Equal Population US States

by on February 13, 2013 at 9:20 pm in Uncategorized | Permalink

Here is one proposal/art project to divide the United States into 50 equal population states, thereby creating a more balanced Senate. The geographic clusters are  based on county proximity, urban area, and commuting patterns. Here is my earlier post calling for many more states.

electorally reformed US map

Hat tip: Kottke.

Hazel Meade February 13, 2013 at 9:34 pm

They couldn’t think of funnier names for the states?

Ken Schulz February 15, 2013 at 12:00 am

Have you ever _been_ in Willimantic?
I don’t think we here in the Nutmeg State would take kindly to being chopped up like that, not to mention losing our historic moniker. I’m sure we would step up and do our part by accepting the return of our Firelands, our Western Reserve and our former Westmoreland County, however.

assignmenteasy February 27, 2013 at 7:08 am

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Robert Olson February 13, 2013 at 9:35 pm

You have to be kidding me. DETROIT gets to be a state, and the entire Chicagoland area has to be called Gary?

Doug February 13, 2013 at 9:48 pm

Chicago is a city, it’s just surrounded by Gary. Full list from the linked site below:

mountain ranges or peaks, or caves – Adirondack, Allegheny, Blue Ridge, Chinati, Mammoth, Mesabi, Ozark, Pocono, Rainier, Shasta, Shenandoah and Shiprock
rivers – Atchafalaya, Menominee, Maumee, Nodaway, Sangamon, Scioto, Susquehanna, Trinity and Willimantic
historical or ecological regions – Big Thicket, Firelands and Tidewater
bays, capes, lakes and aquifers – Casco, Tampa Bay, Canaveral, Mendocino, Ogalalla, and Throgs Neck
songs – Gary, Muskogee and Temecula
cities – Atlanta, Chicago, Columbia, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Newark, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Washington
plants – Tule and Yerba Buena
people – King and Orange

Doug February 13, 2013 at 9:49 pm

Correct formatting

mountain ranges or peaks, or caves – Adirondack, Allegheny, Blue Ridge, Chinati, Mammoth, Mesabi, Ozark, Pocono, Rainier, Shasta, Shenandoah and Shiprock

rivers – Atchafalaya, Menominee, Maumee, Nodaway, Sangamon, Scioto, Susquehanna, Trinity and Willimantic

historical or ecological regions – Big Thicket, Firelands and Tidewater
bays, capes, lakes and aquifers – Casco, Tampa Bay, Canaveral, Mendocino, Ogalalla, and Throgs Neck

songs – Gary, Muskogee and Temecula

cities – Atlanta, Chicago, Columbia, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Newark, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Washington

plants – Tule and Yerba Buena

people – King and Orange

zbicyclist February 13, 2013 at 10:49 pm

Gary is a song? That song from the “Music Man” isn’t what comes to mind when you think of ‘Gary’.

For that matter, there’s “Chicago, that toddling town”, “New York, New York”, “I love L.A.” and many other songs.

Even “Swampy” would be a better name for the Chicago area, or maybe “WheresMine”.

subdee February 14, 2013 at 12:57 am

He’s saying that “Chicago” is a state on the map. It’s a small state surrounded by the larger state of “Gary”.

Ed February 14, 2013 at 8:24 am

Outer sections of metropolitan areas are tricky to name (and in any case shouldn’t be states), but in the case of the state of “Gary”, a better name would be “Illinois”, since the Illinois River runs through the area.

PD Shaw February 14, 2013 at 11:56 am

The Illinois River doesn’t flow through the area. The Illinois River starts about 50 miles Southwest of Chicago, where the Kankakee and Des Plaines Rivers join. I’m not sure there is a single mile of the Illinois River in “Gary.”

Jan February 14, 2013 at 11:27 am

The vast majority of the Detroit metro area lives outside the city, and in total it is about 4 million people. Expand east to Ann Arbor and north well beyond Flint, you are getting quite a few more people. The region is anchored by Detroit, though, so it seems like a fine name for the “state.”

Mondfledermaus February 14, 2013 at 11:28 am

The estate should be renamed Chicagoland (Or Chicagoterra if you wanted latinized), is a common term in the area. On the other hand who wants to be reminded of Gary.

Mark Thorson February 13, 2013 at 10:05 pm

And then what? Do we keep changing the states as population moves around? Representation in the Japanese Diet reflects the population of the prefectures in 1947, which has changed greatly since then with the result being that rural prefectures have representation out of proportion to their population.

