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Author Topic: How has the Pandemic Affected Your Preception?  (Read 2157 times)

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Re: How has the Pandemic Affected Your Preception?
« Reply #75 on: September 15, 2020, 03:43:50 PM »

With the electoral college, we have swing states.  With swing states, candidates focus their energy on those swing states at the expense of all others.

Without the electoral college, we would have no swing states.  Without them, candidates would focus their energy on the most populous states at the expense of all others.

Which system seems better to you probably depends in part on what state you happen to live in.  (Although states like Nebraska and Montana would probably get the shaft either way.)

The small states actually have disproportionate power in the USSenate and Electoral College compared to the big states.  OTOH, I agree and the Founding Fathers were so correct here, if it was a straight popular vote - 'Flyover Country' would be just that to the campaigns and those who are elected, the small states would be completely ignored and trampled upon by the big states and big-city elites.  With the USSenate and Electoral College, the Wyomings, Vermonts, North Dakotas, Alaskas, etc, have to be a part of the decision making process and paid attention to, just like the Californias, New Yorks, Floridas, Pennsylvanias and Michigans are.

- Another *MASSIVE* reason to have the Electoral College and, IMHO, a critically important one - one word here:  'Recount'.

 :-o

Mike

Without the Electoral College, those states would still get attention. Montana and Iowa have competitive Senate races right now, and Alaska, New Hampshire, and Kansas slightly competitive ones.
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Re: How has the Pandemic Affected Your Preception?
« Reply #76 on: September 15, 2020, 03:45:38 PM »

Counterpoint:  why should flyover country's people votes count more?  They have disproportionate influence on the outcome of the election.  Sure, elections would focus on large metropolitan areas versus rural areas, but since 80% of the people live in urban areas, doesn't that make sense? 

Counter-counterpoint:  If an area has only 20% of the population, does that necessarily mean its interests are only 20% as important to that of the union as a whole?
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Re: How has the Pandemic Affected Your Preception?
« Reply #77 on: September 15, 2020, 03:51:54 PM »

Counterpoint:  why should flyover country's people votes count more?  They have disproportionate influence on the outcome of the election.  Sure, elections would focus on large metropolitan areas versus rural areas, but since 80% of the people live in urban areas, doesn't that make sense? 

Counter-counterpoint:  If an area has only 20% of the population, does that necessarily mean its interests are only 20% as important to that of the union as a whole?


I mean, if those "interests" are measured by the number of people affected by them, then the answer is yes.  And I don't know how else you would measure.
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Re: How has the Pandemic Affected Your Preception?
« Reply #78 on: September 15, 2020, 03:53:49 PM »

Counterpoint:  why should flyover country's people votes count more?  They have disproportionate influence on the outcome of the election.  Sure, elections would focus on large metropolitan areas versus rural areas, but since 80% of the people live in urban areas, doesn't that make sense? 

Counter-counterpoint:  If an area has only 20% of the population, does that necessarily mean its interests are only 20% as important to that of the union as a whole?

Yes. The only reason I see to give some areas greater representation is if one section has more than 50% (e.g. England is more than half of the UK, but they give the other three more weight so that England can't dictate what Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland do without them having any say). This does not apply in the US.
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Re: How has the Pandemic Affected Your Preception?
« Reply #79 on: September 15, 2020, 03:55:39 PM »

- Another *MASSIVE* reason to have the Electoral College and, IMHO, a critically important one - one word here:  'Recount'.

A national recount would be much more challenging, but also much less likely, since there are many states that might be close enough for a recount. Doesn't that roughly cancel out? I don't think the national popular vote has ever been that close to where every single vote would need to be recounted.
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Re: How has the Pandemic Affected Your Preception?
« Reply #80 on: September 15, 2020, 03:57:06 PM »



Counterpoint:  why should flyover country's people votes count more?  They have disproportionate influence on the outcome of the election.  Sure, elections would focus on large metropolitan areas versus rural areas, but since 80% of the people live in urban areas, doesn't that make sense? 

Counter-counterpoint:  If an area has only 20% of the population, does that necessarily mean its interests are only 20% as important to that of the union as a whole?

I mean, if those "interests" are measured by the number of people affected by them, then the answer is yes.  And I don't know how else you would measure.

