1 vote

Expand the House of Reps to at least 932, or perhaps as many as 1,761

On Politics - Expand the House? - NYTimes.com

"The lawsuit asks the courts to order the House to fix the problem by increasing its size from 435 seats to at least 932, or perhaps as many as 1,761. That way, the plaintiffs argue, every state can have districts that are close to parity."

http://bit.ly/Sy5n5

Sounds good to me.
___

435 Representatives Can NOT Faithfully Represent 300 Million Americans! http://thirty-thousand.org/

Here's Senior Fellow of the Mises Institute, Dr. Mark Thorton on the Lew Rockwell Show: The Case for 'Bigger' Government
http://bit.ly/Goi04



Trending on the Web

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Voting records & earnings

Voting records & earnings statements tell enough about a servants record ..
The type of character that gets elected says more about the constituents than the candidate.
They are called representatives for a reason.
We should make it for less number ,then we would know who's as- to kick.
Good people do Good deeds
Good people make it happen

You cannot control 435 how

You cannot control 435 how are you going to control 900+ ?
Good people do Good deeds
Good people make it happen

Representative government is not about controlling the 435

or 900+. It's about controlling the one who represents you.

New Hampshire has 4000

New Hampshire has 4000 people in their state legislature.

Thomas Jefferson 1796, 1800, 1804; James Madison 1808, 1812; Ron Paul 1988, 2008, 2012; Rand Paul 2016.

Actually, it is 400. Still,

Actually, it is 400. Still, that is one representative for every 3300 residents.

Drain the swamp!

and they each only make a

and they each only make a few hundred dollars.

bump! The Constitution says

bump!

The Constitution says each state gets one rep per 30,000 people. Increase states rights, expand the House!

Thomas Jefferson 1796, 1800, 1804; James Madison 1808, 1812; Ron Paul 1988, 2008, 2012; Rand Paul 2016.

i'm not so sure, remember unintended consequences?

one that i can immediately think of is that even 1000 people is still not alot, but it will now cost a lot more to lobby and also a lot more effort for grassroot organizations like us to talk to every single congressmen. in the end there might be only few mega sized companies that are able to lobby the government, crowding out the competition even in the lobbyist field. i'm not sure if that will be an improvement on the preservation of our liberty if that happens.

lobbyists

"in the end there might be only few mega sized companies that are able to lobby the government, crowding out the competition even in the lobbyist field."

That describes the current situation of lobbyists running the show. More Reps will make it more expensive and more difficult for lobbyists to hook every Rep, while giving voters a chance to talk to their Rep over coffee.

The key is constituency size of the districts.

1761 leaves us where we were in 1910-1920 with 200k sized districts. This is when they fixed the House at 435, and passed the 16th & 17th amendments and the Federal Reserve.

The Founders preferred much smaller districts, 30k-50k. They didn't trust that liberty could be preserved with larger districts than that.

The size of the constituency is key. It is infinitely easier to vote a congressman out if the pop in his district is 50k than 500k-1million. Usually about 55-60% of a pop is registered voters. Then at best only about 60% of those show up to vote in the most contested elections, and then it only takes half of that or less in plurality districts to win. Currently you might need 100-200k voters to get elected to Congress. With 50k district limits, you can easily get in with about 10,000 votes.

This makes it ridiculously cheaper to run for office and more likely that we will once again have a citizen legislature.

A considerable percentage of a 30k to 50k district would be

ineligible to vote, i.e. children. Considering the percentage of the eligible who refuse to vote, contacting registered voters directly is not so difficult. Today it's impossible.

Make The House More Representative

Someone here suggested lessening the membership. OK let's for the sake of argument, if it were possible, lessen it to one member. Would it be more representative? Of course not.
For the sake of argument increase it to 307 million. It would be totally representative since everyone is represented, but the problem is practicallity. The answer obviously is somewhere in between and 435 is too few.
Yogi Berra, the baseball player and a naturally funny man, once ordered a pizza. He was asked if he wanted it cut into 12 or 6 pieces. Yogi replied, cut it into 6 pieces, I'm not that hungry.
Whether the population is represented by 435 representatives or ten thousand, doesn't change the population one person, or the geographical area by one square inch.
Arguments about minimal increases in spending are penny wise and pound foolish.
But the argument is not about larger government, but a government that represents the people. A majority of the people oppose the wars, but they continue. A majority of the people oppose illegal immigration, but it continues. The will of the people is being ignored.
Increasing the number of representatives is a solution to the problem.

Actually, though the effect is the same, what you are really

arguing for isn't necessarily MORE representatives, but SMALLER districts. It isn't how many reps we have, its how many people they have to represent. The founders understood this well. Constituency size is key. We should not focus on the number of reps. We should limit the size of districts (to the 30 or 50k that the Founders trusted) and let the house continually grow with the population.

