Government reps by population or tax paid?
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10-10-2017, 02:57 PM
RE: Government reps by population or tax paid?
It has occurred to me that at least some of the states that pay more taxes also have higher costs of living, so maybe the people in those states aren't effectively any richer -- and yet they're still paying more taxes.

Even if that were true, I still think that representation in government should be proportional to population, not taxation. I'm deeply uncomfortable with anything that smacks of buying votes or influence. In this country, everyone has a say, not just those who can pay for it.
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10-10-2017, 03:42 PM
RE: Government reps by population or tax paid?
(10-10-2017 01:07 PM)BikerDude Wrote:  Well let me pose it to you this way.
If the states paying the most in income taxes had more input into how those taxes are spent would we be a more liberal or more conservative nation?

The US is one of lowest taxed nations in the world. We get (the shit) we pay for. People keep *saying* we need to have our taxes lowered. In fact the infrastructure of the nation is falling apart. The notion that "conservative" means lowered taxes is suspect, IF what is being *conserved* is the nation those who gave it to us built.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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10-10-2017, 04:21 PM
RE: Government reps by population or tax paid?
(10-10-2017 02:57 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  It has occurred to me that at least some of the states that pay more taxes also have higher costs of living, so maybe the people in those states aren't effectively any richer -- and yet they're still paying more taxes.

Even if that were true, I still think that representation in government should be proportional to population, not taxation. I'm deeply uncomfortable with anything that smacks of buying votes or influence. In this country, everyone has a say, not just those who can pay for it.

And if you look at the Pew Research chart that Bucky Ball cited, the upper 2.7% of the taxpayers pay 51.6% of the federal income taxes. So you proportion representation to states depending on taxes. It would take only a handful of the very rich to move their voting address to a state with a small population, like Wyoming, and those few (very right-leaning) Wyoming residents would have an outsized effect on government, since their votes would "count" more. We already have that with the Senate and the Electoral College, but that effect would then extend to the House of Representatives. I do not see that as a good thing.
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10-10-2017, 04:58 PM
Government reps by population or tax paid?
That wouldn't solve a representation conundrum but simply create a new one.

The ideas of what a representative is supposed to do is conflicted by some. You hear some say I ran in these issues therefore that's what the people want... but those who voted for you in large majorities may disagree with several of those stated policies but like the other main points.

Then there's those who say they are representing people so they take the pulse and may vote one way on an issue if they see contacted enough and polling shows its disliked by their population.

Because there's no set system of ideals these shifts won't change how a political wants money used, it's still what their view of it is

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10-10-2017, 07:40 PM
RE: Government reps by population or tax paid?
(10-10-2017 12:10 PM)Yonadav Kenyon Wrote:  I live in Chicago, Illinois. Chicago is in Cook County, and is by far the most populated county in the state. I have spent a good deal of time visiting the small towns that are down state. What I noticed, is that the people in rural Illinois feel completely unrepresented, since nearly everything is decided by the residents of Cook County. I think that is one of the reasons that right leaning populist movements such as the Tea Party have so much sway there.

What I have had a lot more trouble understanding, is why residents of rural America are not more inclined to socialist programs, rather than being hostile toward them. By and large, rural Americans have less money than their urban counterparts. One would think that would make them more inclined to spreading the wealth through socialist programs.

I live in a state (Oregon) where most of the people I talk to feel under- or un-represented on the national level. Well, there are only about 4 million people here -- as compare to 40 million for our neighbor to the south -- so we don't pull much clout on the basis of population. Essentially this is a rural state, with a rural population, inhabitants of the "big cities" -- Portland, Eugene, Salem -- not withstanding; by East Coast standards we're all country bumpkins, too.

Yet even here we have a distinctive divide. Residents of the western valley in which the larger cities -- and also the major universities -- reside tend to be democrat, liberal, or downright radical. The eastern part of the state, ranchers, farmers, etc., tends towards republican and conservative. Sometimes they seem to back candidates that work against their own best interests, but mostly, from my POV at least, they seem to be pursuing an older version of the much maligned "American dream", one that harkens back even to frontier days, and they mainly want the Government to stay out of their lives and off their land. They don't feel that Democrats in Salem (the capital) share their concerns, and by and large... they don't.

