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The Worst Law Ever Passed In The United States?

The APPORTIONMENT ACT of 1911 (Also known as Public Law 62-5), was passed by the U.S. Congress on August 8, 1911.

The law limited the number of members of the U.S. House of Representatives to 435, effective with the 63rd Congress on March 3, 1913.

This meant that effective immediately the House of the Representatives of the people would no longer grow with the population AS INTENDED BY OUR FOUNDERS.

The previous requirement for allocating U.S. Representatives (by our founding fathers) is found in Article One, Section 2, Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution.

After the first census, Congress allotted U.S. Representatives to the states based on population for the next ten years (GEORGE WASHINGTON suggested 1 Representative per about 30,000 to 40,000 people).

But with ONE LAW (no surprise it happened in 1913), the very branch of the federal government designed to GROW with the population, was limited (against the advice of our founders), while OTHER UN-Constitutional parts of the government were allowed to grow to the Socialist/Communist type of monster it is today.

The House of the People (its representatives) was limited because the new order of that day didn't WANT the people to be represented.

CONSIDER that if the House of Representatives had been allowed to grow as designed, today it would be about 7,500 members, with each member representing the 30,000 to 40,000 people Washington advised.

But today (because of that law), each member of the House represents OVER 700,000 PEOPLE in their district!

I believe they did this because you can much more easily convince a smaller number of people to make bad laws than you can a larger number.

(For example, I might be able to convince 1 or 2 people to help me commit a crime, but I would have a much tougher time convincing 10 people to do the same).

Since that law limited the number of our representatives to 435, you only have to convince 218 members to vote for bad laws, and with that small number you can easily buy them off to vote your way.

But try convincing half of 7,500 (or 3,750) members to support bad legislation. It would be MUCH more difficult

But THAT'S the number of representatives we should have today based on our population growth since 1913.

Some argue that it would be impossible to get 7,500 people together in one place, but consider that the average college football game gets 60 or 70 thousand people together every weekend during the season.

So I contend that this may be the worst law ever passed and was designed to DE-Represent "we the people."

It used to be the PEOPLE'S House until that law. Now it is the House of the HIGHEST BIDDER.

This is utterly criminal and absolutely unacceptable in a Representative Republic.

More information on this terrible law here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apportionment_Act_of_1911

And here:
http://www.publiclaw62-5.com/



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Cyril's picture

The Worst Law Ever Passed? I shared about my intuition before...

The Worst Law Ever Passed? I shared about my intuition before...

Here's (imo) the Dark Unicorn of a Concept, as the Most Perverted Law, that got shoved into the butt of America's consciousness, for her greatest past and present misfortunes:

The 1st Nail In The Coffin Of The Constitution

http://www.dailypaul.com/286406

:(

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

http://Laissez-Faire.Me/Liberty

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

The WORST and MOST EVIL LAW

The WORST and MOST EVIL LAW EVER passed was the Federal Reserve Act. Nothing even comes close to this.

There is no Left or Right -- there is only freedom or tyranny. Everything else is an illusion, an obfuscation to keep you confused and silent as the world burns around you." - Philip Brennan

"Invest only in things that you can stand in front of and pr

bigmikedude's picture

They shut down what the founders knew would have worked.

Something that would have successfully prevented and stopped any ridiculous and corrupt legislation and over-legislation in its tracks:

You couldn't get 7,500 congress people to agree on the colors of Christmas let alone passing a law.

That's the idea - to make it hard for government to agree on...

...anything easily.

By having more voices in the House of Representatives, it would slow down the mischief our government gets away with.

It would be better if congress were STILL arguing about whether or not to attack Iraq...

Or Pakistan...

Or Afghanistan...

Or whether we should have joined into World War I...

Or Vietnam...

Or Obamacare...

etc...

It would have been infinitely better if none of these things had come to pass because 218 people got bought off to agree to allow these things.

"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

Well, not quite.

The Apportionment Act of 1911 came just two years before the Federal Reserve Act, the graduated Income Tax and the first World War. Did the population of the US explode in those two years, so that a lot more congresscritters would have been involved in passing or defeating those abominations? Don't think so.

Adding more scoundrels to government doesn't guarantee a better outcome. The problem is: government is a magnet for scoundrels, who want to rule and rob their fellow men. Decent people have little interest in such pursuits, except insofar as they wish to be left alone by the wannabe rulers and robbers.

Ron Paul was the only virgin in the whorehouse.

Recommended reading: The Most Dangerous Superstition by Larken Rose

The worst law: The Constitution

You make an excellent argument that the Apportionment Act of 1911 was indeed a terrible law, but for the WORST, I'm going to suggest the US Constitution itself.

