No. of Recommendations: 16
California has a population of 39.8 million and is 13.3% of the US economy.

Wyoming has a population of 574k and is .3% of the US economy.

And they both have 2 Senators. I understand why this was done in 1776 with only 13 states. Today, it doesn't make much sense.


Out of curiosity, why doesn't it make much sense today, if it made sense in 1776?

The underlying rationale for basing representation in only one chamber on population remains the same: to allow states to have proportional representation as states, to protect against large population states using their majority against smaller states. That interest still exists. States like Vermont and Wyoming and Rhode Island and Delaware hand Montana (individually or collectively) have very few Representatives in the House. So a bill that directed that all federal infrastructure spending should be allocated solely to states with more than 2 million inhabitants (for example) would surely die in the Senate, whereas it would have a fighting chance in the House.

Now, you can make an argument that protecting the interests of States as States is both anti-democratic (it certainly is) and therefore in appropriate or unjust (far more open to debate). But that argument was just as true in 1776 as it is today. So I'm not sure I understand what's changed. Not the degree of variation in population - in 1770, tiny Georgia had only 0.1% of the population (smaller than Wyoming today), compared to Virginia's 19% (larger than California's today), but they both had the same number of Senators then as well.

Albaby
Print the post  

Announcements

What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.