Daily Topics - Tuesday January 27th, 2015

Join Thom in our chatroom during the program!

Be sure to check out our videos: CARBON, LAST HOURS & GREEN WORLD RISING - narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio

Hour One: Should we rename America...Kochistan? Horace Cooper, National Center for Public Policy Research

Hour Two: Republican Party, Democratic Party and now...the Koch Party? Neil McCabe, Townhall / The Washington Mercury

Hour Three: Renegade farmers...changing the future of food? Liz Carlisle, Lentil Underground / Center for Diversified Farming Systems-UC Berkeley

Comments

WhileThereIsLight 6 years 44 weeks ago
#1

I pledge allegiance to the flag.
Of the United Gun Club of America.
And to the Oligarchy for which it stands.
One nation under Capitalism
Available for purchase
With Liberty and Justice for the Wealthy

mathboy's picture
mathboy 6 years 44 weeks ago
#2

I'm working on an SF novel (which I'm sure I will never get done) that's intended to show off some of my ideas on improving the U.S. Constitution.

One of those would set the number of representatives at 5 times the number of states. I realize that would make for a small House, but there are other aspects to it that aren't important here.

Another is requiring that for a territory to be admitted as a state, it would have to have, say, 1.6 times the population of an average House district (so that it gets rounded up to 2 representatives). So if Wyoming were the last state to be admitted, it would have to choose between waiting until it has enough population, becoming part of another state, and taking on more territory. That would be negotiated.

But I came up with a phrasing of the rule that would not just put a floor on state population, but also effectively put a ceiling on it.

Because of the first idea, admitting a state adds 5 representatives, but if this new state gets apportioned fewer than 5, the other states get some more representatives. This means the average district gets smaller.

However, if California were the last state to get admitted, the other 49 states would have 245 representatives (49 x 5). Adding one state adds 5 representatives, but California would get 34, so the other 49 states end up with only 216, and the average district would get bigger. It's possible that the increase of the average district would put some existing state below the minimum (presuming every other state was legally admitted to begin with).

So now we can put that ceiling in place by disallowing admission of a state if an immediate reapportionment would put any state below the minimum. This would force a negotiation to either break up the over-sized territory (and eventually admit the pieces as separate smaller states) or change borders of the smallest existing states. Either way, state populations get evened out a little.

If enacted now, the rule would have no effect until the United States was on the verge of admitting a 51st state. Without that circumstance, the only way to force some change would be occasionally push a state out to territory status (maybe on the 250th anniversary of admission?), with the intention of quickly readmitting it, so that the readmission could be negotiated.

mathboy's picture
mathboy 6 years 44 weeks ago
#3

Did you know that in the constitution of the Confederacy, which is just a modification of the U.S. Constitution, both mentions of the general welfare were removed? They also removed "provide for the common defence", a grave mistake as it turns out.

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