31 votes

House of the People is Short - 5,741 or More Representatives... Shocking!

Yes, you read that right ...

... have you heard of Apportionment Acts of 1911 and 1929? They limit the size of the House of Representatives to 435 ... such a strange number to pick ... why 435?

So, have you heard of it?

I haven't. I just started looking around. And I got thinking. Why is the house limited 435. If it truly is a house of the people why doesn't it grow with the population?

If this government is by the people, for the people, then why do we have 1 Representatives for every 708,000 people?

If this country was really following the Constitution, the ratio for rep/populace, or would 1/50,000.

That means there would be around 6,000 reps in the house.

With that means there would be more people in the house spreading the message of liberty, love, and peace.

It would take the money out of government. Because it would be too great of a cast of buy 2,000 - 3,000 people off. And if they did buy them off, would all of them keep to their word?

(besides current events) I truly think this is probably the biggest issue we have to face to get this country back. Especially in the long term. (if there is one anyway ... )

Also, does anyone remember if Ron Paul, Judge or anyone else talk about this?

I've read a couple of Paul's and Judge's books. But, I don't think I've heard about this ... or maybe I just read over it without much thought.

I'm not going to post too much info that I've learned, because the articles linked below to a lot better job at explaining than I do.

http://www.thirty-thousand.org/
http://www.thirty-thousand.org/pages/A1LegHistory.htm
http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/rbpebib:@field(NUMBER+@band(rbpe+21200200))
http://www.articlethefirst.net/
http://www.constitutionof1787.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_the_First
http://www.thirty-thousand.org/pages/Why_435.htm#PFR1999
http://www.thirty-thousand.org/pages/Apportionment.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apportionment_Act_of_1911

“...the House of Representatives will,
within a single century, consist of
more than six hundred members.”
— James Wilson, November 30, 1787

P.S. This is my very first post too! I just started doing research on this act. Also, I didn't know if this was posted before, and I didn't feel like searching for it. So, I posted it.

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Too Big Any Way You Look at It

6,000 would be unwieldy. It wouldn't give individual reps enough time to speak up, and probably would just "spread responsibility" and deniability further.

However, I'd be in favor of California seceeding and forming its own government, with the counties turning into states. I'll bet we could get some of the "California states" to end state income tax, sales tax, etc. And with a new California senate, they might even be able to reign in the out-of-control population centers and their impractical environmental engineering.

It would be nice to stop the Feds at the California border, too.

Let's face it, the Federal government is supposed to make commerce regular across state borders, not harass people who travel, so if you want to visit Disneyland it wouldn't be any harder than it is, now.

What do you think? http://consequeries.com/

1 rep per 50,000

If you think about it, that isnt a whole lot to ask.

That is asking for 1 representative for 1 full Yankee Stadium's worth of people. A representative could have a campaign rally that could include all of his constituents in person if he wished.

23

As long a congress can borrow the cronies will lobby.

As long as congress can borrow they will have to tax.

Congress has done NOTHING but waste money on public works projects for 220 years.

We need more more congressmen like we need more TSA agents.

No one has produced any convincing arguments why more is better.

Or when in history a bigger parliament produced better results by any standard.

Free includes debt-free!

Thanks for the post.

I have had this thought cross my mind before but have never pursued it. It doesn't make sense that the number of representatives wouldn't keep up with a growing population. Just more proof that we are not being represented.

I've thought about this for years

and I support this wholeheartedly. It was a difficult journey for me, as the first reaction was, "Why the hell would we want to create more politicians??" But my argument won out, asserting that if we were to increase the number of representatives by 1000 percent, the distribution of power would be such that no representative would be so powerful. Logistics would be challenging, but in this day and age with the technology at our disposal, it can be overcome. Encrypted connections, encrypted vote-casting, and public roll calls to confirm vote results, etc. This would only make sense, though, if we were to return the senate to become selected by their state houses. Otherwise, the senate will continue to be a disproportionately powerful body that is accountable to nobody, and does not represent their constituents.

