Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Your Slice Of The Pie Is Getting Smaller

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, November 30, 2020

“The more things change, the more they remain same,” goes the adage. And while there’s some degree of comfort in knowing that your socks and underwear will be in the same drawer as yesterday, the week and month before, there’s still a burning question, or two: Are you still going to wear the same old ratty, tattered old underwear that you have for the last 10, or 20 years or more?

If that doesn’t sound like you, you’re in luck.

BUT!

If it does sound like you… well, you’re like the Congress.

Our United States Constitution sets forth a representative form of government in which The People choose Representatives for themselves to represent their interests in a common gathering place called “the Capitol building” in Washington, D.C. And according to that constitution, and other relevant laws, The The People are to have our interests represented according to a formula, of sorts, which determines how many Representatives we should have. That process is called “apportionment,” and refers to the number of Members of the House of Representatives are to be apportioned among The People.

When our Constitution was first written, the Founders… well, read it for yourself.

Article 1, Section 2 of the United States Constitution:

“The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature. No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen. Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New-York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three. …”

There you have it.

“The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative…”

When our Constitution was first written, there was a ratio, of sorts, established to guide the number of Representatives in the House. And, it was 30,000. Since then, it’s been changed, and in fact, it was supposed to be changed every 10 years, which is the entire and exclusive purpose of the Constitution – to determine how many Representatives we should have.

But, along about 1911, the year immediately after the 1910 Census, something happened.

Congress gave America an abortion.

I use that word “abortion” purposely, because that describes to a “T” the essence of what happened.

Allow me to explain further.

In 1911, for some still as-yet-unknown reason, when Congress took up the matter of apportionment, in order to determine the number of Congressional Representatives our nation should have, a Member of Congress decided for again, some unknown reason, that 435 members was “big enough” and when the apportionment law was passed, they had the “brilliant” idea to put a stop, right there and then, to the growth of the size of the Congress… despite the fact that our nation would inevitably continue to grow. The 1910 Census found 92,228,496 people in our union, an increase of 23% from the last census 10 years earlier.

Here’s what the Historian of the House of Representatives writes about that matter:

“On this date [August 08, 1911], President William H. Taft signed legislation increasing the membership of the House from 391 to 433, with provisions to add two more Members when New Mexico and Arizona became states. The legislation took effect after March 3, 1913, at the end of the 62nd Congress (1911–1913). Debate on the bill, however, raised concerns that the House was growing to an unwieldy size. “Members are . . . supposed to reflect the opinion and to stand for the wishes of their constituents,” declared Representative Edgar Crumpacker of Indiana, who chaired the House Committee on the Census. “If we make the ratio [of persons per Representative] too large the idea of representation becomes attenuated and less definite. The personal interest of the voter in his representative becomes less important to him, and we may lose something of the vital strength of our representative form of government.” In 1920, partly because of a fear of a large House, Congress failed to apportion the House for the first time after a decennial census. In 1929, the Permanent Apportionment Act capped House membership at 435, where it has remained, save a temporary increase to 437 Members from 1959 to 1963 after Alaska and Hawaii achieved statehood.”

There you have it.

America was given an abortion. At least its Congress was.

And, while at first blush that might seem like a bad idea, per se, it really was a bad idea for the following reason:

American population continued to increase.

‘Well, of course it would, silly!,’ you might say. But here’s the problem: Fast forward 100 years – 110 years, to be exact – to 2020. We’re now at an estimated 330,657,000 people, and counting.

And yet, despite the fact that in 110 years we’ve grown 258.5193%, we STILL have only 435 Representatives.

Again, let’s put this into a more clear perspective.

In 1910, the ratio of People to Representative was 212,020 People to 1 Representative. Now, in 2020, it’s 760,131 People to 1 Representative.

So, if you feel like your interests are NOT being represented – and many people feel that way…

Guess what?

They’re probably not.

Clearly, the problem is that, there’s not enough Representatives to go around.

And all that’s been happening every 10 years, is like merely shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic. It makes no difference.

So, what if we had the same ratio as we did in 1910? How many Representatives would we have?

We’d have 1560 Representatives.

Whoah! That’s a HUGE number! Sure it is. But guess what? We’ve not made the regular adjustments to the ratio for over 110 years. What’d you think it’d look like?

Now, if your only reason is “that’s too many,” I refer you to our U.S. Constitution which specifically states that we are to have a representative form of government “which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons… The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand…”

If we used the original ratio of 30,000 People to 1 Representative, that really would be a huge number! But fortunately, law has been periodically written to adjust that number, until 1911. And that’s when it stopped. Since then, we’ve been increasingly misrepresented and under-represented.

It’s time to change that.

NOW!

So, how many Representatives should we have?

I think we could come to an agreement in principle that we should have an established ratio for the number of Representatives, to properly represent our interests – The People.

Clearly, more than 212,020 People to 1 Representative, but much less than 760,131 People to 1 Representative.

An average of the 2 numbers is 486,076, which rounded up to 500,000, would reduce by -34.2218% the number of People per Representative. And, if we said 500,000 was a maximum number, then the lower figure could be say, 50,000 less – or, 450,000 people. So a range from 450,000 to 500,000 would be the population ratio we could use from this point forward to establish the number of Representatives necessary to adequately represent The People.

And so, at 500,000 People to 1 Representative, we’d have 661 Representatives or, 51.954% more Representatives.

Again, considering that since 1910 our population has grown 258.5193%, an increase in the size of the House of Representatives that’s only slightly over 50% of its current size is very modest, indeed. Again, reminding you that a 258.5193% increase in the current size of the House of Representatives would be 1560.

And if your only complaint is “where would we put them all!?!,” may I remind you that Arlington National Cemetery’s original size was 200 acres, and since then has been expanded SIGNIFICANTLY to 624 acres – a 212% increase… and NO ONE has complained.

Why then, would you cry, gripe, and whine about the living?

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