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Optimus Prime

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Bringing this up to the the DC statehood thread and the real reason it isn't a state is that it would add 2 Democratic Senators

I know that Bill Maher has been banging this drum for years

Population of North & South Dakota combined (as of 2019) - 1,646,721

Population of California (2019) - 39.51 Million

Number of Senators for North & South Dakota - 4

Number of Senators for California - 2

This seems to be more than a little imbalanced wouldn't you say?

Should the number of Senators be tied to population (one senator per X number of people)?

Tied to party affiliation or votes?

11 million Californians voted for Biden, but 6 million voted for Trump which is more than he got in Texas

Keep it as it is?

I don't know the answer but this is a huge discrepancy - and I think it's nationwide

Seems that I read somewhere the number of people all the democratic Senators represented vs the Republicans and there was a sizeable difference
 

SaulGoodmanEsq

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And you can bet dollars to donuts (where did that phrase come from?!?!) that the Electoral College was put in place precisely to stop men like Trump from becoming President. The Framers were elitists who didn't want some yokel occupying the office. The system they put into place isn't even working to produce the outcome they intended.
 

Saintman2884

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And you can bet dollars to donuts (where did that phrase come from?!?!) that the Electoral College was put in place precisely to stop men like Trump from becoming President. The Framers were elitists who didn't want some yokel occupying the office. The system they put into place isn't even working to produce the outcome they intended.
The Founding Fathers were intellectual, rational products of the Enlightenment philosophers, particularly the English and Scottish philosophers of David Hume, Samuel Hobbs, and John Locke. They were also trying to, like their French radical successors of Robespierre, and Morat build a more open, republican-styled government (not a democracy, since most philosophes equated it with mob rule) with universally protected freedoms.

They weren't late 19th century politicians who could know or realize just how radically democratic form of government would change once massive industrialization began gaining steam in Europe and US and how unions, multiple political power politics, rise of affluent, influential middle class populations in these industrializing nations would lead to millions of more voters having and leading the voices in government and how it affected and dictated foreign/domestic policy.

Plus, with the rise of radical, extremist idealogues, political,.socioeconomic ideals like Marxism, ultranationalism in uniting ethnic groups into forming new nations, or causing internal unrest in European empires like the UK, France, Austria-Hungary, and especially the Ottoman Empire and proto-fascist, Social Darwinist thinkers, idealogues who helped lush pseudo-scientific "racial science" theories about European racial and cultural superiority as justification for European imperialism in Africa, Asia, and India.

The rise of radical, sectarian populism especially the variety which took form in segregated, white-dominated Southern states after the Civil War has been a polarizing, complex, turbulent ever-increasing aspect of American domestic politics going on since the late 19th century.

The election of Donald Trump was also due to a bit of a flukey set of circumstances where Trump was able to outperform among a very weak Republican field of candidates in the party's 2016 primary, then be ran off against a capable, powerful, yet controversial very flawed Democratic challenger who's reputation, rumors about her involvement, knowledge, and alleged roles in innocuous foreign/domestic political crises(some completely distorted, some based around half-truths bits and pieces here and there, and a few conspiracies they've been mostly forgotten that MAY have had some truth to it, who knows.)
 

J-DONK

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The problem isn't the senate it's the house. The senate shouldn't have a filibuster though. The house was meant to be tied to population but since they capped the seats it isn't.

If Democrats passed the wyoming rule:

California would gain 5 seats going from 53 to 58.
New York would gain 6 seats going from 27 to 33.

This also makes it slightly harder for a Republican to win the presidency.

FYI: This can be fixed by a bill. Barack Obama could have passed this back in 2009. It only became law in 1911. It's one of the major reasons I consider Barack to have been a middling President at best.

P.S. PR has a population over 3 million. That ranks around 30th in total population if PR was a state. I have no idea why people are focused on DC, and not PR to be added as a state.

P.S.S. From a pure power perspective it's worth getting rid of the filibuster if you could get Democrats to pass legislation for one, or both of these measures.
 
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Xeno

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P.S. PR has a population over 3 million. That ranks around 30th in total population if PR was a state. I have no idea why people are focused on DC, and not PR to be added as a state.
People focus on DC over Puerto Rico because polling in Puerto Rico still hovers around 50-50 on whether they want statehood or not.
 

DaveXA

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People focus on DC over Puerto Rico because polling in Puerto Rico still hovers around 50-50 on whether they want statehood or not.
Also, technically, if you're a full time resident of PR and all of your income is there, then you aren't subject to US Federal taxes. DC for taxation purposes is treated like a state. Which is why the phrase "taxation without representation" is a thing there.
 

zztop

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I'm curious how an area only about 70 square miles pays more taxes than 22 other states (I found an article from 2016, it might be different by now). Are the people who live there just taxed significantly more than other places? It seems kind of unusual, but maybe the avg income in DC is much higher than some of these poorer states?
 

