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Thu Feb 14, 2013, 12:32 PM

One proposed map of the US with 50 equal-population States



http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2013/02/equal-population-us-states.html

22 replies, 1981 views

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Reply One proposed map of the US with 50 equal-population States (Original post)
n2doc Feb 2013 OP
longship Feb 2013 #1
tkmorris Feb 2013 #4
longship Feb 2013 #7
zipplewrath Feb 2013 #15
Yo_Mama Feb 2013 #21
frazzled Feb 2013 #5
surrealAmerican Feb 2013 #6
frazzled Feb 2013 #12
cali Feb 2013 #2
Hugabear Feb 2013 #18
ChisolmTrailDem Feb 2013 #3
Duer 157099 Feb 2013 #8
ChisolmTrailDem Feb 2013 #10
yurbud Feb 2013 #9
PETRUS Feb 2013 #11
frazzled Feb 2013 #13
PETRUS Feb 2013 #16
treestar Feb 2013 #20
Spider Jerusalem Feb 2013 #14
kudzu22 Feb 2013 #17
treestar Feb 2013 #19
SheilaT Feb 2013 #22

Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:04 PM

1. Isn't that a silly idea?

1. Why would one think that states should have equal populations? Isn't that what we have congressional districts for ?

2. If we did this, what happens when the population inevitably shifts and the states again become unequal? Do we then shuffle the deck again and create 50 new states?

What a freaking silly idea!

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Response to longship (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:12 PM

4. I think you're missing the point

No one I know of is seriously proposing actually redrawing state lines to equalize population within them. I think rather that illustrating them in this fashion points out graphically where populations are centered in the country, as well as where they are not. This can be useful in pointing out for example the outsized electoral influence of states in those areas that contain relatively few people.

There are other uses for such a graphic but as this is primarily a political website I'd say that one is the most topical here.

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Response to tkmorris (Reply #4)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:24 PM

7. Okay.

But it seems like a lot of work went into this. Why go through all that for a political point which, IMHO, is made obtuse by the graphic.

I get your point; I just don't see that it is apparent in the graphic. Who's going to understand this as anything other than some Alternative Structure of the Union? (ASU -- Thank you, Douglas R. Hofstadter!)




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Response to longship (Reply #7)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:40 PM

15. Political Science standard

This is a standard kind of political science exercise. I'm dubious alot of "real" work went into it. There is software these days that would make it fairly simple. I participated in something similar about 20 years ago.

What is a bit silly, is sticking with 50 states. If you really were considering ANYTHING like this, it would also be a time to reduce the number of states. We were discussing 10 because that's how many federal districts there are. Later, I realized that 13 might be a better number (historical to begin with, as well as preventing "ties" in many situations).

But the real purpose is as someone suggested, to show how flubbed up our current system is because the population/representation ratio is all screwed up. There is a VASTLY outsized influence of various areas/states because of the senate perscription for 2 per state, plus that each state gets at least one congress critter, regardless of population. There are sections of Manhattan that have more people than Hawaii. I think I calculated one time that you could have 40 votes in the senate by controlling states compromising 13% of the population.

(By the by, there is a similar exercise where one tries to divide the country into states that have far more cultural and economic homogenaity. You end up with some "city states" and some states that have almost no one in them)

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Response to tkmorris (Reply #4)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 02:30 PM

21. But our system was deliberately designed that way.

Before ratifying, the individual states were concerned that majority rule would be onerous.

The non-proportional Senate and the proportional House are deliberately set up that way. This system is working as designed, and the Constitution would never have been ratified if it hadn't been so designed.

Any individual can argue that it shouldn't work that way, but the union was set up on this basis. I think it conforms well to the conception of human rights underlying the Bill of Rights. Majority rule in the US under our Constitution has strict limits.

Since we believe that the rights of the individual sometimes trump the will of the majority, it is not too much of a stretch to claim that the rights of a group of individuals may sometimes trump the desires of a larger group of individuals.

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Response to longship (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:12 PM

5. Regarding this idea, my son was complaining the other day

about the law in Chicago that requires all aldermanic districts (wards) in the city to be the same size (approx. 56,000). This resulted last year in his Hyde Park residence being split off and going to a different ward, with an alderman he thinks is really bad. (He liked the old alderman.)

