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View Diary: When did your county's population peak? This map shows you (99 comments)

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  •  About this: (11+ / 0-)
    the counties where the population peaked long ago simply aren't a dominant part of the overall political equation.
    Not if you look at the Senate.

    Rural counties control a number of Senate seats way out of proportion to their population.

    This is something of a defect in the map. It doesn't differentiate between counties with real, average-plus population growth, and those with tiny growth. Both register as yellow on the map. There are swathes of yellow on the map that really should be marked as stable instead of growing.

    This is especially true in places like Wyoming, which is labeled as all growth, but has significant parts that are really mostly stable.

    http://eadiv.state.wy.us/...

    Out-size impact on the Senate is one reason the right-wing went after rural radio stations.

    "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

    by nosleep4u on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 05:05:41 PM PST

    •  BTW, I did enjoy the diary :) (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JanL, thanatokephaloides

      "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

      by nosleep4u on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 05:06:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Explains Texas too (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thanatokephaloides

      but hopefully not for too much longer.

    •  The Senate is becoming a (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thanatokephaloides, jes2, hypernaught

      …constitutional flaw.

      Certainly each state should have one senator. But a second should not come until 6 million population is reached. Then a third at 9 million and so forth. (Based on 300 million total population.)


      “The Internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn't understand, the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had.” ― Eric Schmidt

      by Pluto on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 05:13:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  As I understand it (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pluto, thanatokephaloides

        and I claim no expertise.

        The per-state representation and the per-capita representation went together as a compromise.

        You set forth an intriguing idea, but is it different than a half-way turn toward complete per-capita representation?

        •  Every state is awarded one Senator (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          thanatokephaloides

          …where very populous states receive more senators, while the total number holds at 100.

          That keeps the separation of branches intact, whilst doing the most good for the most people -- which is the only point of forming a central government in the first place.

          It's a 21st century issue, unless secession is still on the table.


          “The Internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn't understand, the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had.” ― Eric Schmidt

          by Pluto on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 06:32:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's been a long time, but as I remember, the (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jes2, Pluto, mahartley, bartcopfan

            method of assigning Representatives and Senators was purposefully done to prevent highly populated states from completely dominating lower population states. Maintaining parity of power between the states, and all that. Join the Union, get equal terms between states in the Senate, proportional terms between states in the House.

            What you propose may maintain separation of branches, but it completely neuters lower population states. Rather than telling the small fry that their votes will no longer have a meaningful effect on policy, you might as well get rid of the concept of statehood entirely and just have a central government for the entire nation.

            I'm sure that will go over well.

            Or am I just missing the whimsy?

            •  The concept is true (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Pluto, bartcopfan

              However, I am not sure they ever expected some states (California and Texas) to be behemoths in population size and have average cities in those states equal to the sizes of other states (North Dakota or Delaware).

              Remember that the House of Representatives was to be based on a relatively close population size, but was capped at 435 representatives. At that point, the whole basis of House members representing equally sized districts went out the window.

              As another poster posited, it would be interesting to cap the total amount of senators (still at 100), but only offer the minimum of one seat per state (so there would be 50 as the base.) The other 50 seats would be awarded based on the population size of the largest states.

              I think the smaller states would still be protected (but not to such a large degree as today), since there would still be a fairly large block of small states that would equal the super large states.

              Of course, none of this would ever hope of changing, since no small state would agree to cutting its own throat.

            •  Using a sliding scale (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bartcopfan

              wouldn't completely neuter the Senatorial power of low-population states. It would substantially reduce it, but IMO that's a good thing.

              The population differences between the states are immensely vaster now than 220 years ago. The power of low-population states has grow in direct proportion to that gap.

              We're now in a situation where a block of states containing a mere 15% of the population can directly block legislation in the entire country based solely on Senate voting. Add committee powers on top of that. Vesting that much power in such a small minority of the population is, IMO, completely ridiculous.

              "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

              by nosleep4u on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 07:51:18 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  I really like that idea... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Pluto

            Of course, only in our dreams could it happen.

            I ran through the numbers to see how it would work out based on your 3 million bump:

            Based on the 2012 data, if you use 6 million as the level to get a second senator, then only 18 states would qualify for more than one senator.

            If the cut off was for 9 million for the 3rd senator, then only 10 states for qualify for the trifecta.

            That would bring you up to 78 seats.

            The states with the most senators would be Illinois and Pennsylvania with four. Florida and New York with six. Texas with 8 senators. And, the great state of California with an even dozen senators.  

            Works out to be 100 on the nose.

            The only downside would be what type of mess my state of Texas would be in with having to find 6 additional Republican senators. I can only imagine Senators Stockman, Gohmert, Barton and Sessions.

            The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

      •  Or we should redraw state boundaries (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pluto, thanatokephaloides

        so that Senate representation is less lopsided, and perhaps more faithful to areas with shared interests. I mean, are Wyoming, Montana and Idaho so different that they need two senators each? Or Washington and Oregon, or Mississippi and Alabama?

        "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is the first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk. Every state is totalitarian at heart; there are no ends to the cruelty it will go to to protect itself." -- Ian McDonald

        by Geenius at Wrok on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 06:09:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am a big believer in US regional (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          thanatokephaloides, jes2

          …representation.

          One senator per state plus regional senators to 100 is an ideal solution with the environment in mind.


          “The Internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn't understand, the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had.” ― Eric Schmidt

          by Pluto on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 06:34:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  On the other hand (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          thanatokephaloides, Pluto

          Texas is incredibly diverse, but do you really want to divide it into five states?  With ten Senators?  I'm thinking bad idea....from a strictly short-term and progressive political point of view.

          •  Nope. You had the best solution already. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bartcopfan

            Texas should have one senator and 5 regional senators  it shares with other states -- assuming the US has 10 economic/environment regions (which  it does).

            I'm going to assign you to write this section of the New US Constitution.


            “The Internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn't understand, the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had.” ― Eric Schmidt

            by Pluto on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 07:22:28 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Wait. That was Geenius. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bartcopfan

              But still, you make the excellent point that leads to his elegant solution.


              “The Internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn't understand, the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had.” ― Eric Schmidt

              by Pluto on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 07:37:45 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Sparse population (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thanatokephaloides, Pluto

      and other stuff made Nevada's the most buyable senators in the country when it first became a state. The population was tiny, the monied interests were huge, due to the silver mines.

      •  And then, the mob and Vegas, Baby, Vegas. (0+ / 0-)


        “The Internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn't understand, the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had.” ― Eric Schmidt

        by Pluto on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 07:38:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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