Random Questions


#443

Here’s the scene, it’s my birthday and all the family is over and my wife is so proud of herself and tells everyone that she writes down the names of games that I happen to mention over the last year and she’d tracked down this one game that I’d talked about. It was available in German everywhere she’d looked online but she’d worked super hard and found it in English!

So I open the gift. It’s a game called Guilds of Cadwallon.

I’d never heard of it.

I say “Oh, I don’t know what this is”, and she was a bit crestfallen.

I’m still grateful for the work she put in and I’m sorry that I didn’t know it. I have an amazon wishlist if she ever needs it but she loves to surprise me with things I happen to mention but it never works out. There are so many misunderstandings and versions of cluedo and monopoly on the shelf…

But my main focus for now is trying to work out what I must have been talking about in the last year she could have heard as Cadwallon. It’s not a word I’d have just said… because I didn’t know it.

It doesn’t appear to even have a foreign language version so something was lost in translation there. Any ideas?

Super random question but I guess it’s what the thread is for.


#444

I know it’s getting popular (especially here) to redraw states so that they are of roughly equal population so that Senate votes are more fair, but isn’t that just making a clone of the House? Why not just abolish the Senate?


#445


#446

I mean, we’d still have a Congress, just a monocameral one.


#447

I’m torn by the idea, really. If we’re going to redraw them such that they equalize the population and make the Senate and the House basically equivalent it still doesn’t follow that the Senate should be abolished. Ostensibly the Senate should be representing the interests of the State’s Governments not the people of the State as an averaged whole.

But then why redraw the states when we can abolish them as separate quasi-independent entities and make them completely subordinate to the federal government?

What purpose should the States provide in today’s society?

The distinction between the states feels quite arbitrary given the vast differences between the different areas of each state as a whole. One only needs to look at the gulf that separates St. Lawrence County and Nassau County in NYS. Or West Texas vs Dallas & Austin.

I feel like with the way the Fed is set up now you need the States to be separate and somewhat independent from the Fed. Completely getting rid of their representation at the federal level would severely weaken them.

Overall I think we are at a point where we need to completely rethink how we need to organize our political structures, whether it makes sense to maintain a local first ideal, a strong or weak separation between the State and Federal levels.


#448

Even if both houses are represented based on population, the senate still has longer terms. This is supposed to give them more time to get actual long-term work done since they aren’t constantly campaigning.


#449

I believe we do need the experts’ congress and the regular one. Having one smaller chamber with lower turnover and one larger chamber with frequent elections is a good way to balance the needs of a congress to react to a changing world (and popular sentiment) with its similar needs to have policy expertise.

That said, the Senate can’t continue with equal representation for each state. It will eventually lead to a situation where the 500MM people in New York have the same representation as the remaining 11 people in Idaho.

So scrap direct state representation. Keep states as semi-independent entities, but remove their direct representation. Create instead 100 Senate Districts that are independent of state boundaries. Done.


#450

I’m sorry, don’t wanna derail here, but I kinda gotta. Are you proposing a future where the population of NYC exceeds the current population of the United States?


#451

The NYC metro area alone is 20MM. 1 out of every 16 Americans live here.

It’s already deeply under-represented in government.

It won’t outweigh the whole US of course, but the trend will only continue. Today, New York City (the city alone: no burbs at all) would by itself be the 13th largest state.

If NYC were broken up into its five boroughs, FOUR OF THEM are larger than eight states by themselves.

Wyoming shouldn’t have any senators. If it still gets 2, then NYC should have 9.


#452

This kind of reminds me as to how the math no longer works out based on what the Framers intended for the Constitution when they set up the so-called Great Compromise of the Senate and House. The differences in population between the “big” and “small” states back then were no where near as large as they are now. This trickles into the Senate, the Electoral College, everything that has some sort of equal state representation calculated into it.

If I’m understanding correctly, your notion of keeping the House more or less as-is but creating Senate districts has some appeal to me in addressing some of these issues.

Either we need a stronger central government with more fair representation, or we need to cede far more power to the local states so that the central government can’t mess things up. We’re kind of in a precarious middle situation right now that is showing some severe issues.


#453

I truly believe if this were to happen, the coastal blue cities would explode in growth and progress, and the deep south/midwest would descend into inescapable poverty.


#454

That’s kind of already happening to a lesser extent. If you look at the numbers, something like 9 of the top 10 most economically prosperous states are blue with Texas (probably due to oil money or something) being the only exception. The converse is true for the least prosperous states. I wouldn’t be surprised if this lack of economic opportunity also influences why so many people in the armed forces come from these poorer, red states. They enlist as much out of lack of any other opportunities as a desire to serve.

And maybe I’m being a bit of a jerk here, but this would be like, “you made your bed, now lie in it” to me. I feel that perhaps they only way those states can get their act together at this point is with some “tough love” like that. Now, once they start getting their act together, I wouldn’t be opposed to helping bail them out, but I’m a bit tired of rewarding self-destructive behavior. Besides, nothing would necessarily be keeping those people from moving to the coastal blue states/cities in search of better economic opportunity. I may even be in favor of subsidizing those moves, if necessary.


#455

While everything ya’ll are talking is great, it’s kinda hoity-toity, pie-in-the-sky sort of way. We’re not getting special senate districts or abolishing the senate or anything of the sort. I like debating the ideal way to organize a government as much as the next guy, but the reality of it is, it’s not 1770, we’re not lawyers wearing powder wigs, or members of a British mercantilist colony.

Side note: This is an image taken from within the NYC metro area. Large chunks of it aren’t as blue as you’d like to believe, and have little to do with the city itself.


#456

We will have to at some point. Otherwise there is a real future where the worst Americans control the Senate in perpetuity. It literally cannot be sustained, and our government will grind over the decades to come to a complete and permanent halt.

Even worse, by that point, all of the ways to amend the constitution to address it would be controlled by the same backward states: we would literally have no recourse.


#457

How is that any different from what we have now?


#458

Rym,
I’ll let my most cynical self speak here: what the hell process starts this changing?

The smaller polities that express disproportionate power aren’t going to surrender power lightly. What incentives do they see on an emotional and cultural level to change things?


#459

Places like that are outnumbered by the surrounding population. Most of the congressional districts lean something like +30 Democrat.

Westchester county went 65% Clinton. Queens went 75%. Manhattan 87%. Nassau, which is already extremely suburban and breaks out of the metro area, still went 51% (versus 45% Trump).

Staten Island is Republican. But it’s also a tiny population that’s isolated from the rest of the metro area and largely irrelevant.

New York state as a whole paints a very clear picture.


#460

The Orthodox and Hasidic Jews are also Republican because they vote for whichever candidate is more Zionist. Single-issue voters.


#461

None. They’re majority anti-LGBT, majority anti-abortion, majority anti-immigration. Nearly every issue they rank highly in importance is one where there can be no incentive and no compromise.


#462

My little side note was only in response to this. That picture is taken within the NYC metro area, specifically long island. I’m not saying they’re not hilariously outnumbered, they are. It’s just you can’t picture the NYC metro area as some palace of leftism. It’s not. It includes farmers and cows, who’re very very red.