The Constitution is the foundation for the myth that some men (the gang named "government," however constituted) have a moral right to rule others, which entails such beliefs as:

Robbery becomes morally proper when it's done by "government agents" who call it "taxation" or "eminent domain."

Enslavement becomes morally proper when the freedoms to act (in any non-coercive manner)and to keep the fruits of ones own labor are abridged by "government" orders and threats (a.k.a. "laws").

Murder becomes morally proper when "government" names it "war" or "law enforcement."

One particular bad "law" isn't the central problem; the institution of government itself -- the superstition that some men can be "rightful rulers," and not bound by the constraints of individual morality -- that's the problem.

Recommended reading: The Most Dangerous Superstition by Larken Rose

The curse of 1913...

amplified!!!

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they attack you, then you win!"
GANDHI

"The belief is worthless if the fear of social and physical punishment overrides the belief."

Certainly! I was just teaching my children about this ....

for History class!~ Excellent call, pawnstorm. Would we agree that having the Senate chosen by popular vote rather than by the state legislatures is also an issue?

Couldn't resist another bump for this thread.

"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

Good Call

My vote is for the 19th Amendment but the The APPORTIONMENT ACT of 1911 is also a killer.

YEP! Was just talking about this with someone

Can you imagine how much more difficult it would be to lobby/buy-off the number of Representatives we were supposed to have?

"If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy." -- James Madison

My favorite part

>>>One of my thoughts on why they changed it is because you can convince a smaller number of people to make bad laws much easier than you can a larger number.

(For example, I might be able to convince ONE or TWO people to help me go rob a bank, but I would have a much tougher time convincing TEN people to help me).

<<<

The only problem with that is if I wanted to rob a bank (note: I don't, mission doomed to fail, the banksters rob us serfs), I would farm for as many candidates as possible and find the best candidates to pilfer the bank. With more people one could be more efficient, and thus, rob the bank (the people) even better.

While you make a valid point (and probably a more natural allegory to my "hire a good team") wouldn't it be easier for the lobbyists if each rep only had X amount of constituents?

So you have the team/coin (Dems and GOP) and one could more cheaply and easily sway someone with a smaller constituency, no? It would cost less money to buy them up, but probably the same $ overall.

I like the idea, though.

It gets back to more than money.

Most of our Rep's are bought and paid for before they even win the election, after the election it's just a matter of "who was the highest bidder, and we'll work down from there".

Just considering the sheer number of elections that would take place, and how much smaller, and local those elections would be. This alone would be a huge hurdle for TPTB as it's much easier for them to infiltrate/control a few large-scale elections, than many small and local ones.

"If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy." -- James Madison

Thanks DFarrell...

It seems to me that it's far easier to convince a smaller number of people to do wrong, than it is to convince a larger number to do the same.

That's just common sense if you believe in the goodness of man as a whole.

But if you believe that man is inherently bad, then my theory falls flat on its face.

"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

Well, doubling the size would be a good start.

But still woefully short of decent representation.

One issue to address is the fat, cushy nature of the positions which causes people to be career politicians.

I don't like term limits and neither did the founders because each 2 years we the people can impose term limits on House members.

But should congressmembers have any different health care, retirement etc plans than their constituents?

Should their salaries be so high?

If Dr. Paul could return $100,000 to the treasury each year, then so can the rest of them.

If we had enough representatives, they could continue in their chosen careers and not go to D.C to become rich beyond belief.

Many members of congress have gotten filty rich off the American citizens by becoming career politicians.

This is NOT what the founders had in mind.

Congressmen were to serve as citizen statesmen - not wealthy D.C. celebrities jetsetting around on the backs of the people.

"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

I'm for doubling the size

of the representatives. They are not accountable to the people they are supposed to represent. Many districts are proportioned to swallow up to 30 percent of areas where people are of a different political persuasions that differ from the current Rep they have. I am one in a set up district. If you would split this particular congressional district in half, you would have two reps from different parties.
I believe the reps should be close to the people they represent. The way they are now. They get elected. Then disappear.

It's time! Rand Paul 2016!

"Truth, Justice, and the American Way!"

In a true government of liberty, EACH citizen would represent...

...THEMSELF!

In that case, today we would probably have around 300 million representatives - assuming you had to be of a certain age to be able to represent yourself.

With that idea in mind, the more representatives you have in your government, the closer you are to everyone having a voice in how their government operates.

But we have agreed from the beginning that we have a "Representtive Republic" which would work fine IF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES had been allowed to grow with the population as originally intended.

