What is a good percentage of repersenation for the citizens of the United States of America?

what would you think is a reasonable percentage of representation of the US Citizens in Washington DC. I am only counting the following people here in this percentage.

Members of the House of Representatives
Members of the Senate
President of the United States
Vice President of the United states

This number is a total of 540 people.

if you look at this web site according it it there were 307,006,550 in July of 2009 I have read that there is a net gains of one person by birth and immigration and death records every 11 seconds.

which means from July 0f 2009.
1 year = 525,948.766 minutes

rounding that up by 0 we have 525,949 / 11 = 47,813.545454545454

So we have added approximately 47, 814 new citizens in the last year.

which is a grand total of 307,006,550 = 47,814 = 307,054,364

if you take that and divide it by .00001 which is one one hundred thousandth of a percent you get.


If you divide it by .000001 which is one millionth of a percent you get a number that is just slightly under the total elected into office that directly effect our way of life.


The actual percentage of our representation by percentage of the population of the us is.

0.00017586462311279836 of one percent is what the people of the United States is represented by in the United States.

I’m not sure about you but this does not seem like fair and balanced representation of us.

I believe there needs to be a great change in how we do things in the united states if we really want to get fair representation of what we the People want.

really if you think about it there is no way that our representatives are even able to listen to each of their constituents and know what they really want. and be able to vote accordingly to how the people there represent wish him to do so.

I am not sure how to fix it but I think if you look at how many counties there are in the United states then we might have a base to go by. According to my research which is not very extensive at this point in time. There is about 3143 counties in the United States. Yes, this is still a very small number but it is a starting point.

If you want a larger number you look at all of the Cities, Towns, Villages and other separately governed places that are in the United states you will see that there is some where between 18,000 and 25,375.

I realize that this is a large amount of people in fact it is the size of a large town or even a small city. But it is still a very small percentage of the population of the United States.

I am a firm believer in a small government and by the looks of this you might think I am not. But I do not believe that if we were to some how get this type of political representation that it would be one that is smaller but it may be.

I think that those that seek this type of government should seriously look at doing so with out pay and that they should hod their office with in their own home. Not a public location or if possible they should be allowed a office with in their cities or county offices.

But they should also have a full time job to support their family and personal needs. I feel if you are elected you should not be given a salary or compensation for doing so.

This is my concern and I am wondering what others think as well.

Your numbers are meaningless. :smiley:

Senatorial representation is two per state and fixed by the Constitution, regardless of the number of citizens within a state. Read up on the Great Compromise for a better understanding. My WAG is an amendment to change it will never pass muster. The “smaller” states will simply refuse to entertain the thought.

House representation is defined in the Constitution, but currently fixed at 435 members by Public Law 62-5, passed in 1911. My WAG is increasing the size of the House is also impractical because the any changes to House membership will cause a corresponding increase in House staffers serving the Members.

The reality is Members of Congress (House and Senate), as well as the Executives (President and Vice-President) respond to those constituents who yell the loudest. That’s generally described as two overlapping categories of citizenry, those who vote and partake in their citizenship seriously, and those with money and power. Unfortunately the latter group seems to have a disproportionate voice between the two.

Your belief that “government” should better represent the People and that smaller government is a worthwhile goal are shared by many people, for a variety of reasons. At the same time, your proposal is a pie in the sky dream that will never happen. For example, asking someone to represent you without compensation makes no sense. How do you expect someone to live? And doing so from within their own home (how do they pay for that home?), how do you expect them to efficiently and effectively conduct business?

This thread is more worthy of a GD debate since there really is no factual single answer. I’ll suggest to a mod it be moved.

By being independently wealthy, so they’re rich enough to not need to get elected and bow down to popular interests and rich enough to not be tempted to take bribes.

Historically, it was quite a popular idea.

We both know that. I just think the new Doper is expressing a naivety that is unfortunately quite common, yet easily addressed with a bit of history reading coupled with a dose of practicality and common sense.

Historically, the members of the British House of Commons were not paid. That meant that the House of Commons was made up of people with enough personal wealth that they could afford to travel to London and attend parliamentary sessions that could go on for several months at a time - i.e - aristocrats, landed gentry, and upper end business men. If you didn’t have money, you just couldn’t hope to have a political career.

Don’t see how adopting a similar system in the federal Congress would help the OP’s concern that Congress is not sufficiently responsive to the people.

Since the OP is not asking a factual question, this is better suited for GD than GQ.

General Questions Moderator

I’m not sure about you either. Why didn’t you just ask: “Would a larger Congress improve U.S. governance?”

(The answer, BTW, is No.)

I think every single American should have his or her own personal representative. If my Congressman is answerable only to me, I know I’m being well-represented in government!

Why stop at the 20th decimal point?