Nebaghead

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I'm curious how an area only about 70 square miles pays more taxes than 22 other states (I found an article from 2016, it might be different by now). Are the people who live there just taxed significantly more than other places? It seems kind of unusual, but maybe the avg income in DC is much higher than some of these poorer states?
Average income is higher.
 

J-DONK

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People focus on DC over Puerto Rico because polling in Puerto Rico still hovers around 50-50 on whether they want statehood or not.
Over 50% is a majority, and it could actually become a state without a supreme court decision.
 

B4YOU

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I'm curious how an area only about 70 square miles pays more taxes than 22 other states (I found an article from 2016, it might be different by now). Are the people who live there just taxed significantly more than other places? It seems kind of unusual, but maybe the avg income in DC is much higher than some of these poorer states?
US median household income in 2019 was 62.8K vs DC 86.4K. If you look at cost of living expenses, Baton Rouge, LA cost 39% less to live in than DC. That means 86k in DC is equal to 52k in BR however the median income in BR is 55k. There are 6k more federal taxes for a DC household making 86k vs BR at 55k. DC population is 705k and the bottom 10 states are all under 2M people. Here’s a map of states that DC has a bigger economy than. There are 34 Senators representing those 17 states.

ED3B85F5-B462-4759-9F25-9052A3DC6D65.jpeg


This cost of living difference, median household income difference, and a progressive tax system that does not account for cola is just one more example of how DC gets screwed.
 

SaulGoodmanEsq

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The Founding Fathers were intellectual, rational products of the Enlightenment philosophers, particularly the English and Scottish philosophers of David Hume, Samuel Hobbs, and John Locke. They were also trying to, like their French radical successors of Robespierre, and Morat build a more open, republican-styled government (not a democracy, since most philosophes equated it with mob rule) with universally protected freedoms.

They weren't late 19th century politicians who could know or realize just how radically democratic form of government would change once massive industrialization began gaining steam in Europe and US and how unions, multiple political power politics, rise of affluent, influential middle class populations in these industrializing nations would lead to millions of more voters having and leading the voices in government and how it affected and dictated foreign/domestic policy.

Plus, with the rise of radical, extremist idealogues, political,.socioeconomic ideals like Marxism, ultranationalism in uniting ethnic groups into forming new nations, or causing internal unrest in European empires like the UK, France, Austria-Hungary, and especially the Ottoman Empire and proto-fascist, Social Darwinist thinkers, idealogues who helped lush pseudo-scientific "racial science" theories about European racial and cultural superiority as justification for European imperialism in Africa, Asia, and India.

The rise of radical, sectarian populism especially the variety which took form in segregated, white-dominated Southern states after the Civil War has been a polarizing, complex, turbulent ever-increasing aspect of American domestic politics going on since the late 19th century.

The election of Donald Trump was also due to a bit of a flukey set of circumstances where Trump was able to outperform among a very weak Republican field of candidates in the party's 2016 primary, then be ran off against a capable, powerful, yet controversial very flawed Democratic challenger who's reputation, rumors about her involvement, knowledge, and alleged roles in innocuous foreign/domestic political crises(some completely distorted, some based around half-truths bits and pieces here and there, and a few conspiracies they've been mostly forgotten that MAY have had some truth to it, who knows.)
That's a lot of observations peppered with a heavy emount of adjectives but I'm not sure I can discern the point. That the system we have now works just fine and 2020 was a fluke rather than a trend going forward? If so, I don't agree. Particularly given the irreparable damage Trump's narcissism coupled with GOP cowardice has done.
 

SaulGoodmanEsq

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People focus on DC over Puerto Rico because polling in Puerto Rico still hovers around 50-50 on whether they want statehood or not.
It's definitely a close call with a lot of diverse opinions (some actually wanting complete independence from the US) but I believe the most recent referendum had over 50% in favor of statehood.
 

Saintman2884

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That's a lot of observations peppered with a heavy emount of adjectives but I'm not sure I can discern the point. That the system we have now works just fine? If so, I don't agree.
I'm saying the Founding Fathers were elitist, Enlightenment-influenced philosophers who dictated a constitution around universal ideals that hadn't been tested or who's long-term potential flexibility to absorb rapid, gradual electorate changes werent sure things. The Founding Fathers also were living in a still-agrarian based economy before mass steel/iron industrialization radically transformed many Western European and US economies to the point where larger, more vocal, edgier aspects from a population representing new socio-political, economic ideals like Marxism, populism; forces Madison, Jefferson and Adams wouldve felt lacked the intelligence, sophistication and maturity to discuss complex, sensitive political matters intelligently.

Identity politics, the rise of right-wing Southern populist demogagoes like George Wallace, Ross Barnett, and Lester Maddox later enveloped and took over the Republican national party by the late 1970's and early 80's and sort of gradually laid down the groundwork for amateur, idiotic, loud-mouthed but charismatic demagogues like Donald Trump to win presidency.
 