"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

US population is currently

US population is currently more than 330 million.

which should give us at least 7,500 members of the House

Moving the House would be a small price to pay for real representation!

"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

That's correct Libera - 7500 members.

And it would be much more difficult (if not impossible) to buy off 3,750 members to make bad laws than it is today with a mere 218 for a majority vote.

"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

And we would actually be following the Constitution

The way it was intended. That would be one representative for a small town in some states, a medium sized or even large town in the more sparsely populated states.

"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

This Act was passed to centralize control.

For example, could an elected body only have two polical parties among 7500? Could 40k people initiate positive change for 300 million?

Many people say only if the Founding Fathers thought of this or that. They did.

The Constitution is an engine for liberty, but it needs to be maintained. One can't simply say let's run this V8 off of 4 sparkplugs and expect performance.

But those who wish to destroy freedom will always try to sabotage the engine of liberty to win.

It is your choice. Either believe in the Constitution or believe in despotism.

Wrong!

The constitution was an engine for the growth of the state. The proof is what we have now. The state has consistently grown in size, scope, corruption and control since it was first created. And since human nature never changes that growth was logical and inevitable.
It is impossible to be free when people rule over you.

“But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another,

this much is certain - that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case it is unfit to exist.”

Lysander Spooner

That's because we haven't FOLLOWED it.

If we had, then what goes on now would not have been allowed.

And part of following the Constitution would be to allow the House to grow with the people. That was stifled with this law.

They didn't WANT us to be represented.

They got their wish. While they allowed the rest of government to grow like a weed.

The most important section - the House of the People - was cut down a hundred years ago to allow for manipulation of our representatives.

"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

But is HAS been followed

This is what happens when you centralize power in the hands of a few, even if they are elected representatives.

"Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely." = Lord Acton

NO! It has NOT been followed. You completely missed my point.

Without this worst law ever passed, the U.S. House of Representatives (the House of the People), would have grown as George Washington intended.

Then, the people would not have allowed to happen what has happened.

Let me boil it down again; It's easier to get a small number of people to vote for immoral laws, than a larger number of people.

For example, suppose I needed an accomplice to help me rob banks. Do you think it would be easier for me to convince 1 person to help me as opposed to 10 people?

Of course it would. And this is exactly why they limited the amount of representatives of the people (back in 1913) to 435 - the same it is today. This is an utter CRIME.

You can quite easily buy the votes of 218 people, but it would be much harder to convince 3,500 people to do wrong.

3,500 is the number of half the amount of representative we should have today according to our founders.

And that is STILL on the low side according to our present population.

"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

wait

the 1/ 30,000 was not a constitutional mandate was it?
If not, then congress did follow the constitution. Maybe there ought to be a constitutional mandate?

Article I, Section 2, Paragraph 3

Article I, Section 2, Paragraph 3 of the Constitution states, "The number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative;". While this just sets a minimum of 1 for every 30,000, I'm sure it was never supposed to be as high as 1 for every 750,000...

Here is an article covering the in regards to what is said in the Federalist/Anti-Federalist Papers:

"There was another concern that came up often in the [Anti-Federalist] papers I read. It was a reference to the well known political philosopher Montesquieu who believed that republics could only function in relatively small geographical areas with relatively small populations. The reason being that otherwise the connection between the people and their representatives would be lost. The Federalist argued that this had been addressed through the proportional representation in the House of Representatives. The constitution allowed that the number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty thousand. Congress regularly increased the size of the House to account for population growth until it fixed the number of voting House members at 435 in 1911. Today with a population of 330 million a House member represents on average about 759,000 people. Maybe the Anti-Federalist had a point."

http://conservativesonfire.wordpress.com/2012/07/30/we-know-...

so they are obeying the constitution

There are a number of problems that document had, and you just exposed another one.

Another is that there is the judiciary is established by and paid for by the government.

Also, state constitutions appear to be totalitarian in that the lawmakers can make laws regarding every aspect of society. Total power over society, minus a few civil liberties. How could we allow these people SO MUCH POWER, is beyond me.

The Constitution was designed

The Constitution was designed to be a mechanism to control the growth of government and to restrain and counterbalance human nature. It was and still is an experiment. An experiment because the whole of human history has demonstrated that warlords, emperors and kings are the typical endgame in politics.

The problem with the Constitution is enforcement. People are endlessly creative when it comes to getting around rules. The Fed is proof of that. Presidents going to war without calling it a war is proof of that. There are thousands of ready examples of how even a "living document" can be circumvented and ignored with little or no consequence for the violators.