You're right, that is a better way to state it.

.

JohnB: So, you are against Ron Paul's solution?

and against Mises solution?

The 307,000,000 suggestion meant that we are "all gov't over ourselves" and it destroys lobbying and eliminates the need (perpetual war profits) of voting.

In the Consumer-Minarchy I spelled out many times on DP there is no need for lobbying or voting (perpetual war) -- the political profit drivers.

You could increase the size of gov't, but you are not increasing it to a size that eliminates the practicality of lobbying.

Also, you are not taking into consideration how "votes" are made nor are you taking into account the "reason" for term limits.

Neither does Rockwell or Mark Thornton (Case for Bigger Gov't)

Thornton wants to expand Gov't and takes term limits off the table.

He does so without analyzing how gov't votes are "controlled," nor where political profit drivers stem from; so, of course he doesn't see the need for term limits.

-- Senior Politicians control Special Committee Seats (Fact)
-- Junior Politicians need those seats to gain more power for their district and more obviously to get at larger lobbying dollars (if you ever want a career post politics as a lobbyist you better have been a special committee member / senior politician)
-- Thusly, Junior Politicians "sell" their votes to seniors (the ones who are lobbied for a specific outcome).

Increasing the size of Gov't does not eliminate that -- However, if all politicians had a one-term (2 to 4 year) term limit then all politicians would have to be lobbied equally. Instead of 40 controlling 435 you'd have 435 to lobby -- making the outcome less predictable and inifinitely more costly.

Increasing the size of Gov't only means the "40" (seniors) would control 10,233 rather than 495. Thornton's rule of 30,000 civilians per 1 representative comes to 10,233 for 307,000,000 people.

Also, the current cost of gov't, is approx. $135K per individual; plus $1,000,000 budget each -- 535 X $135K is ~ $72,000,000. Their budget is 535 X $1M is ~ $535,000,000. Total Cost of Current System: $607,000,000

With the "30K" argument Thornton advocates we are talking about 10,233 X $135K is ~ $1,380,000,000 (salary only). Their budget would be 10,233 X $1,000,000 is ~ $10,200,000,000. Total Cost of Thornton Proposed System: $11.6B.

Is that what you are arguing for JohnB?

So, the "40" Seniors would rule over the 10,233 in the exact same manner as the 495 -- It's not "literally" 40 the number might be higher or lower, but it's near accurate. Seniors represent not only career politics but upper-echelon control (wealthy demographic regions), war chest control, and special commitee apointment control.

Political Profit Drivers: Voting and Lobbying (perpetual war), Dems vs Repubs (add a third party and it gets worse). Politicians according to Ron Paul create the Business Cycle -- Voting and Lobbying is the profit driver (the root) -- Senior Politicians Control the Votes; thus, the "drive" for career politics.

Net Effect: Gov't Bigger means Greater Cost to Us and ZERO Increase in Self-Rule.

The simple argument is: Abdicating to more people is WORSE than Abdicating to LESS. Abdicating to NONE is optimal.

Octobox

Octobox, talking about government with an anarchist is like

talking about sex with a celibate, but here goes.
The idea that increasing the number of representatives is increasing government is questionable.
It reminds me of the idea that abolishing the governments of 195 countries to be replaced by one world government would be decreasing government. True, one is less than 195, but this argument is totally misleading.
Although I agree with samadamscw about cost, my primary concern is creating a more representative government.
As to the House Leadership controlling 10,000+ members, I would only note, presently, they're having difficulty controlling a few Blue Dog Democrats. That many members would be impossible to control from the center.
Finally, I've a lot more confidence in ordinary people as opposed to politicians on the make, the present situation.
PS If I wanted to be a bobblehead, nothing would be better than being a Ron Paul bobblehead. Having said that, I think I'll continue to rely on my own judgment.

JohnB: Wow -- Thanks for humoring a half-wit

John: I know I've told you this before -- probably many times.

I'm a Transitional Consumer-Minarchist (as is Ron Paul and as is Mises).

For me the goal would be a Consumer-Individualist Society.

I do not believe in Anarcho-Propertarianism nor Anarcho-Prolitarianism (Capitalism nor Communism -- respectively).

I hope that gets some of the disdain off your tongue.

I'm not a "bobblehead" -- This is the "daily paul"

You want a "representative" gov't -- yet to get it people must "abdicate their authority" --

You CANNOT lobby or vote your way into liberty -- That is not the Founder's Minarchism -- they had a voting class.

People are "voting" on the McCain / Obama level.

If you think these 912ers will put Ron Paul up as the President or anyone like him you are crazy.

I know you know this -- so, if you understand my argument then I can only assume you want to make this Corporatist Society / Gov't behave like a Limited Voting Class Minarchism; which is what the Founder's gave us.