Doug February 13, 2013 at 11:18 pm

Seems like that system isn’t bad as an automatic stabilizer. Areas that lose people over time probably are economically underperforming. This gives them more political power per capita, and hence more welfare per person. An automatic transfer from prosperous regions to stagnating regions.

david February 14, 2013 at 12:08 am

But there’s no obvious utilitarian motive for stabilizing the welfares of ancient jurisdictions rather than individuals.

Carl C February 14, 2013 at 1:26 am

This policy has a clear downside: Laws and services that are effective in populous regions, aren’t always ideal in very rural regions, and vice versa. Currently, there are states with very unique economic circumstance, like Hawaii and Alaska. Having a dedicated government for these regions makes sense. It would be counterproductive to combine them with more populous regions that are geographically remote, and don’t share the same unique circumstances. In other words, if we’re going to “rebalance” the states, I think we should do it for the benefit of the people inside the state, without regard to federal issues.

Federal problems (like allocating federal resources equitably) would be better solved by changing federal laws.

Dave Barnes February 13, 2013 at 10:33 pm

Salt Lake should be named “Mormons”

Roy February 14, 2013 at 1:16 am

The Northern part of that state is going to be the unhappiest place in America, followed by the North Central portion of Shiprock.

But nothing is as funny as Lubbock being in Big Thicket with Shreveport and Austin, there is no way that isn’t ending in bloodshed.

MD February 14, 2013 at 1:08 pm

Football shall unite them! (But there will still be blood.)

Benny Lava February 14, 2013 at 7:57 am

How about Deseret?

Randy February 14, 2013 at 10:22 am

How about Heretica

MC February 14, 2013 at 2:41 pm

Brigham Young smiles on you, Benny Lava

AMW February 13, 2013 at 10:40 pm

I thinnk the Hawai’ians would be pretty upset about being attached to what is now basically Oregon. Maybe they should just get independence?

Doug February 13, 2013 at 11:22 pm

Oregon-Northern California-Hawaii should be called “rhasta” instead of “shasta.”

Mike February 14, 2013 at 9:38 pm

+1

anon February 13, 2013 at 10:56 pm

Love this line from the link: “However, it’s obvious that reforms are needed.”

An alternative take: The Disenfranchisement of Rural America
http://www.hoover.org/publications/defining-ideas/article/140451

liberalarts February 13, 2013 at 11:18 pm

I am not sure that we need reform, but that article on the disenfranchisement of rural America is a terribly weak argument. If we define groups that are part of a losing coalition as being disenfranchised, then we would view close to half of the population disenfranchised, even though votes can and do drift. By that logic, all the blue counties are disenfranchised if they happen to be in a red district. Or, most gay voters are disenfranchised if they live in a red district but vote Democratic, etc.

NAME REDACTED February 14, 2013 at 1:00 am

Yes. That is the purpose of a majoritarian government. Its a formal way to allow the majority to rule over minorities.

liberalarts February 14, 2013 at 1:04 am

Yes, except the “minority” is always changing.

NAME REDACTED February 14, 2013 at 1:40 am

Yes. So?

Bill February 14, 2013 at 8:33 am

Rural disenfranchisement…no way.

The Princeton Election Consortium has been running popolation models showing gerrymandering. Google Princeton election consortium.

Dave Anthony February 14, 2013 at 10:22 am

Sounds like a good argument for weak state and federal governments and stronger local governments.

Maybe we shouldn’t be engaging in massive disenfranchisement of anyone? I know that goes against the hopes and dreams of the sociopaths running Washington…

Yancey Ward February 14, 2013 at 10:42 am

+1000

IVV February 14, 2013 at 11:50 am

I don’t know, I could go for the massive disenfranchisement of politicians.

Benny Lava February 14, 2013 at 8:34 am

Rural America is already vastly over represented. Geographically it is urban America that is disenfranchised.

Urso February 14, 2013 at 10:11 am

Only in terms of votes. Do not underestimate the other ways that cities exercise power (financial, cultural) and which rural areas cannot; and note that the bureaucracy, which is practically a whole nother branch of government, is almost exclusively urban.

Urso February 14, 2013 at 10:13 am

That hoover article is ridiculous though.

AJ February 16, 2013 at 6:13 am

Being outvoted and being disenfranchised aren’t the same thing.