Yes. The only reason I see to give some areas greater representation is if one section has more than 50% (e.g. England is more than half of the UK, but they give the other three more weight so that England can't dictate what Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland do without them having any say). This does not apply in the US.

What I'm getting at specifically is that agriculture tends to be a low-population industry, yet what happens in agriculture has great effect on the nation as a whole.  Perhaps its national importance is disproportionate to the population of those regions.
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Re: How has the Pandemic Affected Your Preception?
« Reply #81 on: September 15, 2020, 03:57:21 PM »

- Another *MASSIVE* reason to have the Electoral College and, IMHO, a critically important one - one word here:  'Recount'.

A national recount would be much more challenging, but also much less likely, since there are many states that might be close enough for a recount. Doesn't that roughly cancel out? I don't think the national popular vote has ever been that close to where every single vote would need to be recounted.

1960: 0.17%
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Re: How has the Pandemic Affected Your Preception?
« Reply #82 on: September 15, 2020, 03:59:51 PM »



Counterpoint:  why should flyover country's people votes count more?  They have disproportionate influence on the outcome of the election.  Sure, elections would focus on large metropolitan areas versus rural areas, but since 80% of the people live in urban areas, doesn't that make sense? 

Counter-counterpoint:  If an area has only 20% of the population, does that necessarily mean its interests are only 20% as important to that of the union as a whole?

I mean, if those "interests" are measured by the number of people affected by them, then the answer is yes.  And I don't know how else you would measure.

Yes. The only reason I see to give some areas greater representation is if one section has more than 50% (e.g. England is more than half of the UK, but they give the other three more weight so that England can't dictate what Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland do without them having any say). This does not apply in the US.

What I'm getting at specifically is that agriculture tends to be a low-population industry, yet what happens in agriculture has great effect on the nation as a whole.  Perhaps its national importance is disproportionate to the population of those regions.


It actually isn't.  Agriculture only has a 5% impact on the GDP.

We over-romaticize agriculture and it's impact to the country.  It's not much of an economic engine.

https://www.fb.org/market-intel/farm-contribution-to-agricultural-gdp-at-record-low
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Re: How has the Pandemic Affected Your Preception?
« Reply #83 on: September 15, 2020, 04:04:58 PM »

Without the Electoral College, those states would still get attention. Montana and Iowa have competitive Senate races right now, and Alaska, New Hampshire, and Kansas slightly competitive ones.

I was including the USSenate in that discussion as without the equal per-state representation in that house of congress, the little states would be completely SOL.  It was part of the Great Compromise that made the USA Constitution possible.

Mike
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Re: How has the Pandemic Affected Your Preception?
« Reply #84 on: September 15, 2020, 04:08:31 PM »

Agriculture only has a 5% impact on the GDP.

We over-romaticize agriculture and it's impact to the country.  It's not much of an economic engine.

https://www.fb.org/market-intel/farm-contribution-to-agricultural-gdp-at-record-low

I wasn't really referring to GDP, nor was I actually suggesting that ag is disproportionately important (rather than it's theoretically possible).  I'd say that certain region-specific things are fundamental to society in a way not measured by GDP.

Just as one example, if you value ethanol fuel, then it might be a bad idea to give the shaft to the people who grow the corn.
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Re: How has the Pandemic Affected Your Preception?
« Reply #85 on: September 15, 2020, 04:09:16 PM »

- Another *MASSIVE* reason to have the Electoral College and, IMHO, a critically important one - one word here:  'Recount'.

A national recount would be much more challenging, but also much less likely, since there are many states that might be close enough for a recount. Doesn't that roughly cancel out? I don't think the national popular vote has ever been that close to where every single vote would need to be recounted.

Every vote would have to be recounted if they counted equally in the overall election.

With the Electoral College, only one or two states would have to be recounted if they were that close and the outcome of that state's or those states' popular votes could change the outcome.

Mike
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Re: How has the Pandemic Affected Your Preception?
« Reply #86 on: September 15, 2020, 04:36:54 PM »

The biggest problem with the electoral college is that it's based on the size of the House of Representatives, which hasn't grown in size as the population of the country has.

In 1790, the smallest state had about 1.5 times the relative electoral power of the largest state. Today, the smallest state has over 3 times the relative electoral power of the largest state.

While eliminating the electoral college would completely strip power from the smaller states, not adjusting the size of the House of Representatives has given them too much power. I know there is a physical building with capacity limits, but we've got to figure out a way to have a larger legislative body.

The comparison will vary, of course, depending on whether you're counting (a) total population, (b) total number of people legally eligible to vote, or (c) total number of registered voters.  While women, minorities, and non-landowners have at different times won the right to vote, there are still large populations of people who aren't allowed to voteóchildren, foreign residents, et al.


Remember that pre-1864, slaves counted as 3/5 of a person, so that is the formula I used. I can't find the table I used for my calculations, but I have my notes and Delaware's 1796 electoral power was 1.6 times that of Virginia, and in 2020 Wyoming's electoral power is 3.6 times that of California.

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Re: How has the Pandemic Affected Your Preception?
« Reply #87 on: September 15, 2020, 04:45:21 PM »

With the electoral college, we have swing states.  With swing states, candidates focus their energy on those swing states at the expense of all others.

Without the electoral college, we would have no swing states.  Without them, candidates would focus their energy on the most populous states at the expense of all others.

Which system seems better to you probably depends in part on what state you happen to live in.  (Although states like Nebraska and Montana would probably get the shaft either way.)

The small states actually have disproportionate power in the USSenate and Electoral College compared to the big states.  OTOH, I agree and the Founding Fathers were so correct here, if it was a straight popular vote - 'Flyover Country' would be just that to the campaigns and those who are elected, the small states would be completely ignored and trampled upon by the big states and big-city elites.  With the USSenate and Electoral College, the Wyomings, Vermonts, North Dakotas, Alaskas, etc, have to be a part of the decision making process and paid attention to, just like the Californias, New Yorks, Floridas, Pennsylvanias and Michigans are.

- Another *MASSIVE* reason to have the Electoral College and, IMHO, a critically important one - one word here:  'Recount'.

 :-o

Mike


Counterpoint:  why should flyover country's people votes count more?  They have disproportionate influence on the outcome of the election.  Sure, elections would focus on large metropolitan areas versus rural areas, but since 80% of the people live in urban areas, doesn't that make sense? 

With the electoral college, we have swing states.  With swing states, candidates focus their energy on those swing states at the expense of all others.

Without the electoral college, we would have no swing states.  Without them, candidates would focus their energy on the most populous states at the expense of all others.

Which system seems better to you probably depends in part on what state you happen to live in.  (Although states like Nebraska and Montana would probably get the shaft either way.)

The small states actually have disproportionate power in the USSenate and Electoral College compared to the big states.  OTOH, I agree and the Founding Fathers were so correct here, if it was a straight popular vote - 'Flyover Country' would be just that to the campaigns and those who are elected, the small states would be completely ignored and trampled upon by the big states and big-city elites.  With the USSenate and Electoral College, the Wyomings, Vermonts, North Dakotas, Alaskas, etc, have to be a part of the decision making process and paid attention to, just like the Californias, New Yorks, Floridas, Pennsylvanias and Michigans are.

- Another *MASSIVE* reason to have the Electoral College and, IMHO, a critically important one - one word here:  'Recount'.

 :-o

Mike


Counterpoint:  why should flyover country's people votes count more?  They have disproportionate influence on the outcome of the election.  Sure, elections would focus on large metropolitan areas versus rural areas, but since 80% of the people live in urban areas, doesn't that make sense? 

The smaller states would never have agreed to form a country were it not for the electoral college. It ensures that all areas of the country have influence and not just the most populated areas.

The problem with a straight popular vote is that 75-80% of the population would have 100% of the power.
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Re: How has the Pandemic Affected Your Preception?
« Reply #88 on: September 15, 2020, 04:57:36 PM »

The problem with a straight popular vote is that 75-80% of the population would have 100% of the power.

This is what I think people are failing to understand about abolishing the Electoral College.  It's not that a presidential candidate would cater to the interests of rural America by a factor of 20% because its population is only 20% of the total.  It's that a presidential candidate would not cater to the interests of rural America at all because its population is only 20% of the total.  Huge swaths of the nation would see their residents' votes cease to matter at all.
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Re: How has the Pandemic Affected Your Preception?
« Reply #89 on: September 15, 2020, 05:24:19 PM »

The problem with a straight popular vote is that 75-80% of the population would have 100% of the power.

