Archives for posts with tag: Apportionment

Instead of fighting over whether the census should ask about citizenship, like Fred said to Ginger, let’s call the whole thing off.

We should work an amendment through the processes and fix it permanently, but Congress has the power to pass laws to direct the manner of census. They could simply direct the manner to be statistical.

We know how to do it, and it would save a lot of money. Of course, there is that “actual enumeration” phrase. My argument is that an actual enumeration of every person, citizen or otherwise, is quite impossible. The confidence intervals are hardly tighter for the full census than for thorough statistical estimates. Congress has the power to enforce. They can do this if they have the will.

The worry is apportionments. While Representatives and corresponding electoral votes are decided this way, it’s really all about the money. (Isn’t it always?) Which State gets more money is partly based on which State has more people. The definition of people has changed throughout history. So the change continues.

The question is really addressing how we should define people nowadays. I support treating every individual as one individual, not as a member of a group or class, but as a single, self-sovereign individual. So, let the statisticians and pollsters count heads, every head, regardless of other characteristics. Let them satisfy the proven models (and reprove and improve the models with oversight and some regularity), and let’s use the numbers for apportionment. The portion is never fully based on just the numbers. (Some Congresscritters are just better at bringing home the bacon.)

The apportionments for 350,000,000 people split unevenly among the States, and cannot be evenly, fairly divided, at least not perfectly. We are human after all. The population is also dynamic, so what was “perfect” yesterday is faulty tomorrow.

Let’s drop the full mansion-to-mansion, door-to-door, hovel-to-hovel, bridge-to-bridge, shelter-to-shelter notion of census. The money saved will more than make up for any slight deviation of this group versus that group. There will be more money left over to apportion, so even the underestimated groups will end up with more. Win-win!

The point of the census is apportionment. A person is a person. The community deals with every member. We have needful reasons to be mindful of the ramifications of citizenship, et al., but not here, not with the census. Apportionment must consider persons, nothing more.

Note, the Constitution very specifically considers citizens for privileges, such as the vote, but it just as specifically considers persons, individuals without regard to other characteristics, for protection and due process. No person can be denied equal protection under the law. Every jurisdiction in the USA is bound to provide protection to every person within the jurisdiction so far as the law is concerned. Every protection equally, to citizen or alien, sinner or saint. Equal under the law.

Please, also, don’t conflate need to offer protection with general aid. No, the jurisdiction doesn’t owe you anything except protection from others infringing your basic rights as a human, as a fellow traveler in this brief moment we have, this experience we share.

Some background:

https://usconstitution.net/

Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers…actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. Originally Reps per State could not exceed one per 30,000. (Getting back to that proportion is an idea worth considering.)

14th
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Since no taxation without representation was a founding principle, our Constitution says no representation if you aren’t taxed. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding [those] not taxed. The wording in this section is outdated, but the point is, the vote can be denied to criminals, but those who cannot vote cannot be counted for apportionments.

Many offices in the USA and the States require an oath. Ever breaking that oath disqualifies you from holding Federal elected office. Congress can override with 2/3rd.

USA debt cannot be questioned. It is valid by law, etc.

Congress has the power to send armed enforcers if they want to keep you in line.

 

 

I’ve thought for a long time that we need to get back to the original method of establishing the number of representatives. I think we need to amend the Constitution to set the number of representatives at equal to the number of [legal] state residents divided by 100,000, round up to the nearest whole number.

For instance, Oklahoma has a little over 3.8M people, so Oklahoma would have 39 representatives. My birth-state of Kansas, with 2.89M would have 29 representatives, and Texas, with just over 26M, would have 261 representatives. Of course, California would end up with 381 representatives (with statistics from 2012), and Wyoming would be apportioned only 6 representatives. (Keep in mind, that is five more than they have at the moment, and they have the highest proportional representation, with less than 600,000 of them being represented by that one Rep. Our Reps here in Oklahoma represent a whopping 762,964 (approximately) of us Okies each.)

I think we can make this work with electronic communications and telepresence. I think we could push the numbers even lower, to, perhaps 50,000 per representative, perhaps even to the Constitutional 30,000. Still, 100,000 seems a good number to me. That would put us near 3,500 total representatives, and we can easily accommodate annual full conferences of the House [in DC] with electronics. Better yet, we can have our representatives run their day-to-day legislative duties from right here in our own back yards, close to us people, their constituents, and close to their families. Those families that we hope they hold in slightly higher regard then they do us. I suspect all our representatives would be better off staying near home, and their families, and especially we the people. We would be better represented not only because they would have only 100,000 of us clamoring for attention, but they’d spend so much more time here at home with us, staying in touch, and not being infested with the culture of big-government and beltway politics.

American Thinker published this article, http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/12/did_rush_limbaugh_just_endorse_icongress.html, by C. Edmund Wright. He points out how Rush explained well the problems even the best of our politicians have when they get close to the power of politics.

Mr. Wright asserts it will be hard to move our representatives out of DC and back home. It will only be hard to make the rules and laws and start. Once we start, it will be easy.

Once our elected representatives are used to staying at home, seeing their families everyday, and having regular contact with us constituents, they will all wonder how they ever did it remotely in DC.

See, that is the key aspect of this vision to see. We are currently trying to be represented remotely. We have it backward. That was the only option possible until recently. Now, we can keep our representatives here, at home, with us, and let them represent us locally. Their interactions with each other may be remote, but their representation will be local.

Let’s get started. Suggestions?

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