Tuesday, September 11, 2018

2 PARAGRAPHS 4 LIBERTY: #171 “A MORE REPRESENTATIVE CONGRESS”

Okay, here is a suggestion as to how we could have a more representative United States Congress.  By way of background, when the House of Representatives first came into being in 1789 there were only 65 members.  That number steadily increased until 1911, when Congress passed the “Apportionment Act,” which capped the number of Representatives at the same 435 that we have today.  Since the population of the United States was about 92 million in 1911, that meant that each Congressman then represented about 211,000 people.  What if we were to amend the Appropriations Act to provide that we have the same proportion today as we had then?  Simple mathematics tells us that, since we now have a population of about 325 million people, this would increase the number of the members of Congress to about 1,540.  So that is impractical, right?  Well, actually, in today’s world it is not.  What if all members had just a home office with a small staff and never went to Washington DC at all?  Modern technology would allow all members to caucus, meet publically as well as privately, be informed, carry out their duties – and vote (electronically).

All of this would work to the benefit of We the People!  Why?  Many reasons.  Since there would be many more members who were more geographically dispersed, it would be much more difficult for lobbyists to influence them.  And the members of Congress could better maintain and be influenced by local contacts because they would always be at home.  Of course, more members would cost us taxpayers more salary, but it would also result in great savings in travel costs, not to mention paying for only one office instead of two and vastly reducing the numbers of staff personnel.  In fact, given that situation, maybe we could/should go back to the numbers used when Congress first began in 1789 where, with a population of about 3.9 million, each Representative represented only about 60,000 people.  In today’s world that would result in about 5,400 Representatives.  In both of these situations We the People’s voices would be stronger and the special interest lobbying would be more substantially curtailed – all to the enhancement of Liberty!  At the very least, it is something to think about.

 

  Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)

2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President, along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

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Quote of the Week: When Henry Kissinger was meeting with Premier Zhou Enlai in 1972 as a part of Nixon going to China, Kissinger mentioned that all revolutions have a long-term cost, which the Premier disputed.  So when Kissinger asked “Well, what about the French Revolution?” Zhou Enlai responded by saying: “It’s too early to tell.”

By the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejamesgray, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com.  Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty!

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