Quote:I have come up with a few explanations. For one, they receive a good deal of welfare in the form their roads and other infrastructure being maintained. They don't recognize this as welfare. Their taxes are much lower. Their agricultural industry receives subsidies. They don't consider any of this to be 'socialist' or 'welfare'.
We don't see too much of the federal largesse for roads; there are only two interstates in Oregon: I-5 and I-84, and much of 84 is in Washington and Idaho. And right now Trump is in the process of conducting closed-door dealings that will likely undermine the scheduled Superfund clean-up of Portland Harbor.

Neither of which make much of a dent with our rural population, because they really consider themselves a population apart from the urban areas served by the interstates and the harbor.

Quote:Additionally, while most rural Americans don't have much monetary wealth, they have more of what might be considered 'real wealth'. For example, a thousand dollars per month in Chicago will only get a person a couple of hundred square feet of living space, with no yard or any outdoor living space. The same amount of money in a rural area will purchase a three bedroom house on a few acres of land. Rural people are wealthier in some respects. They don't have much cash, but what they have has a high 'real' value. So they are fearful of being squeezed for money. They see socialist programs as a thing that is likely to squeeze them for money.
In this state, more than 50% of the land is federal land, or under federal management. Ranchers and farmers pay rent to the government to use that land. So their actual "real" wealth is a lot less than sometimes imagined.

Quote:In theory, they would gain the most from socialist programs.
Perhaps.

Quote:As I mentioned earlier, they already do gain a lot from socialist programs that they don't perceive to be socialist. A small hand out goes a lot further in rural areas. But their fear is that socialist programs will be urban-centric, and this will force impoverished rural residents into urban areas. So they make a lot of noise, and support populist movements.
The fact is that although the total population here is relatively small, 75% of it is concentrated in what passes for urban areas -- 58% of it in the Portland metro area alone. A great deal of government action here IS urban-centric, and I have a hard time imagining that it would be any less so, were it more "socialist" in nature. Politicians here -- as everywhere -- dispense their favors where the votes are, and here that happens to be in the urban corridor.

Quote:I think a lot of rural folks would come on board with more liberal agendas, if Democratic Socialists would adopt some 'back to the land socialism' into their platform.
Maybe. I think it would help if they paid more attention to what their constituents thought was important, rather than just their main campaign contributors. But that's probably a pipe dream.

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10-10-2017, 07:48 PM
RE: Government reps by population or tax paid?
(10-10-2017 12:16 PM)BikerDude Wrote:  And in the Senate it's even less direct. 2 per State no matter population or taxes.

Eliminating the Senate would be a step towards more equitable representation.

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10-10-2017, 07:51 PM
RE: Government reps by population or tax paid?
(10-10-2017 01:00 PM)Popeyes Pappy Wrote:  Then we could just make everyone below a given income level a slave so they only count as 3/5 of a person. Most of them are basically wage slaves away way so what could it hurt?

Let's make everyone above a certain income level a slave, and 3/5 of a person, and try that for a while. Smile

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10-10-2017, 07:55 PM
RE: Government reps by population or tax paid?
(10-10-2017 01:02 PM)Rockblossom Wrote:  Americans, by and large, vote for the candidate they "like" or "would want to have a beer with" rather than voting their own interests.

Y'know, I would like to have had a beer with Obama.

I would even have liked to have a beer with Bush II, if only to argue with him.

But I wouldn't go out for a beer with Trump.
He strikes me as the kind of guy who would insult the bartender, harass the waitress, puke on the table, and leave without paying for his share of the pitcher.

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10-10-2017, 07:59 PM
RE: Government reps by population or tax paid?
(10-10-2017 01:35 PM)ImFred Wrote:  Who is that? That speech was brilliant.

Richard Wolff. He's a Marxian economist; used to be a prof. at Amherst. Retired, now.

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