Alexei Sadeski February 13, 2013 at 11:04 pm

Salt Lake, Ogalalla, and Ranier would have amongst the highest gun ownership rates in the world yet some of the lowest homicide rates in North America.

Mr Mcknuckles February 14, 2013 at 1:50 pm

They would also have the highest death by gun rates (due to suicide).

MC February 14, 2013 at 2:43 pm

Proof?

Mr Mcknuckles February 15, 2013 at 1:52 pm
Alexei Sadeski February 13, 2013 at 11:08 pm

Imagine the rage of San Diego being placed into a state named “Orange.”

Remarkably, though, this new state would be amongst the most conservative in the nation.

Saturos February 13, 2013 at 11:30 pm

Big Thicket?

Mario February 13, 2013 at 11:56 pm

I did something pretty similar years ago, though I never made a nice-looking map to accompany it. The placement of Alaska and Hawaii are the really tough choices. I thought Alaska would be better matched with the general Montana/Dakota area rather than the geographically closer Washington. Hawaii is almost impossible to get right. I think I stuck it with Santa Barbara.

One part that I’d have to firmly object to, as a local, is lumping Rhode Island in with Connecticut, when it belongs in Boston’s backyard. The actual connections between CT & RI are quite minor compared to those of either with MA, and giving Boston the bulk of Maine really doesn’t seem to make sense when you could just put all of rural northern New England together with parts of NY. I would also suggest that people in CT and western Mass. would find it hard to accept Providence as their capital, as opposed to something like Springfield (or Worcester, depending on how far east you went).

For anyone planning to start a project like this of their own, I would suggest starting with Florida and working up, because your FL choices are pretty limited and the Alabama/Georgia area is where I was forced to draw the most arbitrary lines.

Jamie February 14, 2013 at 6:41 am

I’ve always said that the proper use of Florida would be to be towed around and used to prop up California, against the earthquakes and/or water-related events. Think like, a big wedge.

Seward February 14, 2013 at 10:14 am

Alaska & Hawaii are, let’s face it, territories.

Alan February 13, 2013 at 11:57 pm

The entire design of the United States federal government is specifically designed to mute popular vote. The people that wrote the Constitution knew what they were doing and didn’t intend the makeup of the Senate to match the popular vote. That’s what the House of Representatives is for.

Besides that, this remapping appears to be designed to give the Democrats an overwhelming majority in perpetuity since it gerrymanders dense urban centers of some states into rural areas of others.

Nylund February 14, 2013 at 12:58 am

This works out to a little over six million per state, right? Add up the population of big cities like NYC, LA, Chiacgo, divide by six million and multiply by two. That’s a lot of senators for just three metropolitan areas. Do the same for all the cities andyes, I suspect Democrats do very well under this system.

Marton February 14, 2013 at 3:45 am

Well, there’s a lot of people in those three cities. People that are disenfranchised right now, and whom you want to keep disenfranchised. And under a first-past-the-post system, these cities (like nigh all cities) go to democrats anyway.

Ted Craig February 14, 2013 at 8:20 am

And remember, things change. Republican Hawaii was brought into the union to offset Democratic Alaska.

citationplease February 14, 2013 at 12:09 pm

citation please?

RAstudent February 14, 2013 at 12:10 am

I like the names personally. Do you mean balance the house? I don’t get what’s meant by balancing the senate.

Mario February 14, 2013 at 12:13 am

He means making it so that Senators represent states of nearly equal population.

RAstudent February 14, 2013 at 7:54 am

Fair enough.

DocMerlin February 14, 2013 at 12:58 am

This is one of the worst ideas I have heard in a long time.
So, every 10 years the states get reapportioned? That way they can be gerrymandered too? So this will extend the fact that “we don’t chose our government, they chose us” to the Senate? NO THANKS.

j r February 14, 2013 at 1:02 am

I think that some of you guys missed the part about this being an art project.

Willitts February 14, 2013 at 1:40 am

If your goal is to rebalance the Senate the best way to do that is to eliminate it.

Our Senate serves the useful purpose of bringing change in the US to a glacial pace. Gridlock is the best American political innovation. Look at how radically and quickly parliamentary governments can change.

I would shorten Senate terms to four years and increase House terms to three years with term limits of 12 years in each chamber. That would shake things up.

We also need to fix the Supreme Court with 12 year terms.

mulp February 14, 2013 at 11:15 pm

You think that things would be better if Medicare was repealed every dozen years and a new version passed a half dozen years later, abortion banned by SCOTUS after a dozen years, then legalized by SCOTUS a dozen years later.

