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The size of congress should be increased.

phantom
Posts: 6,774
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11/14/2011 2:31:35 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Back when the constitution was first written each congressman only represented 30,000 people. In the first congress there were 65 members of the house. In 1790 the size of congress was increased to 106 members resulting in each congressman representing about 37k. In 1910 it was increased from 394 to 435 members, meaning that each congressman represented about 211,000 people. In 1929 Congress permanently fixed the number of seats to 435 with each house member representing 282,000 people. Now if we wanted to get congress to the same ratio of 282k we would have to more than double the size of congress. This is clearly not how the founding fathers wanted it to work.

A larger House could also result in less government spending. According to a study by economists Mark Thornton and Marc Ulrich, "smaller legislatures result in larger constituencies, poorer representation, and higher levels of government spending per capita."
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
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11/14/2011 3:24:57 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/14/2011 2:31:35 PM, phantom wrote:
Back when the constitution was first written each congressman only represented 30,000 people. In the first congress there were 65 members of the house. In 1790 the size of congress was increased to 106 members resulting in each congressman representing about 37k. In 1910 it was increased from 394 to 435 members, meaning that each congressman represented about 211,000 people. In 1929 Congress permanently fixed the number of seats to 435 with each house member representing 282,000 people. Now if we wanted to get congress to the same ratio of 282k we would have to more than double the size of congress. This is clearly not how the founding fathers wanted it to work.

A larger House could also result in less government spending. According to a study by economists Mark Thornton and Marc Ulrich, "smaller legislatures result in larger constituencies, poorer representation, and higher levels of government spending per capita."

Due to pork vote buying (meaning that to get someone to vote for a vote, you need to slip in a few million dollars to some pet project of their's), the more people in congress that need to have votes bought, the more wasteful spending you're gonna find.

I also find the reasoning to be flawed. If you believe that more representatives = better, then a representation of 1 per 1 person would be ideal, i.e. direct democracy.

I don't think the problem with our government is the number of people in it, but the actual people and the rules that they can bend in their favor.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
phantom
Posts: 6,774
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11/15/2011 12:56:08 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/14/2011 3:24:57 PM, Ore_Ele wrote:
At 11/14/2011 2:31:35 PM, phantom wrote:
Back when the constitution was first written each congressman only represented 30,000 people. In the first congress there were 65 members of the house. In 1790 the size of congress was increased to 106 members resulting in each congressman representing about 37k. In 1910 it was increased from 394 to 435 members, meaning that each congressman represented about 211,000 people. In 1929 Congress permanently fixed the number of seats to 435 with each house member representing 282,000 people. Now if we wanted to get congress to the same ratio of 282k we would have to more than double the size of congress. This is clearly not how the founding fathers wanted it to work.

A larger House could also result in less government spending. According to a study by economists Mark Thornton and Marc Ulrich, "smaller legislatures result in larger constituencies, poorer representation, and higher levels of government spending per capita."

Due to pork vote buying (meaning that to get someone to vote for a vote, you need to slip in a few million dollars to some pet project of their's), the more people in congress that need to have votes bought, the more wasteful spending you're gonna find.

That's an interesting speculation. But I'm still going to assume Mark Thorntons and Marc Ulrich's study was well founded.

I also find the reasoning to be flawed. If you believe that more representatives = better, then a representation of 1 per 1 person would be ideal, i.e. direct democracy.

I never implied that. I said a bigger house would be better. Of course you have to draw the line somewhere. The amount of people each congressman represents is WAY more than what was originally designed.

I don't think the problem with our government is the number of people in it, but the actual people and the rules that they can bend in their favor.

If you compare America to the rest of the world most other major countries have large Houses (taking into account population as well of course).

The U.K., has 650 members in its House of Commons despite a population one-fifth that of the U.S. Each Member of Parliament represents about 95,000 people. Italy's Chamber of Deputies has 630 members, which also represent about 95,000 people each. Germany's Bundestag has 598 members representing 137,000 people each. France's National Assembly has 577 members, each representing about 113,000 people. And Japan's House of Representatives has 480 members, with each district having about 264,000 people.

Obviously we can't go back to 30k districts as the house would have to have more than 10,000 people. But we should not allow the size of each congressional district to be raised continually.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)