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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.


“...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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Good first post. I'm not sure

Good first post. I'm not sure the total number of representatives is such a big deal. Can you imagine the cost to pay 6,000 of them?

I'm always interested in different topics to research and discuss. Especially when the number of tense topics die down.


Yeah, the cost was one of the issue I was thinking about when I first read about this.

The Q/A section at the bottom of http://www.thirty-thousand.org/ should help.

IMO - reps, and others at high gov't levels should be the lowest paid in the country. It's a server. Not a full time job or your full time income.

Also, the cost would be from all the Ron Paul's that would be repping liberty lovers to shrink and limit the size of gov't.

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]

That's also why the size does matter. The more people that are up there, the lower cost of entry. Because mass-media TV, radio, net advertising is out of the window. There could be a grass root effort to kick out the bad guys and the liberty lovers take the place. There's a high chance of more liberty lovers that could be in the house.

And the smaller a district is, the better you can get to know your rep, and the better s/he gets to know you.

Yeah, it's not going to prevent tyranny from happening if again. Nothing will prevent that. But, the founding fathers build the growth of the house into the 1789 Constitution.

However, like the article said. People like power. People will have to give up power from all levels in gov't. And no like when you take something away ... unless it's liberty, then it's tricked away.

Hope that helps to explain it. The articles do a better join at that part than I do.

You Are Quite Right

Judge Nap discussed this issue, at Mises I believe. He said it was supposed to be more along the lines that everyone would personally know their representative.

"Bipartisan: both parties acting in concert to put both of their hands in your pocket."-Rothbard

As long as Congress can borrow and tax they'll be wasteful.

Adding more will be a bigger waste of money.

congress has never once done anything for the general welfare in over 220 years.

Expecting something different is insanity.

Free includes debt-free!

Cyril's picture

I agree much.

As long as Congress can borrow and tax they'll be wasteful. Adding more will be a bigger waste of money.

I agree much with Paul, here (as often).

My intuition does shout loudly the same to me, on this one.

But beyond this (major) reserve, it might actually be a good idea to have a larger pool of reps, less easy to control influence by only a handful ones, hopefully thanks to a scale effect (I believe this was one of the OP's main points?)

Also, not sure if it has been mentioned already, but it would also possibly help represent 1) a broader diversity of people opinions, and 2) a finer grained spectrum of the same opinions, by the same effect.

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

But take away the power to borrow, what's the point of lobbying

A bigger Congress will just look for more windows to break. It's the nature of the beast to borrow and break stuff.

I think Ron Paul's suggestion that we legalize the Constitution and adhere to it's restriction on government, is the best prescription.

Amendments, if needed would be made by state legislatures. Decentralized operation is what Lincoln, Lenin, Hitler and Mao destroyed to create their empires.

The result is centralized oppression.

Nothing in history suggests that more popular representation would help.

A popularly elected Senate has been detrimental.

If the people are sheeple, or more accurately, they have work to do. Besides, the susceptibility to mass manipulation, is a problem. It's near impossible to manage 535 representatives as it is.

There are many possible solutions. Clearly, a $17 trillion debt that has grown since 1892 is not a rational one.

Cyril, I am glad you found the Daily Paul, I've enjoyed many of the things you've shared.

Free includes debt-free!

I believe Constitutionally it would be one per 40,000, but ....

that is a minor quibble. The premise of the poster is correct, we need a 'big, big, house' to truly be represented. Pay should be merit-based as well.

"Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern." ~~C.S. Lewis
Love won! Deliverance from Tyranny is on the way! Col. 2:13-15

Cyril's picture

More seriously...

More seriously, what I think is really missing is some provision for any portion of the people to impeach directly, armed with the Constitution and an English dictionary, any time, any member of any of the two Houses who commits treason / betrays his/her oath of office. And same for the Supreme Court judges.

Then, you'd possibly have the government in a better check.

Just IMO.

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

Not a Bad Idea ...

But, you also have to remember popular vote is not always the best for liberty.

I think that's why the founding father wanted a house for the people to not only be their "voice", but to protect us from from our own ignorance about the Constitution, liberty, and history.

Then again, that requires Representatives to be moral, principled, and strong to their values.

Cyril's picture

A safeguard

I was alluding to an additional provision for the people to take them out, if necessary, not another way to put them in charge. Put otherwise:

My suggestion is about another safeguard for punitive purposes, not for influential ones.

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

Think of the efficiencies

Think of the efficiencies that could be wrought with the specter of impeachment for any willful transgressions against the Constitution... Not a bad idea, Cyril.

Cyril's picture



And I really want to insist on the crucial importance of putting a dictionary in the loop, with interpretation prerogatives first and foremost for the people BEFORE any elected or appointed official.

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

Not until the states pass amendements that

Prohibits the Congress from borrowing.
Prohibits Congress taxing.

Free includes debt-free!

Cyril's picture

The Restoration Amendment (after repealing all past the 13th)

"Congress shall make no law. Wait. Better yet... Congress is now off the hook, thanks!"

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius