March 1, 2015

Our republic us out of scale

  It is my opinion that we are no longer represented by our elected officials because the voting public has too little influence as compared to a big corporation or the deep pockets of special interest groups. Corporatism now abounds while capitalism is pushed to the side, and blamed for any failure or perceived social injustice. The path we are on is doomed to failure because it is a consumptive process, stripping drive ambition, wealth and capital in exchange for privilege and power. 

  Our republic us out of scale.    

   The Wright brothers built their experimental flying machine in their spare time apart from their bicycle manufacturing business . Does one think the same freedom exists today to achieve? What type of permits and government permission would be required if a parallel venture were to happen today? How much innovation has been stifled because of the ever increasing and invasive bureaucracy.   
  We are out of scale. There is no chance to ever run into any of our elected officials in line at the Wallymart or grocery. Our officials are distant and faceless to us in everyday life.  We only see what the media allows us to see.  We are disconnected from our leadership and they are disconnected from us.. I think it may be time to start thinking about resizing our republic.
 The first census in 1790 counted 4 million Americans. Based on that count, the total number of members elected to the House of Representatives grew from the original 65 to 106.  That rounds up to about 38,000 individuals per congressman as compared to today with a population of 319 million with 435 house representatives a ratio of 733,333 to one, a twenty fold increase.  If we were to stick with the math we would need to have over 8,395 house representatives! 
  At first this number seems insane, but is it?  How much more difficult would it be for corporate or special interest to line the pockets lobby so many more representatives.  In reality one only has to lobby one half of one party or roughly 1/4 of the house, 108 members with the present structure as compared to 2,098 if we maintained the scale of the past.  Think how special interest would have to put so much more effort and money to lobby an extra 2,000 members, yet you, the individual would be much more closely connected.
Would getting legislation passed more or less difficult?  I don't know, and don't care frankly, it's  just having a larger number of cats to herd .



  1. Scale is indeed a problem, but so is complexity. It is impossible for drone entrepreneurs to replicate the quick success of the Wright brothers, primarily because there are so many airplanes flying around today... safety requires an air traffic control system, while there was no such thing in place when Wilbur and Orville were out on that North Carolina beach. Google is an example of a recent upstart that went from dorm room to major company pretty quick - competing with Google and beating them is not difficult due to government action, rather, it is the complexity and cost of doing so and the fact that Google has such a large first mover advantage... need billions to play in that pool today.

    Reducing the scale of government by shifting things to state/local is not a panacea, either.... state senators are much cheaper to buy/rent than US senators. If Acme Widgets has a single factory with 2000 jobs, they might be a big fish on the state/local scale, while on the national scale they don't even rank. Local governments make the decisions to subsidize NFL stadiums, and it has proven easy to implement sports socialism in most large US cities.

  2. You've got that pretty well dead on, my friend.