On The Under-Represented American Citizen

Tyler Durden's picture

Having just undergone the Presidential election and the democratic right of every citizen to vote and have their voice heard, we thought it interesting that of the world's major nations, the US citizen is in fact the second worst represented when it comes to government. The Chinese citizen, empirically at least, has a fractionally greater weight in their politician's actions. Only in India does each politician represent more of the nation's citizens. How long before we hear the chants of "Over-Taxed And Under-Represented"?



Chart: Goldman Sachs

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Shameful's picture

To play devils advocate, have you interacted with the average American?  I think J6P is quite ok with what is going on, sure he is functionally brain dead but he seems pretty happy in his entertainment haze.  Get the sports and the porn on and they can live it up with the GMO foods and chemical dependency.

JustObserving's picture

I suppose humanity has advanced from Roman times - bread and circuses and porn. The fluoride in the water is just another bonus.

Dr. Sandi's picture

I talk to Joe fairly often. He's not brain dead at all. He's really pissed off, but he knows there's nothing he can do about things without landing in jail or extremely dead. So he watches the sports and porn to deal with it.

Joe needs a six pack just to cope with the crap he sees in his real world life. Don't be dissin' Joe if you haven't walked in his steel toed boots.

Shameful's picture

Are you kidding, the US has the best CONgress money can buy!  Ask any lobbyist. And with such luminary minds as Hank "Sinking Guam" Johnson America's bright future is assured.

I gotta ask if any corporate spokesperson was as flagrantly stupid or openly corrupt as the average CONgress person would you buy their stocks or bonds?  Good thing the foreigners can't speak English I guess...oh wait they can...shit!!!

Dr. Sandi's picture

I disagree. The US has the shittiest CONgress money can buy. Politicians are the losers who are too lazy or stupid to get in there and steal on their own initiative.

Catullus's picture

If the House were the size per voting capita as when the US was first created, there'd be 20,000 representatives. Effectively 1 rep for every 1,000 people. Sort of like the size of a high school. Enough to where you would actually know the person. Maybe be able to tell them your concerns.

I'm all for it.

It would remove the influence of lobbyists (you're going to buy off 10,000 representatives?!), you'd actually know the person you're electing, the influence of the party system would be nil, you'd never get anything "done", and you'd dilute the power of the Pelosi's and Boehner's of the world. What's there not to like?

Expand Congress!!!

RopeADope's picture

Make every citizen a House rep. We have the technology to make it happen. No more Pelosi and Boner.

Raymond K Hessel's picture

Absolutely the worst post.  Opposite of good in every way.

Goner's picture

I gave him a green for the idea. While I dont think its a good idea for everyone to be a Rep. we could go back to how the Greeks did it. They had one house that was made up of average citizens who simply showed up that day. It was more like Jury duty but they willingly volunteered to hear legislation and vote.

I dont remember all the details, its been awhile since I read the book (First Democracy I think)

XitSam's picture

As I recall, the Athenian Polis was all free men, and they felt it a civic duty to go to all the meetings. Any member of the Polis could speak on an issue. Attending was a problem for the farmers outside the city because they had to travel and could not work their farms and orchards. Athenians also thought there was a maximum size for an efficient Polis (a few thousand?). Sparta, though Greek, had a vastly different society.  Athens kept trying to spread pure democracy, but was often countered by oligarchs, contol of cities would change often. This is from memory, I welcome corrections.

Dr. Sandi's picture


Make every citizen a House rep. We have the technology to make it happen. No more Pelosi and Boner.

Then we can have Google Trends tally the public sentiment and use a repurposed HF trading bot to take action on our behalf without even having to think about the consequences. Now THAT'S DEMOCRACY.

Raymond K Hessel's picture


Your post was perfect in every way.

Vashta Nerada's picture

As long as the payroll doesn't change, I'm fine with that.  Each member gets  1/45 of a current member's salary.  $3,000 per year is plenty for what they do.

Dr. Sandi's picture

Only the really lame ones try to get by on the salary even now. It's all about 'the kindness of strangers.'

dynomutt's picture



Dilution of power to diffuse the influence of lobbyists is definitely the answer.


Also, repeal the 17th Amendment and make the states elect senators again.


What to do about the executive branch now, though?