This is what I think people are failing to understand about abolishing the Electoral College.  It's not that a presidential candidate would cater to the interests of rural America by a factor of 20% because its population is only 20% of the total.  It's that a presidential candidate would not cater to the interests of rural America at all because its population is only 20% of the total.  Huge swaths of the nation would see their residents' votes cease to matter at all.


So is it better than a presidential candidate caters to the interests of rural America by 40% when its population is only 20%?  Why is giving any part of the country a disproportionate share of interests and power a good idea?

I mean, I know full well why the Electoral College is in place.  And I am not advocating for its abolishment by any means.  I just think the reasons why people think its a good idea make a lot of sense to me.
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Re: How has the Pandemic Affected Your Preception?
« Reply #90 on: September 15, 2020, 05:41:06 PM »

The problem with a straight popular vote is that 75-80% of the population would have 100% of the power.

This is what I think people are failing to understand about abolishing the Electoral College.  It's not that a presidential candidate would cater to the interests of rural America by a factor of 20% because its population is only 20% of the total.  It's that a presidential candidate would not cater to the interests of rural America at all because its population is only 20% of the total.  Huge swaths of the nation would see their residents' votes cease to matter at all.


So is it better than a presidential candidate caters to the interests of rural America by 40% when its population is only 20%?  Why is giving any part of the country a disproportionate share of interests and power a good idea?

I mean, I know full well why the Electoral College is in place.  And I am not advocating for its abolishment by any means.  I just think the reasons why people think its a good idea make a lot of sense to me.

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Re: How has the Pandemic Affected Your Preception?
« Reply #91 on: September 15, 2020, 07:37:24 PM »

The problem with a straight popular vote is that 75-80% of the population would have 100% of the power.

This is what I think people are failing to understand about abolishing the Electoral College.  It's not that a presidential candidate would cater to the interests of rural America by a factor of 20% because its population is only 20% of the total.  It's that a presidential candidate would not cater to the interests of rural America at all because its population is only 20% of the total.  Huge swaths of the nation would see their residents' votes cease to matter at all.


So is it better than a presidential candidate caters to the interests of rural America by 40% when its population is only 20%?  Why is giving any part of the country a disproportionate share of interests and power a good idea?

I mean, I know full well why the Electoral College is in place.  And I am not advocating for its abolishment by any means.  I just think the reasons why people think its a good idea make a lot of sense to me.

There's no perfect system, and one that gives disproportionate power to the minority is preferred to one that gives it to the majority.
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Re: How has the Pandemic Affected Your Preception?
« Reply #92 on: September 15, 2020, 09:47:56 PM »

So basically the pandemic hasnít affected a lot of people in regard to their interest in politics? 
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Re: How has the Pandemic Affected Your Preception?
« Reply #93 on: September 15, 2020, 10:02:48 PM »

So basically the pandemic hasnít affected a lot of people in regard to their interest in politics? 

Of course not, it is an election year after all.
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Re: How has the Pandemic Affected Your Preception?
« Reply #94 on: September 15, 2020, 10:13:31 PM »

Huge swaths of the nation would see their residents' votes cease to matter at all.

Isn't that the case now, though? It's pretty hard to argue that a vote in Upstate New York or rural California matters at all.
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Re: How has the Pandemic Affected Your Preception?
« Reply #95 on: September 15, 2020, 11:31:03 PM »

So basically the pandemic hasnít affected a lot of people in regard to their interest in politics? 

Of course not, it is an election year after all.

Yes, but of all the things that I can think of that can sap the joy out of life politics would be very high on that list.  I guess that sometimes I wonder what people really get out of debating anything political?  It seems like politics is so important to so many and yet Iím vexed as to why.  It sounds like most people already know how they will vote, so why not just run with that and maybe find something else to focus amid this pandemic stuff?  Maybe it would be a gateway to something far less depressing.   
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Re: How has the Pandemic Affected Your Preception?
« Reply #96 on: September 16, 2020, 12:08:33 AM »

The problem with a straight popular vote is that 75-80% of the population would have 100% of the power.