What I find both humorous and frustrating is to hear people talk about the chaos in Egypt, Tunis, the EU, the Eurozone, pick anyplace else, as if those situations are evolving rapidly when compared to US history.

“The Unwritten Constitution” points out the US didn’t really have a Federal government until the Republicans under Lincoln made the Federal government trump all “States rights” – it is ironic that Republicans are the ones who talk of States rights as if Lincoln hadn’t erased States rights by going to war to take away States rights. And the time between the start of the Continental Congress – effectively 1776, and the agreement that it could not work – 1786, was a decade. And a further 6 years before it was replaced by a Congress with actual powers. Of which, the first and second are taxing and borrowing, which get right to the heart of the problem with the Continental Congress.

Republicans today are trying to take America back, first to 1860 when States trumped the Federal government, then back to 1786 when there was no power to tax and Americans were going after guns to launch new revolutions. (Shays rebellion, for one).

Ed February 14, 2013 at 4:07 am

I’ve been fascinated by this sort of thing for decades, since I discovered Pearcy’s 38 state proposal, so there is a great risk here of boring people on the subject.

First, its been underrated by just about everyone how badly drawn U.S. state boundaries are and how much they prevent other reforms. The worst examples are in the Northeast where you have state boundaries drawn through the centers of cities (among other things, this means most of the governance of the New York City metropolitan area is in the hands of various unelected agencies), but the situation in general is pretty dire. The two biggest problems with how US state lines are drawn are the splitting up of metropolitan areas, followed by the existence of states that either have too big a share (California) or two small a share ( a dozen states with a House delegation the same size or smaller as their Senate delegation) as opposed to the country’s population as a whole. Too big a share means that the state government is as distant in its way as the federal government, there is no benefit to having the second tier in terms of providing local control. Too small a share and the state clogs up federal institutions, can turn itself into a sort of tax haven (Delaware), but also limits the clout of the state government itself which can become a sort of glorified county governments. There is another problem in the avoidance of drawing state boundaries along mountain ranges, which is mainly an issue in the northwest, but I’ll cite as an absurdity since watersheds are the most natural places you can draw boundaries and have never been used for state boundaries in the U.S.

And if you look at how the process was done historically (there is a book, “How the States got their Shapes”, that covers this), it shouldn’t give one confidence in the result. Leaving aside the complicated issue of the colonial era land grants, you have states formed because of political compromises or maneuvering over the slavery issue (Maine and West Virginia), states gerrymandered to get more Senators or electoral votes for a particular party (North Dakota and Nevada, politicians were less shameful about this in the nineteenth century), plus many state boundaries were ironically drawn when it was thought that states would be more sovereign than they turned out to be, so boundaries were distorted to make sure that states had access they don’t really need to seaports and river ports. There was also a sort of straight line obsession that had a big influence on the boundaries of states in the middle of the country.

Nevada is a decent example of everything that could go wrong, despite not having enough people to justify a congressional district, it was created to get three more electoral votes for Lincoln in 1864, plus given Clark County to punish Arizona for its Confederate sympathies. The Las Vegas entertainment complex almost had to be invented to generate some economic activity to an area that should have been the low population hinterland of some other states.

Alot of the proposals on the right to give more powers to the states fail because the states as their boundaries are drawn are not really administratively capable of exercising more power, though it is interesting that the red states tend to have much more sensible sizes and boundaries than the blue states.

Ed February 14, 2013 at 4:29 am

Anyway, though reform of state boundaries is badly needed, it is really unlikely to happen for the following reasons:

1. The Constitutional provision requiring the state politicians affected and also Congress to consent to boundary changes, which is difficult to get over even minor transfers of territory and had to be, well, worked around in the case of West Virginia.

2. The whole red state blue state thing, plus the constitutional provisions assigning two electoral votes and two Senators each regardless of population. That means that if a small blue state is eliminated due to a reform, the Democrats will block it unless you can find a small red state to eliminate as well. This is also complicated by the fact that with every big state except Texas and Georgia leaning Democratic or neutral, breaking them into smaller states means creating more red states. On the whole the equal population provision favors the Democrats, though this is complicated by the practice of a number of small states of voting solidly Republican for Senate and sending Democrats to the Senate. The best chance of reform, as with gerrymandering, might be for the dynamic to eventually definitively favor one party and to block a rotation of power that a majority of the public favors.

3. What might be termed the Montana – New York City problem, which affects schemes to balance the states into more equal population sizes. The average size of a state Congressional delegation is eight and a half Congressmen. New York City sends eleven Congressmen to the House, the New York City metropolitan area almost twice that. Splitting New York City to get equally sized states is stupid, and splitting the metropolitan area is also a bad idea (though it is split now). The states of Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska have a combined House delegation of nine, just over the average. This is a huge area to combine into just one state.

4. Alaska and Hawaii, though this only affects the equal population proposals and even then may not be that bad. Historically there is a connection between Alaska and Seattle, and many communities on the panhandle are only connected by plane or a ferry that starts in Seattle. Combining Alaska and western Washington may make more sense than the current trans-Cascades version of Washington. Hawaii is harder but I’m not sure its so objectionable to administer it on the state level from Los Angeles, where most of the flights from the mainland to the islands originate.

As other commentators have pointed out, you don’t start changing the state boundaries to deal with the representation problem in the Senate (and Electoral College). You get rid of the Senate and EC so that you can change the state boundaries. The administrative benefits of a reform shouldn’t be blocked because of the partisan political effects, and they always will be if you have a system where the state units themselves, as opposed to the people living in these states, form the basis of representation.

And to get around 1., I think it would be politically and constitutionally easier to abolish all the states, and pass an amendment creating a process to allow people to form new states (or recreate old ones). The new states will be more organic and could be given more autonomy, maybe via a tenth amendment with teeth, than the current versions. Communities should also be able to opt for direct administration by the federal government, which people in places with particularly corrupt state politicians would prefer.

Ed February 14, 2013 at 4:41 am

One more comment on the topic.

If you really want to redraw the states as an intellectual exercise, I think it makes sense to set Texas as the upper House delegation boundary (36 as of 2011, though this will almost certainly increase), and New England as the lower House delegation boundary (21 as of 2011, will probably shrink and eventually bottom out at 17 or 18).

I don’t think that Texans really want their state to be split, and state identity is stronger there than in the rest of the country. Texas makes for a good largest state. With New England, consolidation into one state makes sense and regional identity is strong enough that you want to avoid attaching parts to other states.

That means splitting California, but as it happens southern California by most definitions has a population just under that of Texas, and northern California has a population just under that of New England, so that works out. The New York City metropolitan area has a population the size of that of New England by the more expansive definitions, even excluding Fairfield County. This does means that the average size of a state will triple, but there are benefits to this in terms of reducing bureaucracies and strengthening the stature of state governments. It also means more combining states, then attaching and detaching parts of states, which I think is easier politically and will have more legitimacy.

Vanya February 14, 2013 at 5:36 am

The most reasonable solution would be to break up the US into 6 – 8 separate nations, and while we’re at it break up Canada. The Maritimes together with New England probably make a more sensible country than what exists now, Vancouver and Seattle are natural partners, etc. And while we’re at it, Mexico would probably be better off devolving Federal power to the state level as well.

The Other Jim February 14, 2013 at 12:14 pm

>The most reasonable solution would be to break up the US into 6 – 8 separate nations

Which is why this is precisely what is going to happen. It will probably come as a shock to some of your children when it does, but they will get over it quickly.

Look how quickly you got used to $4 gas, $16 trillion debt, and permanent 8-10% unemployment.

Chris February 14, 2013 at 1:48 pm

Breaking up the US into several countries is another way of saying the US needs to dramatically reduce Federal power and restore power to the states. The US economy tremendously benefits from having one single market. Having multiple countries destroys that and would impoverish the country. The obvious solution then is to create a customs and economic union. Of course, that would require a central authority with representatives from each of the other countries, and pretty soon you would be back to having a Federal government again.

Any joy from the idea of breaking the US into multiple countries will quickly go away once people realize customs paperwork is needed to ship an item from Chicago to New York, or that they need a passport to visit Disneyland at California, or that Oregon has built a wall to keep out Californians.

There is a much easier solution – federalism.

mulp February 14, 2013 at 11:21 pm

Federal power is a consequence of the Republicans and Lincoln who made it so powerful. Taxes are the reason for the Constitution. Republicans reject both.

Benny Lava February 14, 2013 at 8:00 am

There are simpler reforms like adding Representatives to make the House more proportional. There is no reason why the number should stay frozen.

And why save the Senate at all? Why not just abolish it? After all most of the states were never independent countries but rather were created by the Constitution.

Ted Craig February 14, 2013 at 8:06 am

Why is 50 a magic number? Why not go smaller? Liberate Long Island, Sonoma and Lincoln, Split NC into two. Allow Texas to invoke its privilege and break into five states.

Michael T Sweeney (@mtsw) February 14, 2013 at 8:19 am

I did a rough estimate of how this map would reshape America’ political landscape:

http://mtswy.com/?p=220

My conclusion was that it wouldn’t change much. Democrats would have a slightly favorable electoral college landscape, and I estimated that the expected Senate under this configuration would be 51.5 Democrats and 48.5 Republicans.

derek February 15, 2013 at 1:42 am

Who do we get to chop in half? I suggest that it be televised.

Chris February 14, 2013 at 8:23 am

If these were state boundaries, with the exact same votes cast in November, Mitt Romney would have won about 40 states and by now be President with a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.

RPLong February 14, 2013 at 8:51 am

This whole idea seems like a bureaucrat’s wet dream: “Now *I* get to determine how the states are carved up!”

You could always, you know, let people choose with whom they choose to associate, establish stricter limits on each community’s ability to impact the rules of every other community, and let people sort things out locally instead of nationally. Gasp. What a concept.

Matt February 14, 2013 at 12:34 pm

But how does that benefit bureaucrats? You see the issue here.

Carl Eric Scott February 14, 2013 at 10:26 am

Ed’s point # 1 is all you need to know. Article IV, section 3. You read it, you ponder it, and you realize–Ed’s “really unlikely” goes directly to “impossible without junking or radically amending the Constitution!” Oh, and before you bother with Willitts’ comments about abolishing the Senate, read Article V and notice that the ONE non-amendable feature of the Constitution is the equal rep of each state in the Senate, unless a state grants consent to non-equal rep there. So, we could in theory amend away the presidency, but it looks like we could never get rid of the Senate without each and every State’s consent! As a native Californian, I don’t like the radically non-proportional rep in the Senate any more than James Madison did at the time he was being forced into accepting it–that is, it is unfair. But it binds us nonetheless, unless you are prepared to ditch the Constitution, and have the Civil War that would be necessary for any such “ditching.”

Economists, read the Constitution! It’s the efficient thing to do since it will spare you from pointless blathering.

P.S. The map is interesting, but… …is it not poetically obscene? Leninist renaming of ol’ Virginia and such? Real patriots, ranging all the way from Walt Whitman to Ronald Reagan, would feel so.

Kyle Hale February 14, 2013 at 10:48 am

Since it’s an art project, I’m sure poetical obscenity is viewed as a positive.

Enrique February 14, 2013 at 11:15 am

Actually, article V could be amended to elimate the equal representation rule in the senate

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2010183

Dave February 14, 2013 at 11:56 am

Here’s an easier solution to the dispropportionate Senate: Leave state boundaries alone. Give the senators weighted votes which equal (state’s population)/(U.S. population)/2. There you go.

But in reality, the disproprotionate Senate doesn’t appear to have that much of an effect on policy outcomes. Yes, Wyoming and Vermont make out like robbers on the Transportation bill, but these states are so small that their bonus for being good coalition members (if you’re trying to buy off Senators to support your bill, it’s easier to buy off small population states) are smaller than rounding errors.

See David Mayhew’s Partisan Balance: http://press.princeton.edu/titles/9432.html

FenkDenk February 14, 2013 at 12:20 pm

That looks like it might just work dude.

http://www.AnonWeb.da.bz

Kendall February 14, 2013 at 12:30 pm

This map is terrifyingly bad. By that I mean, that it shows an UTTER lack of any understanding of the structure of our government and the reasons why it is how it is.

Would you like a government body that’s composed to represent population exactly? Guess what , we have one, it’s called the HOUSE. That’s why California has so many more house members than, say Wyoming.

But because each state as we have them is like a mini government, you need to balance the needs of these smaller governments against what the population wants. To that end, we have the SENATE – exactly two senate members per state.

We you are advocated for could easily be done simply by dissolving the Senate, leaving only the House. But it would also destroy the checks and balances we have in place, as well as make a mockery of the meaning of states at all. I would bet 50 billon quadrillion dollars that the kind of person who fantasizes about re-writing rules to a system they deem more “fair” would be aghast at having the current House in total control.

Could you AT LEAST watch the Schoolhouse Rock episodes covering government?

