The Widening Gyre

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Comments

  1. Thanks Ben - I needed to see that. In the U.S., what can an individual do to facilitate change on the scale this country needs when opposed by the Big 3? Nothing… but the states can. My concern was that this massive divide would end in succession. Thanks for the new direction, and for confirming what Buckminster Fuller wrote:
    “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing models obsolete.” ~ Buckminster Fuller, 1895 - 1983
    You and Rusty continue to inspire the pack.

  2. Avatar for rjfjk rjfjk says:

    Ben, I usually agree with you, but the people’s amendment has been tried and failed miserably, I live in a city where we went from citywide city council seats to single districts. Once that occurred, the common good went out the door, lobbyists easily funded smaller campaigns and the city became obsessed with pork to district indicatives and lost focus on real issues that the city faced.
    It’s now firmly in control of a few high powered local titans, entrenched district politicians… and zero cooperation for the real issues facing the city…

    When voters have a ballot issue, they uniformity voted over the city council to override the district led decisions… but, then the titans and their proxies just recreated new laws like a tax loss strategy to restart the process and overrule the vote of the people…

    I don’t think a real democracy over a republic will be the answer.
    Keep up the good work,

  3. This post by BH is so interesting. Thank you! But there is something disquieting about the (apparent) assumption that the lower-right quadrant of the competition game [defect, defect] = [1,1] is a negative outcome. Doesn’t that mean that no deer are harvested and so may multiply into the future? As a Nash newbie (despite my Princeton Math BA), I would welcome being schooled on this; maybe more examples would help. Meanwhile, as BH has emphasized, we’re in the Widening Gyre for sure. Personally, I’m not in favor of diluting the Electoral College with originalist proportional representation because the coastal population will prevail over the productive (food and energy) population in the interior.

  4. I don’t believe it would work this way. The changes are all relative, so Ohio would go from having 20 EC votes (18 House, 2 Senate) to 237 EC votes.

    17 / 535 = 3.1% of the EC

    New math is one seat per 50,000 residents. So 11,780,000 / 50,000 = 235
    235 House, 2 Senate = 237

    237 / 6,260 (6,160 House, 100 Senate) = 3.7% of EC votes

    You’d need 3,159 EC votes to win a Presidential election if you just took the existing formula of 270 to win and applied it to the newest absolute number of representatives. Ohio’s 237 EC votes would be 7.5% of what you’d need to win. Today Ohio’s 17 EC votes are…6.3% of what you’d need to win.

    Edit to add: I started with the incorrect number of EC votes for Ohio. My mistake. I have changed the numbers to reflect the 2024 presidential election.

  5. I certainly hope you are right!

  6. Avatar for bhunt bhunt says:

    It changes the EC dynamics for the tiny population Western states.

  7. Hmm. So Idaho and Montana both have 4 EC votes as of today. Half of those votes come from having the same number of Senators as every other state, so by expanding the House the influence of their Senate seats goes down in both absolute and relative terms. Is that what you’re getting at or am I making up a different problem?

  8. Avatar for bhunt bhunt says:

    That is what I am getting at!

  9. Great article and an interesting proposal. But check my math: It takes 38 states to ratify an amendment. Idaho is the 38th least-populated state with 1,893,000. Dividing by 50,000 results in 38 house electors and 2 senate electors for a total of 40. 40/6700 = 0.597%. Currently, Idaho has 4 electoral votes out of 538 = 0.74%. Why would the state legislature vote to dilute their influence in the EC?

  10. Yes, big picture based on the numbers in DY’s example. Senate seats go from 100/538 in the EC to 100/6260. Huge dilution for states with very small populations that punch above their weight due to 2 Senate seats.

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