Senate doesn't matter.

The number of senators is still 2 per state. The states are (supposedly) represented. Plus they can't pass a bill by themselves so they can't do any more damage than they do right now. I like this idea. I was wondering about this very thing in passing a couple of weeks ago.

What to do though

Are you going to all of a sudden just open up the flood gates and install 5500 more members?

23

Hey here's an idea...

Skype! Why the heck do they need to gather together in one city in this day and age? They need to be home with their constituents breathing down their necks. :-)

more than that

I imagine there would be all sorts of rule changes that would need to take place. Governors would have a heckofa time redistricting. When does it take effect?

And you cant skype everything. Votes should be taken in person with pen and paper and on multiple copies to preserve fairness in procedure.

23

America can barely support

America can barely support the cost of 435 reps with their pensions and expenses. Can you imagine the exorbitant cost of funding offices and staff for a larger D.C. population? New buildings would have to be built to house the extraneous members. How unwieldy would it be to get anything done with 6000 people to contend with? You have just raised taxes to sustain this level of gov't to unbearable proportions. Don't we want to reduce size of gov't....not increase it for heavens sake?

Q&A from the first link at the bottom

Q7: Wouldn’t more Representatives mean a bigger government?

A7: It is important to make a distinction between governance and government. In this context, “governance” refers to the management of the “government” (at the legislative and budgetary level) by our elected representatives. In contrast, government encompasses the institutions and bureaucracy that are created and funded for the purpose of implementing the legislation established by our representatives. It is argued in this web pamphlet that increasing the number of our representatives in the federal House (i.e., increasing the size of governance) would, in fact, ultimately reduce the overall cost of government.

As the number of Representatives increases and they become more representative of the people— the House will be compelled to reduce the size of the government. This is because the smaller congressional districts will greatly improve constituent monitoring of legislators, enhance legislators’ representation of constituent interests, and hence result in lower levels of government spending. Empirical support for this argument is provided by a paper entitled Constituency Size and Government Spending which shows that the determining factor for government spending is constituency size — the number of constituents per representative — and not the size of the legislature.

Q8: Even with reduced federal expenditures, wouldn’t it be too costly
to add all these Representatives?

A8: To put this in perspective, suppose that it would cost an additional two billion dollars annually to increase the number of Representatives to 6,000 (this includes both compensation and supporting infrastructure). Though a sizable sum, it must be viewed relative to federal expenditures which total approximately 2.7 trillion dollars. Thirty-Thousand.org believes that this larger Representative body would more than offset their total costs through judicious stewardship: to recoup this additional expense they need only reduce federal expenditures by 1/10 of 1% (i.e., one-tenth of one percent). Because examples of government extravagance and waste are legion, it is quite feasible to beneficially achieve such a reduction in federal expenditures. For example, it has been estimated that the 2007 budget contains $2.4 billion of blatant pork-barrel spending [Source: Citizens Against Government Waste].

With respect to the Representatives’ numerous staff, Thirty-Thousand.org believes that the total staff size should not be increased as the number of Representatives increases. The principal justification for the congressional staffs in the first place was the need to provide constituency services to increasingly populous districts. In other words, Congress’s solution to the problem of super-sized House districts was to augment their personal staffs rather than divide their huge federal fiefdoms into smaller congressional districts.

Finally, regarding the additional cost of a larger number of Representatives, Thirty-Thousand.org agrees that “The man who would seriously object to this expense, to secure his liberties, does not deserve to enjoy them. Besides, by increasing the number of representatives, we open a door for the admission of the substantial yeomanry of our country, who, being possessed of the habits of economy, will be cautious of imprudent expenditures, by which means a greater saving will be made of public money than is sufficient to support them.”
[Melancton Smith; June 21, 1788; Debates in the Convention of the State of New York]

I'd gladly serve our country

I'd gladly serve our country as a representative of the people for no salary whatsoever, and I'm sure many others would too. I think costs would go down if we removed the more corrupt elements.