This is what I think people are failing to understand about abolishing the Electoral College.  It's not that a presidential candidate would cater to the interests of rural America by a factor of 20% because its population is only 20% of the total.  It's that a presidential candidate would not cater to the interests of rural America at all because its population is only 20% of the total.  Huge swaths of the nation would see their residents' votes cease to matter at all.


So is it better than a presidential candidate caters to the interests of rural America by 40% when its population is only 20%?  Why is giving any part of the country a disproportionate share of interests and power a good idea?

I mean, I know full well why the Electoral College is in place.  And I am not advocating for its abolishment by any means.  I just think the reasons why people think its a good idea make a lot of sense to me.

There's no perfect system, and one that gives disproportionate power to the minority is preferred to one that gives it to the majority.

Kind of reminds me about something I learned in economics in school today regarding public goods. With a majority vote, it is possible to get outcomes that aren't necessarily the best or the most efficient.

Let's say a small town in SE Arkansas has basically died so that only 3 people live in the entire ghost town. The state of Arkansas is wondering whether to build Interstate 69 through the town or to build a bypass. So the state holds a vote among the 3 citizens to see what they want to do. Person A doesn't really like the idea of the highway because he's elderly and wants to retire in peace, so he wants the bypass. Person B is a truck driver and would love to see 69 extended through SE Arkansas, creating economic value, but like person A, he believes the highway should bypass his town.
On the other hand, Person C, the general store owner, recognizes the potential economic growth the highway would bring for her store and the town if the highway was built through the town. However, she is outvoted 2-1 by the others, so the bypass is built, even though in the long run if the highway were run thru the town, Person C's general store could have grown and drivers could have saved 1 or 2 miles on their trip.
In this case, the majority got what they wanted, but they could've had so much more if the minority got what she wanted. Please note this is not saying majority voting is bad, but that extreme caution should be taken when voting takes place so the majority doesn't vote for unreasonable things, just as the Founding Fathers believed.

(P.S. I made up the story to make my point relevant to the forum, but the principles behind the story are not. Look up public choice theory if you want more information on this idea)
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Re: How has the Pandemic Affected Your Preception?
« Reply #97 on: September 16, 2020, 04:05:20 AM »

I forget who said it (Will Rogers?) "A democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding on what to have for lunch". 

:-o

Sage advice, really.  I am also familiar with the term 'Tyranny of the majority'.


Mike
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Re: How has the Pandemic Affected Your Preception?
« Reply #98 on: September 16, 2020, 09:22:02 AM »

I mean, I know full well why the Electoral College is in place.  And I am not advocating for its abolishment by any means.  I just think the reasons why people think its a good idea make a lot of sense to me.

*phew*

For a minute there, I thought you were perplexed.   :)




Huge swaths of the nation would see their residents' votes cease to matter at all.

Isn't that the case now, though? It's pretty hard to argue that a vote in Upstate New York or rural California matters at all.

Depends.  With only two candidates, sure.  But what if there were three candidates, two of them focused on NYC at the expense of upstate New York, while the third focused on upstate.  It might be within the realm of possibility that, if the two NYC candidates were neck and neck, the upstate-focused candidate might actually squeak out more than 33% of the vote and win a majority.
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Re: How has the Pandemic Affected Your Preception?
« Reply #99 on: September 16, 2020, 09:56:19 AM »

Huge swaths of the nation would see their residents' votes cease to matter at all.

Isn't that the case now, though? It's pretty hard to argue that a vote in Upstate New York or rural California matters at all.

Depends.  With only two candidates, sure.  But what if there were three candidates, two of them focused on NYC at the expense of upstate New York, while the third focused on upstate.  It might be within the realm of possibility that, if the two NYC candidates were neck and neck, the upstate-focused candidate might actually squeak out more than 33% of the vote and win a majority.

That's a lot of pretty big if's.
-Two presidential candidates being neck and neck in NYC is highly unlikely.
-Three viable candidates, period, is unlikely in our current two-party system.
-Even if there was a strong third candidate that could win upstate, it would probably be an Evan McMullin in Utah in 2016 type situation, where that candidate has a shot at winning the state, but not the actual election.

That's part of the trade-off of the electoral college: sure, you can give more say to the smaller/rural states, but it's at the expense of rural voters in primarily urban states.
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