Octobox

Octobox, I don't remember you telling me you are

a Transitional Consumer-Minarchist. Please believe me, that's not something I'd forget.
And I do apologize for saying you are an anarchist. I wrongly assumed that those who oppose government are anarchists not realizing you'd be insulted.
But I do object to the bobblehead comment. Never did I refer to you as a bobblehead. I can certainly see you're not a blind follower. No one who is a Transitional Consumer-Minarchist could ever be that.
I'm for reforms one at a time, reforms ordinary folks can understand and support. Seeking some utopia is kind of hard to sell, even Transitional Consumer-Minarchism. I don't believe we can get there from here.

JohnB: Go for the Gold

The Dream Biggers (as I would tell my daughter when she was younger) are the people we read about -- they lead dynamic lives -- and people always remember them.

Consumer-Minarchism is not a utopian dream -- we have it right now.

We live in one right now.

The power is in the realization not in the granting.

Counter-Economics is something we can promote -- It is less complex then studying all the "issues" -- Once decided upon it takes no further investigation or meetings -- and accordig to Mises it is also the way you maintain a free-society.

Imagine that -- The way into Freedom is identical as the way to maintain it, hmmmm?

But, if you and everyone else believe the easy short-path is to complex then you will be left with the impossible long-track.

"Impossible" -- Because we didn't vote/lobby our way OUT of Freedom; we abdicated authority (abandoned counter economics).

Your a good man Charlie Brown.

Octobox

Read my response below on these criticisms

Index the pay to the median salary. This provides both an incentive for less government to encourage productivity and prosperity, but smaller districts will make it easier to vote people out of office and for more average citizens to serve rather than just the rich and / or well connected.

Currently you need about 100k to 150k to win a congressional seat or more. With 50k sized districts you could win with 10k votes. (which means it only takes 10k votes to lose - much easier to vote the bums out)

They also don't need a staff with such small districts. The whole reason they have a staff is because of district size.

The net cost is at or near zero. The benefits far out weigh that.

Also, with such small districts and people more responsive to the people, and fewer career politicians, perks and benefits will soon be eliminated.

Samadamscw: The Level of Control you are seeking requires

greater abdication on the part of all civilians.

Ron Paul is arguing for lesser Gov't -- Mises is arguing for lesser Gov't

Rockwell and Thorton (Rothbardians) are arguing for greater Gov't

You want to go from 535 politicians each earning $135K each. Each with a $1,000,000 yearly budget -INTO- a 10,233 member body each earning $135K and each with a $1,000,000 budget?

Wow!

Increasing the size of Gov't only means the "40" (senior politicians who control it now) would control 10,233 rather than 495. Thornton's rule of 30,000 civilians per 1 representative comes to 10,233 for 307,000,000 people.

Also, the current cost of gov't, is approx. $135K per individual; plus $1,000,000 budget each -- 535 X $135K is ~ $72,000,000. Their budget is 535 X $1M is ~ $535,000,000. Total Cost of Current System: $607,000,000

With the "30K" argument Thornton advocates we are talking about 10,233 X $135K is ~ $1,380,000,000 (salary only). Their budget would be 10,233 X $1,000,000 is ~ $10,200,000,000. Total Cost of Thornton Proposed System: $11.6B.

And that sounds better to you?

I'll stick with Ron Paul's argument for "lesser" Gov't and Greater Self-Rule.

No matter what you say -- Your model advocates "greater" not "lesser" abdication of self-rule and thus greater and not lesser theft of anothers self-rule; which is the root of the voting/lobbying perpetual war dichotomy.

Octobox

obviously, if we increased

obviously, if we increased the house by thousands of members we could not continue to pay them those ridiculous wages. They should make a few thousand dollars or the average national wage or something.

Libertybrewcity: So now you want to cut their wages?

This is all sounding like a lot of work -- wouldn't it be easier to move toward the thing Mises said was needed to maintain a free-society "Consumer-Individualism" -- rather than move toward a greater number of people to abdicate our authority too?

Increase Abdication leads to Increased Self-Rule, hmmmmm?

Octobox

Yes Octo, cut their pay

That's why I said to read my other comments here.

If their pay were set back only to the median salary of 42K a year, we could do this at no extra cost. (as long as we eliminate their staff as well, their whole excuse for a staff is that the districts are too large for one person and they need the help, make the districts down to 30-50k people and poof - no need for staff)

Let's look at a district of 30,000 & 50,000.

We'll assume on average 65% voting age population.

That takes us down to 19,500 and 32,500 respectively that CAN be registered. (the rest are children or not eligible for some other reason like current felons, mentally ill etc.)

Now, at best, voter participation is 60% for the most contested elections. (though that may change as districts get smaller and more responsive, but let's work with what we know) This brings us down to at MOST 11,700 and 19,500 respective LIKELY voters in the most heated of elections. (also usually coinciding with presidential races)

Now, at most you need a simple majority to win a seat. But in some states, like mine here in Louisiana, you only need a plurality. But let's stick to the worst case scenario. That means you need 5851 or 9751 voters respectively to win a Congressional seat. FAR less than the appx 100,000 to 150,000 or more you need today. It would be ABSURDLY easier to vote in a new Congressman.