End The Fed!
BTC: 1A3JAJwLVG2pz8GLfdgWhcePMtc3ozgWtz

Then do so...then try and get

Then do so...then try and get your 6000 cohorts.

I agree, abolish this ridiculous change.

In today's technological age there is no need to have all congressional representatives meet in Washington DC. They can easily do business in their respective States via conference calls and other means of communication. I agree the number of representatives should increase and therefore give a better representation of the people. The Senate of course would remain the same.
grant

Why continue giving the Senate a free ride?

Could you explain why the Senate would "of course" remain the same?

(I am convinced that the 17th (and 16th) amendments to the US Constitution were never truly ratified by the states.)

He means that the number of senators would

remain the same. The role and intent of the senate is not being debated - protects rural, less-populated states. I do agree with the notion of returning senators to be selected by their state legislatures.

I have posted this several times on here. It may be the worst..

...law ever passed.

But I applaud you for posting this most important topic.

Today the House of Representatives should be about 7500 people according to George Washington's suggestion of 1 representative per every 30 to 40,000 people.

Today, each member of the House represents about 700,000 people!

And don't tell me you can't get 7,500 people organized in one building when an average college football stadium gets about 75,000 people together.

This law SEVERELY limited the people's voice - as it was intended to do.

And the rats who passed it were TRAITORS.

Just remember, it's a lot easier to persuade only 218 people to make a bad law than 3700 people.

So when they did this, they limited THE VERY PART OF GOVERNMENT WHICH SHOULD HAVE GROWN and GREW the parts of government which SHOULD NOT (Federal programs, agencies, commissions, entitlements, boards etc.)

"We have allowed our nation to be over-taxed, over-regulated, and overrun by bureaucrats. The founders would be ashamed of us for what we are putting up with."
-Ron Paul

The house redesign would be a headache.

You kind of feel for whoever the interior designer that has to figure how to arrange 5,000+ more chairs into the lower chamber and still make it feel spacious. Or maybe they could get the people who built Cowboys Stadium to erect a new house on parcels of land confiscated from the newly out-of-work lobbyists through eminent domain?

Cowboys suck I would say get

Cowboys suck

I would say get rid of the chairs. standing room only. I will be making sure I elect tall and throaty representatives

23

"It would take the money out

"It would take the money out of government. Because it would be too great of a cast of buy 2,000 - 3,000 people off. And if they did buy them off, would all of them keep to their word?"

And would all of them keep quiet about the bribe.....not lobbying, BRIBE

Where money becomes the constituants, and the constituants become OBSERVERS of their own fate

Govt

BAD. Central Power, is always corrupted.

Individual responsibility. Good. Nobody makes better decisions for me than ME. And I don't want to steal from my neighbors even if I don't know them.

And I don't want to kill my neighbors either, no matter how far away they live. The ones we are killing now are being killed for their freedom from the central banking system.

more reps

I have brought this up with a lot of people and most agree that it is a good idea. Having a representative represent less people allows for more personal interactions and more a feeling of being heard- more of a chance of having an influence.

And if we reduce their salaries to the median income of the country then the extra cost wouldn't be as bad. Also, they would get to see what it is like to live like a real average person.

scawarren's picture

And with the technology of

And with the technology of today maybe they could stay in their home districts; I believe this would also significantly reduce the lobbyist influences over them and keep them closer to their constituents. I believe keeping them at home is a good idea if there is 7000 or 435.

It is easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled. – Mark Twain

Why Do We Even Need Representatives Anymore?

Why did we need representatives originally? I can see why in the past we needed them. If we wanted to communicate through letters and snail mail, it would take forever to communicate with each individual, and the costs of transporting and creating that much paperwork would be ridiculous.

But considering we each have a device in our pocket that can let us instantly vote and communicate... WHY SHOULD WE PAY a man in a suit to POORLY represent your views?

Couldn't we easily poll and vote INSTANTLY each and every day? From our phone or PC?