Wait, I’ve got a better plan. I’m going to vote for myself to represent myself. All in favor? Aye. All opposed? …

I’m in!

No, that’s 47,814 new residents. It takes a while after establishing residency to become a citizen - two years at a minimum - and many immigrants never do.

Significant figures. :smiley:

You went from seconds to minutes. That means the real number has to be multiplied by 60. That’s 2,868,840, a much more realistic increase for a year.

No, it’s not. One percent is 0.01. 0.00001 is one thousandth of a percent.

Therefore, this is also wrong.

And the rest of your numbers are also affected by these mistakes.

Your understanding of what political representatives do, and why they need offices so that the public can seek them out is as poor as your math (and spelling and grammar, too. Sigh). Members of Congress provide thousands of constituent services over the course of a year. They are also responsible for extremely complex legislation. The jobs are well beyond full time. No human could hold down a full time job in addition.

And you don’t seem to understand how large organizations function if you think that having thousands of people working on the same tasks would increase productivity. The larger the group the harder it is to reach consensus.

I vote no.

The concept of a citizen-legislator is a lot more difficult to do than the concept of an elite-legislature. My boss wouldn’t be thrilled with paying me my full year salary when I was in D.C. for nine months out of the year. I wouldn’t be thrilled by constantly having to give directions to my apartment to people applying for an appointment to the Naval Academy.

I vote for a representative who will use his/her best judgement, who will do what he thinks is right. If I disagree with his actions, I’ll vote for someone else next time. I do not expect my representative to cravenly vote in whatever fashion he believes will get him reelected.

My hero, in the entire history of the Congress of the United States, is Jeanette Rankin.

I am not here to win your vote for this I was just wondering if anyone else was alarmed by the fact that we the people of the United States of America are being told how we can live and what we can and can not do according to the law by less than one percent of the total population of our country.

For those that don’t know There were several of our founding fathers that did serve the country with out pay and their are many now that want to do so as well. Or at least they say they do not want to be paid if elected.

Oh an by the way if I was completely concerned with my typing abilities and my grammar why would I even type in a forum. I never claimed to be a English professor. As for my math I miscounted the decimal positions sorry for my mistake.

Who is to say that if you run and get elected for the position of representative that you have to do this job on a full time schedule and why would you need a staff as large as we have now if your district was smaller say the size of a county or even a City.

I realize that there is only 2 senators per states and that it is directed this way by the constitution I never said that we need to increase their numbers I only suggested that we increase the number of representatives in each state.

I also believe that it is a dream as well but with out dreams what else would we do. Many good things in life have come from a man or woman’s dream. The only problem is it has to be followed up on and pursued if that dream is to become a reality.

I really do not understand why so many people try to berate people on or in internet forums just because they misspell a word do not place a series of words in a proper sentence format. You really must be looking for something to grip about if that is all you got out of my post.

While possibly true (Do you have a cite, by the way, as to the founding fathers who refused pay while in Congress?), they were or are rich. Your proposal makes it impossible for anyone to serve who is not either independently wealthy or who has a job that they can abandon for over half the year. Is that really what you want?

George Washington was possibly the richest person in the colonies. He served without salary during the revolution. He also presented Congress later with a bill for expenses that wound up being far larger than they would have paid him as a salary. (I know you haven’t read it, so check out George Washington’s Expense Account by Marvin Kitman)

I don’t believe a single founding father served in Congress without collecting a salary. Many complained about the smallness of the pay given the expenses of traveling to Washington and back, needing to maintain two homes, and campaigning. So did presidents like John Adams.

Can you provide any proof at all of your assertion?

Me. I say it.

You haven’t said what you think that a representative actually does with his or her time or how many representatives we would have in your government. Why don’t you provide a breakdown of what they would do all day and how many days a year it would take as well as how many staff each would have to handle it? That way we’d have something specific to evaluate.

Maybe I missed something, but I went back and looked through the thread, and the only reference I could see to your spelling or grammar was one short parenthetical remark. If it bothered you that much, maybe you’re a little oversensitive.

We do probably tend to be sticklers for good writing, with proper spelling and grammar, here on the SDMB moreso than most places on the Internet. Sometimes maybe we go a bit overboard. But the general feeling is

(1) If you want people to listen to (or read) what you have to say and to consider it fairly, and maybe even win them over to your point of view, you ought not make it any harder for them than necessary. And

(2) if you haven’t taken the trouble to get your spelling correct and your sentences formatted, it makes people suspect that maybe you haven’t taken the trouble to get your facts correct and your ideas well-thought-out.

OP, I find your views…interesting. How do you feel about Israel? Race relations? Is Obama really a Muslim? What really happened on 9/11/01? How is the weather at the forward part of your present location?