respect to each person's relationship with the government, then they would feel that it was more important to share power relatively equally rather than keep widely disproportionate power for themselves. Not everybody in low population states feels that they should hold on to their excess power, but enough almost surely do.

Quote
vision63
Just vote for the Democrat.

I always do.
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