What do you see wrong with this idea? Do you find any objections to letting citizens vote on issues directly? Do you find politicians to be "especially competent" and necessary in the voting and legislating process? Would you hate to put the power of legislation directly into the hands of those low class citizens that you despise? Do you consider most average citizens "too stupid" to be in charge of issues near legislation?

These are common objections that I anticipate.

I am an anarchist, so I don't see a benefit in paying bureaucrats a dime. But if you are for "true democracy," then letting every citizen vote is much more "democratic" than our representative system could ever be.

direct democracy

I don't have a problem with letting everyone vote. I think people would tend to vote on issues that are important to them and let others decide the rest. So, it could work out well. First you would need a way to vote issues up and only top ones get voted on. Then maybe limit an issue to be voted on only once a term(IE abortion). Maybe limit to one vote a week...or even one voting day a month that might include more than one issue. detail, details.

Sure it could be hacked but not any more than the current system. If we got rid of secret programs and did open-source that could be monitored and inspected by several sources that might reduce those problems.

I will try to answer

I don't know if you intended for me to answer those questions. But, I will give them my best shot. In my opinion of course.

I'm not really an anarchist. I do like the idea to some degree. I believe if there's going to be a gov't the only role is to protect individual liberty. But, as history has shown, they start out that way, then evolve into a blood sucking monster.

Couldn't we easily poll and vote INSTANTLY each and every day? From our phone or PC?

http://www.thirty-thousand.org/ has a q/a at the bottom that answers this. Also, if it can be done electronically, there is a possibility it could be hacked.

Do you find any objections to letting citizens vote on issues directly?

No problem. Maybe if we cannot go full anarchist it could be used as a check and balance type thing. Like a monitoring system.

Do you find politicians to be "especially competent" and necessary in the voting and legislating process?

I lost trust in gov't when my eye were starting to open to what's really happening. But if there's going to be one, the entry level of people that live in the real world should be low.

Would you hate to put the power of legislation directly into the hands of those low class citizens that you despise?

Saying I despise low class citizen is kind of harsh do you think? I'm pretty much apart of that class.

And no, I don't have any problem. Like I said before. If there's going to be a gov't I think that would add another check and balance to the reps.

Do you consider most average citizens "too stupid" to be in charge of issues near legislation?

Some people know more about history, the Constitution, law, computer programming, writing, woodwork, etc. than others. Difference in knowledge, and how someone interprets info isn't something you can call "stupid". That's also why if the entry is low anyone can run for congress. And if people like what s/he has to say, vote for him.

I didn't expect you to answer each question...

But thank you for really engaging in this conversation with me. I always wondered why in this modern age we still stick with this antiquated model of "representation."

And those people that say "yeah let's hire 1,000,000 representatives... and use conference calls and emails, modern tech, to make the process more efficient" just make me laugh.

It is the equivalent of us now using modern technology to make 18 wheeler horse carriages. When technology progresses, old systems GO COMPLETELY OBSOLETE. That is just the way it is. Even if slavery still existed, it wouldn't make sense to have them work fields considering the machinery that has been invented.

And it doesn't make sense to have our reps sloppily and unaccountably "represent" the will of nearly a million people. It is so sad and stupid.

And the "despise the low class citizen question" was just anticipation of things I have heard from people when I bring this up in conversation. They say "you want some uneducated idiot with the power to pass laws?"

I posed this exact question in a post back in February...

but it unfortunately didn't gain any traction at the time. I think this topic deserves honest debate.

http://www.dailypaul.com/276003/abolish-the-house-of-represe...

If men are good, you don't need government; if men are evil or ambivalent, you don't dare have one.

Oh No, the lobbyists would be out of jobs and then the unemploy-

ment would go up. On second thought, what a brilliant idea you presented sumppm1. You are dam right, we do not NEED REPRESENTATIVES ANYMORE. I love your idea that we can easily be polled and vote instantly.

A.Hansen

Democrats would vote a dozen times.

At least you can't hack a congressional vote. Although, you can buy it.