SaulGoodmanEsq

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I don't disagree with any of that -- the system we were handed is not sustainable because it was conceived of in a time far different than the one we live in today. And things are so broken in the current (and almost certainly future) political climate that amending the Constitution is simply never going to happen. I believe unreservedly that this country will crash and burn within my lifetime.
 

Saintman2884

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That's a lot of observations peppered with a heavy emount of adjectives but I'm not sure I can discern the point. That the system we have now works just fine and 2020 was a fluke rather than a trend going forward? If so, I don't agree. Particularly given the irreparable damage Trump's narcissism coupled with GOP cowardice has done.
Trump may have caused a significant degree of damage, but politically speaking, he was clueless, inept, way out of his league in terms of trying to understand the basic problems surrounding most domestic/foreign issues much less how to effectively craft laws to solve them. He was a corrupt, bumbling idiot honestly, in political terms and even when it came to mismanaging his businesses into bankruptcy or financial insolvency.

The next wannabe proto-autocrat might not be so easy to detect or read through as he'll likely be more politically cagey, saavy, intelligent, a D.C. lifer who knows how to effectively scheme and plot their way to power. A Dick Cheney-type maybe with the amoral, authoritian streak of Trump without the stupid, inane Tweeting his opinions or views on every little problem going on in this nation. He won't so be willing, or stupid to give it away so easily like Trump did and he might end up being a far more effective, ruthless autocrat then Trump could ever dream of becoming.
 

J-DONK

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Trump may have caused a significant degree of damage, but politically speaking, he was clueless, inept, way out of his league in terms of trying to understand the basic problems surrounding most domestic/foreign issues much less how to effectively craft laws to solve them. He was a corrupt, bumbling idiot honestly, in political terms and even when it came to mismanaging his businesses into bankruptcy or financial insolvency.

The next wannabe proto-autocrat might not be so easy to detect or read through as he'll likely be more politically cagey, saavy, intelligent, a D.C. lifer who knows how to effectively scheme and plot their way to power. A Dick Cheney-type maybe with the amoral, authoritian streak of Trump without the stupid, inane Tweeting his opinions or views on every little problem going on in this nation. He won't so be willing, or stupid to give it away so easily like Trump did and he might end up being a far more effective, ruthless autocrat then Trump could ever dream of becoming.
Oh I think Trump exposes one huge flaw in our system. If the VP is a true sycophant, and you control the majority of state legislatures. You don't need to win the election to become president. Do those state legislatures go against Trump/future wanna be dictator? That's the very last line that will have to be crossed. This would be the end of American democracy. We came shockingly close. People don't take it as a serious coup attempt because Trump was so bad at it. He clearly gave the blueprint for how it would go down.
 

DaveXA

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Trump just paved the way for politicians to stop pretending norms and decency mean anything in this country. It's all downhill from here. Only a matter of time.
Indeed, that's what bothered me the most. He did that, and in too many circles, it only made people support him more. I'm worried that because of that, there's more of that coming in the future. I want to say Trump was a fluke. But, he won in 2016, and definitely made us sweat this time around.
 

Roofgardener

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I would scrap the current form of government in a heart beat in favor of a UK/parliamentarian system. Rather than modify the Senate... why not just abolish it? What purpose does it really serve? Representation should be proportional by people not land.
Are you sure ? The UK version of The Senate is the House of Lords. Originally this was entirely unelected, and manned by Hereditary Peers. I think this was an essential compromise to get Parliament into existence ?

In more recent decades it has become somewhat more 'representative', in that 'normal' people have been elevated to the House - the so-called 'Peoples Peers'. However, they are appointed, not elected.

However it should be born in mind that the House of Lords functions in an entirely different way (apart from its composition) to the US Senate. The House of Lords is a revising chamber. It reviews new laws, and in effect asks parliament to 'think again' if it doesn't like a new law. However, Parliament is Supreme. The House of Lords can DELAY legislation, but if Parliament is determined, it cannot - unlike the US Senate - actually stop the legislation from ultimately being enacted.

In many ways it works on tradition and precedent. The HoL rarely rejects government bills, nor forces parliament to use its Witchy Powers to force legislation through. It's a bit like The Queen. In theory, she could reject a Parliamentary bill and refuse to sign it into law. But by precedent, she never does.

Incidentally, and drifting off-topic... did you know that The Queen - in law - can dissolve the UK Parliament ? Again, she has never used this power except at Parliaments bidding. But.. can you imagine.. one boring day at Buckingham Palace after a few Gin-and-Tonics....

Queen: I'm bored. Shall we do it, Phillip ?
Prince Phillip: Nooooo.. we shouldn't...
Queen: Oh go on.. lets...
Prince Phillip: Oh, alright then.
Queen: I say... you ... flunky.. get me the Price Minister on the phone...
Queen (picking up phone). Hello ? Is that Boris Johnson ? It is ? Excellent. < giggles> I just wanted to let you know that I've just dissolved your government ? Why ? I was bored :D Oh Mr Johnson, no need to swear :D Oh.. he's hung up.
 

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