[ExI] More deaths from COVID-19 than Afghanistan and Iraq wars combined

John Clark johnkclark at gmail.com
Sat Apr 18 14:00:40 UTC 2020

On Fri, Apr 17, 2020 at 3:57 PM Dylan Distasio via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

*> I'll answer you, yes, I would.  *

So if you were devising a system from scratch and were looking at a map of
the country but knew nothing about the states or how liberal or
conservative they were you'd say "to make a better government for no
particular reason lets pick a few states at random and give the voters in
them 66.7 times as much power to determine their fate as voters in other

* > I believe states that have less population than others should still
> have some influence on an election that avoids completely disregarding the
> will of that state compared to others.*

I too believe that states with smaller populations should have *some*
influence on an election, and I'll tell you exactly how much, if it has
1/60 the population it should have 1/60 the influence. What I don't
understand is why land should determine how much weight a vote should have
rather than some other form of wealth. If wealth really should be a
consideration would you be OK with determining a voter's power based on how
much stock in Fortune 500 companies the residents of his state have in
addition to how much land they have?

 >* I'll remind you that the Federal government does not have absolute
> authority over the states*

In the past when state law and Federal law came into conflict the Supreme
Court almost always decided in favor of Federal law, but of course now
with the 5 Vichy Justices they will favor neither, they will favor Trump.

*> Do you also think that states with greater populations should have the
> same number of US representatives as every other state? *

No, of course all states should not have the same number of
representatives, and all states should not have the same number of Senators

> *I live in CT.  If I don't vote D, my vote is thrown away since this
> state inexplicably runs blue *

That's another completely different flaw that makes the Electoral College
even worse. In nearly every state if candidate X gets 50.001% of the
popular vote and candidate Y gets 49.999% then X gets 100% of the Electoral
votes and Y gets 0%. That's just nuts. We wouldn't have had the multi
Trillion dollar Iraq war if 269 people out of 6 million voters in Florida
in 2000 had voted differently, or if the 25 members of Florida's Electoral
College had not voted as a block and just 5 of them had voted differently.

* > I don't like this, but never once have I thought I would shift to a
> popular vote model if given a choice. *

Have you never once wondered how every other democratic nation on this
planet manages to get along just fine without anything even close to our
crazy system?

*> As Spike mentioned, it's one of the biggest strengths of our system of
> government.   It's a n=50 lab for experimenting with policy.*

In the scientific method you don't give the evidence obtained in one lab
66.7 times more weight than evidence found in another lab without very good
reason. I've been waiting to hear that very good reason since I was in the
fifth grade and first heard about this crazy thing, and I'm still waiting.

> I think popular vote would be disastrous for the long term cohesion of
> this country.  As it is, we're hanging by a thread.

If staying with our lunatic system is the price we must pay to appease
Wyoming I say cut them loose and let them hang with central African
countries and become "The People's Democratic Republic of Wyoming". I'd
take that drastic step because leadership that doesn't reflect the will of
the people is a recipe for instability. In 2012  1.5 million more people
voted for Democratic House candidates than Republican candidates, but due
to gerrymandering the Republicans won the third largest House majority in a
century.  And the House is supposed to be the most democratic part of the
entire system!

 John K Clark
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