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Hullabaloo


Monday, July 03, 2017

 
What kind of democracy is this anyway?

by digby



This is from Rosenberg:

The list of reasons why Americans feel their politics are broken is long and growing. Here’s one of many: The U.S. Senate, which due to the way the U.S. population has grown and settled, has developed a “small state bias” so grave that it is on the verge of becoming an undemocratic institution. The issue is serious enough that it has become necessary to question whether major reform of Congress, and particularly the Senate, is needed.

According to the 2010 census, it is now the case that half of the United States’ population lives in just nine states, with the other half of America living in the other 41 states. While the voters in these top nine states have equal representation in the House with 223 Representatives (the other half has 212), in the Senate it is a different story. Because of this population distribution, the half of the U.S. living in the largest nine states is represented by 18 Senators. The other half of the country living in the other 41 states has 82 Senators, more than four times as many. You don’t have to be good at math to see how much less representation in Congress those living in the big states have today.

Let’s take a closer look at this dynamic by examining California. With a population of about 37 million, California has more than 66 times the population of the smallest state, Wyoming, which has 563,626 people. California has 53 Representatives, and two Senators; Wyoming, one Representative and two Senators. So despite having 66 times the population of Wyoming, California has only 53 times the number of Representatives and an equal number in the Senate.

Furthermore, the four smallest states combined have eight Senators, giving California only a quarter as many Senators as Alaska, North Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming, even though California has 14 times the population of these states combined.

And let's not foget that we send a boatload of money to the federal government to help fund all these small states needs. I don't think Californians mind that. But it would be nice if our votes counted the same as everyone else's when it comes to the national government.

And it would be kind of nice not to be the right wing's punching bag too. We are Americans whether they like it or not.

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