His point was: equality in ward size means that successful wards that attract population get punished by being reduced while wards that have not developed well gain in stature. It is kind of odd.

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Response to frazzled (Reply #5)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:20 PM

6. Not that I don't understand your son's point, but ...

... the alternative would be worse: wards that gained population would be "punished" by being underrepresented and wards that lost population would have a disproportionate influence on the rest of the city.

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Response to surrealAmerican (Reply #6)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:28 PM

12. Well, it was done because a bunch of alderman would have lost their jobs

Their wards had shrunk. It was only by odd redistricting, which broke up neighborhoods, that they could be kept on the books.

This happened to me when I lived in Massachusetts. We had a very liberal State Representative in my town. When the legislature redistricted, they "punished" him by splitting the town in half. He got a conservative town to the north tacked onto his district, and our side of the town got the (conservative) Rep presiding in the town to the south assigned to us. So now we liberals were split and resided as minorities in two more conservative districts.

Fortunately, we were well organized, and our old Rep. worked closely with the new one. We managed to make him more liberal!

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:08 PM

2. and the point is?

New Hampshire and Vermont as part of one state? No way.

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Response to cali (Reply #2)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 02:13 PM

18. I don't think it necessarily has to have a point

I find it an interesting exercise

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:09 PM

3. I live in the area labeled "Big Thicket". That name

is not at all appropriate:

thick·et
/ˈTHikit/
Noun
A dense group of bushes or trees.
Synonyms
brushwood - brake - spinney - shrubbery - coppice - copse
fficial&client=firefox-a#hl=en&safe=off&client=firefox-a&hs=ySO&tbo=d&rls=org.mozilla:en-US%3Aofficial&sclient=psy-ab&q=define:+thicket&oq=define:+thicket&gs_l=serp.3..0j0i8i30l2j0i22.1284574.1288537.0.1288734.18.17.1.0.0.0.207.2183.2j14j1.17.0.les%3B..0.0...1c.1.3.psy-ab.xmZzLY1b9hc&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&bvm=bv.42452523,d.aWM&fp=650e83a55f34ea61&biw=1227&bih=582" target="_blank">Google

There are no "big" thickets within the area defined by the border of "Big Thicket", though there are so fair sized ones to the east of that area.

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Response to ChisolmTrailDem (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:24 PM

8. But, perhaps there are many Bushes in that area?



edit: oops, I meant "dense" Bushes. Got any of those?

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Response to Duer 157099 (Reply #8)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:25 PM

10. Haha! I see what you did there! eom

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:24 PM

9. people in Oregon would object to living in a state named after a mountain in California

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:27 PM

11. Neat. Made me recall another alternative map.

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Response to PETRUS (Reply #11)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:32 PM

13. Better yet, Steinberg's map of the country as viewed from 9th Avenue

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Response to frazzled (Reply #13)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:46 PM

16. Hadn't seen that!

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Response to frazzled (Reply #13)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 02:17 PM

20. I can see Russia from 9th Avenue! nt

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:34 PM

14. A better idea: strip the Senate of the power to actually do anything.

Make it like the British House of Lords; a revising body with very little actual power. Or just get rid of it altogether, as this person argues: http://harpers.org/archive/2004/05/what-democracy-the-case-for-abolishing-the-united-states-senate/

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #14)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:54 PM

17. It could be done by amending the constitution

But then the Senate would have to vote itself out of existence. I don't see that happening.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 02:16 PM

19. cool looking

I wish they'd find do a break-out of the north-east so it would be easier to see

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 04:03 PM

22. How interesting.

What I can't tell from that graphic is if the New York City area is itself divided up.

What I also like is the way it emphasizes how very big much of the West is. I'm in the state of Shiprock, on that map, and having driven through much of that hypothetical state, I can see how it might work.

Looking at the map, maybe the single best thing is that what is currently Michigan's Upper Peninsula, isn't cut off the way it currently is.

Anyway, I know this is just an exercise of some kind, but thanks for posting.

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