Mogden February 14, 2013 at 3:23 pm

The structure of our government is defined to encompass only a very limited and strictly defined set of responsibilities for the federal government. Now that those limitations are nearly universally ignored, it is more important to redress the unfairness of our representation in the Senate and electoral college.

Taycor February 14, 2013 at 12:34 pm

Imagine fair distribution from a global perspective: http://www.taycor.com/news/reinvisioning-global-wealth-distribution/

How do you split the land fairly since not all land is created equal?

Richard February 14, 2013 at 12:51 pm

This map has the problem exactly wrong. The Senate was never supposed to be a democratic representation of population. It represented the state governments that appointed its members. The House, with its numerous small districts, was where the general public was represented. Early 20th century changes — direct election of senators and capping the size of the House at 435 — pushed both bodies away from their original function. The right solution for better representation of population is to drastically increase the size of the House. Upping it to 651 members (similar to the UK House of Commons) would be a plausible start, then let it grow with population.

David Ogletree February 14, 2013 at 1:42 pm

What is the point of this? It will never happen. I think Texas is the only state that could legally do this and they will never do it. Current state lines will never change other than very small line movements. I know that has happened in the past. Plus the GOP would try to make the lines so that they could win.

Butch February 14, 2013 at 7:34 pm

Any state can split itself…it just takes a Constitutional Amendment.

Mogden February 14, 2013 at 3:18 pm

I think a better solution is to break apart the most populous state into two states every 10 years after the census. Each child state inherits the laws of the parent state to start with.

Ed February 14, 2013 at 4:04 pm

I like this idea, though maybe paired with the two least populous states also merging with their least populous neighbor?

In practice I don’t think it would ever be agreed to. After the 2010 census, that would mean Texas and California would split. Alaska would merge with Washington, and Wyoming would merge with South Dakota. I think people would get used to the California split, but there are major problems with the other three effects. It might be better to let the eliminated state government choose which neighbor they want to merge with.

Also, do you split the large states exactly 50-50 or allow for a more natural division? I think everything between a 2-1 and a 1-1 split should be allowed.

Mogden February 14, 2013 at 11:22 pm

I would do just one state split per census. Also, joining the smallest state to its neighbor sounds initially appealing, but I think it has several insurmountable problems that splitting a large state does not. For example, the laws of the smaller state would presumably disappear instantly, which would be chaotic. And all of its politicians would be out of a job, so that’s inconceivable.

Gareth Wilson February 14, 2013 at 4:36 pm

I’ve thought about this myself. The Combined Statistical Area for New York City is about 22 million people. They really should all be in the same state, because of the amount of commuting and economic interdependence. But at the same time you want the population of states to be roughly equal. So the only real solution is to have fewer states, about 15.

Butch February 14, 2013 at 7:32 pm

That totally misunderstands the nature of the Senate. The Senate was supposed to represent the interests of state government, not the interests of all those little minions. A Senator can’t represent them as it is…they can’t touch all of their constituents. Repeal the Seventeenth Amendment.

That map is a gerrymandered attempt to give higher democrat population centers more senators. California gets 12.

Sebastian February 14, 2013 at 8:49 pm

Quite a few of those CA states wouldn’t be electing Democratic senators. See especially Orange, Tule, and Temecula.

brian February 14, 2013 at 9:09 pm

Um, why not just get rid of the Senate. TO create equal population states for that reason is the tail wagging the dog. I think the states should be redrawn, but around major metro areas. So New York metro area and its hinterland are one state, LA, SF, and so on. In some cases you have to have small pop states like Hawaii and Alaska – crazy to think they could be appendages of a mainland-based state. And in the same way, to have LA and Orange as separate states is crazy too. You need cooperation at state level when things are so close and part of one metro area (Greater LA)

8 February 15, 2013 at 3:19 am

Why not jettison the cities as China does? Make the largest metro areas into city-states. NYC, Chicago, LA, San Francisco, Atlanta, etc.. It could end up balancing out, with no net change in the Senate balance: if Atlanta is a city-state, it elects 2 Dems, offsetting the two Rs currently from Georgia, but NY would elect two Rs to offset the two Ds currently from NY. In most cases, you’d be taking all the Ds out of a state, making a red state and a blue city-state.

Strick February 16, 2013 at 4:44 am

Big Thicket, a reference to a swampy, dense forest northeast of Houston near the Texas-Louisiana border, is a terrible name for north and central Texas, land that’s mostly grassland prairie.

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