Because of this, pressure would be on them to keep government small. Any special interests who 'gained' a Congressman because of the small districts would have more fellow reps to sway over to vote for their "tinkering" and "do-gooder" bills that are prone to grow government.

You wouldn't have bigger government. Every force of politics would function to put the pressure on to reduce it. Since the elections would be so local, the pressure would be on to abandon federal intrusions and return power to the states.

With only about 20-30 thousand voters in a district, you could manage that with one person and an iPhone. Seriously. Hell, I'd be happy to pay an excise on my own phone and internet bills to buy them the damned phone and service plan. I'll even spring for a laptop.

This in no way is "giving up control." You don't have ANY control now. You are lost in a sea of constituents. That changes dramatically when the districts are smaller.

samadamscw: You have added on a lot to a "movement"

that is based simply on (1 rep per 30K civilians).

The people at the "head" of this are the Rothbardians down at Mises (especially Thornton) -- None of them want term limits nor are they talking about salary caps.

When you say we "simply" role salaries from $135K (plus $1,000,000 budget) to $45K per year -- I mean it's absurd. (99% of all congress/senate would never agree to that -- ever).

"They" control their salary -- not you or I.

If you 'abdicate' your authority and give them voting / lobbying / salary power -- they will "argue" over your prescribed $45K and it will get shot down.

The median salary for a high school teacher is $70K -- plus they get 3 months off.

Gov't officials seek lobbying dollars because they don't get paid very much given their network of friends in the private sector -- and given the amount of money to be made as a lobbyist.

So -- No, I wont endorse a model to increase the number of gready Corporatist (in the hope they give me back my liberty) to further reduce their salary by 1/3 -- absurd notion brother.

Octobox
Octobox

some obstacles

Not agreeing or disagreeing here, I'm just following along with an open mind, but I see some potential obstacles with this plan perhaps you can help me with:

1. Since the new districts would most likely be gerrymandered to encompass like minded voters, it could prove just as difficult to vote out an undesirable representative as it is now. How would that be avoided? Should it?

2. Lowering pay to median national income, though it may mitigate the costs somewhat, may introduce increased moral hazard to make a few extra bucks on the side by playing ball with lobbyists and power players.

3. Powerful interests can install a candidate who's sole purpose is that of slipping in dubious additions to bills that benefit said interests. If they're caught they'll potentially lose their jobs, but all well, they're a dime a dozen to those interests and will be compensated later with cushy lobbying jobs. This is nothing new. The problem I see with this plan arises because with an increased number of representatives it makes it even harder to know who's adding these things into the bills, it's seldom made known even now. Corruption and scandal gets would be lost in a sea of representatives. Perhaps that's a bill issue.

4. New facilities, equipment, protocols and security would be needed to satisfy and accommodate the logistics of 10,000 plus new representatives in DC. How would the costs be mitigated to comply with the claim that it would not be growing government?

5. How would debates and committees work? That many people becomes a bit unwieldy. Would another level of representation be needed. Have 1 representative represent 100? That would bring us back to square one. Is there a way that many representatives could state their case for their districts?

6. Octobox makes an interesting point about term limits and seniority.
The senior members decide what does and doesn't get discussed or voted on. We see that problem with hr1207. How would having more representatives solve this? Would term limits necessarily alleviate this problem? If so would there be any leadership on commitees and how would it be decided?

7. In the absence of having to get reelected, doesn't accountability decrease? Those running for office may just be trying to get in, get theirs from whatever special interest that offers or that put them up to it in the first place, and then get out.

Each one of these could probably start it's own thread so no one feel like you have to address each one. I'm just trying to think things out to see if I agree with this plan or not, any input is appreciated. Hopefully this hasn't already slipped off the radar on to the next page :)
Thanks for the discussion anyways.

Representation is on a

Representation is on a spectrum. The less there is the more the line between representation and the represented is defined. The more there is the more the line between representation and the represented is blurred. You have 10,000 representatives, you have your own little society in that anyway. Not only is it impractical but it's symptomatic of dependency of the entity. Increasing representation, while on the surface seems like a right thing to do, is really only another example of passing responsibility.

I believe you reduce the federal government to it's original point, this argument becomes moot.

I believe you reduce the

I believe you reduce the federal government to it's original point, this argument becomes moot. QUOTE

True enough, but that will never happen. We are not going back to the 18th century. Increasing the number of representatives is unlikely, but at least possible.
The 10,000 representatives would not be in D.C. Mine would be down the road where I could tell him what for. It'd be a townhall meeting every day.

.............

........