XitSam's picture

I'll present a different solution.  Limit Congress and the President to their actual Constituitonal powers, do away with the income tax amendment, limit spending and therefore the size of government. A federal government with little power and influence would attract few lobbyists and would be easier controlled by the citizens, and not attract career politicans hungry for power.

Limit Government!!!

Catullus's picture

Tried that.  Doesn't work.

Flakmeister's picture

I remember that based on the Jacksonian era, the House of Representatives would have about 5,000 members today to have the same proportionality....

RopeADope's picture

This way Republicans can pretend they are a viable party. Taxation without representation is what ex Goldmanites at Central Banks pursue. Ironic that this graph was produced by the squid.

Racer's picture

And what good did it do Greece to have more of the thieving, robbing snakes supported per head of population?

riphowardkatz's picture

the graph is somewhat inaccurate. greece only is represented in regard to their law. they have no representation in regard to the amount of currency. and you ask what good it has done greece? billions and billions and billions of of eruos of good. their policiticians for years got them way more then the people produce and continue to do so.



Dr. Sandi's picture

If thieving, robbing snakes aren't supported by government salaries, they tend to go independent.

SgtShaftoe's picture

Yes, this is absolutely correct.  That's why the system was originally designed to be bottom-up.  It is often pointed out that Switzerland works this way, where the central government is basically nonexistent.  The power is in the local cantons.  It was the same in the US...until Lincoln.  


Andrea Seabrook, formerly of NPR did an episode on her new project DecodeDC about the same: http://www.decodedc.com/home/2012/9/14/episode-one-house-of-misrepresent...

MethodMan's picture

This is one of the most direct causes of the usurpation of the federal and many state governments by special, partisan and/or corporate interests over the will of the people, and what tightens the grip of the R/D political duopoly.

You can't get elected in a district with 100,000's of people without a ton of money to run the campaign. That makes candidates ultimately beholden to the two parties and their money masters.

The 17th allows the same thing to happen for senatorial representation. They no longer represent their states as originally intended; they now represent the mostly out-of-state monied interests that got them elected.

With few exceptions, Congress is now fully bought and paid. Term limits will do nothing to stop this dynamic; the House must be expanded and the 17th repealled. The chances of rolling back this 100 year perversion of the Republic is now slim.

Bay of Pigs's picture

MethodMan from Mish's board?


XitSam's picture

I didn't see where it said this was Federal representation although it may be. State reps, county commissioners and city councils (and their equivalents in other countries) don't count? Fed taxes aren't the only thing that bites me. How about a graph of the number of those with police powers vs. population? Or bureaucrats vs. population? Or the number of laws and regulations? Or the size of the tax code?

Right Wing Nut Job's picture

The UN website keeps track of few metrics including prisioners per capita which is a good one.  The US not only has the highest in the world, but has the highest in history (or UN records anyway) at 900 prisioners/100,000 citizens.

q99x2's picture

A crimminal gang runs the US. And, they hire the politicians as front persons. Now at this stage of the game the fraud if eating into the upper middle class and the whole charade is collapsing.

They better give me my white ObamaPhone M'Fers.

Louie the Dog's picture

What country has the most interns, secretaries, oops...personal assistants, pages, gophers, chauffeurs, body guards, and ass kissers per representaive?  That's where we might do better.

andyupnorth's picture

It's not quantity; it's quality!

Drag Racer's picture

I am offended by this whole thought process. I live in Arizona and I can tell you straight up that McCain is in now way a representative of me.

Stuck on Zero's picture

Face it dudes, if you are middle class then only about three people in Congress represent you. 


AnAnonymous's picture

More big government propaganda.

Signed: an American.

strangewalk's picture

Now we know that the US leadership does not represent us, and it makes no difference if or who you vote for. We need a revolution, how can we get started?  

DaveA's picture

If, say, you multiplied the number of Congressmen by 10, you'd have 10x the influence over yours, but he'd have 1/10 as much influence in Congress. Within a fixed-size polity, power is a zero-sum game.

OTOH if authority is delegated to smaller polities*, the power of individual voters is vastly increased. See Iceland, Luxembourg, Lichtenstein, Monaco, and Switzerland (where important decisions are made at the cantonal or municipal level), as places where the opinions of citizens actually matter.

*Especially if they're allowed to set their own tax rates. No wonder bureaucrats in Washington and Brussels push so hard for "tax harmonization".