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Comment Re:Goodness! Did sanity just prevail?! (Score 1) 648

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

A peaceful assembly of the people is a reasonable way to define a corporation.

Comment Re:I say cut the F-35 (Score 1) 484

Because the money to pay for that debt has to come from somewhere, and somewhere basically breaks down to: taxes and/or inflation. The government's ability to continue to play a shell game with the money it's taking in is quickly coming to an end because the SS 'surplus' has now turned into a deficit. Someone (read: taxpayers and/or people whose assets are in US currency) are going to have to foot the bill.

Comment Re:I say cut the F-35 (Score 1) 484

Listen, you have got to get your economic information from someone other than Krugman or at the very least someone in addition to Krugman. The man is a political hack. Based on your posts, here's are some sites that are probably aligned with you politically but are actually written by people who know something about finance and economics:

The Big Picture
Interfluidity

Comment Re:further reason for a popular vote (Score 1) 642

Let me focus on just the incentive to cheat aspect. As you noted, in 2012 nineteen states were totally uncompetitive. In those states under the current system there is zero incentive to cheat because the outcome is binary: either you manage to successfully flip a previously uncompetitive state without getting caught or you fail completely. The risk of any kind of cheating at the presidential level in these states simply isn't worth it. This all changes in a National Popular Vote (NPV). Now cheating in uncompetitive states can be very rewarding.

Let's look at a close election: 2000 Bush v. Gore. Under an NPV, Gore's margin of victory in 2000 would have been about 544K votes, or 0.52% of the total popular vote. If you look at just two uncompetitive states, NY and TX*, you need only swing the vote in those states by about 4% to reverse the results of the NPV election (NY: 4%, TX:4.2%), and that's just in two uncompetitive states. Throw California into the mix^ and you now only need to swing the vote by about 2.5% in each state to flip the election. Spread out to all 50 states, you only need to come up with 10K votes in each state to completely reverse the election.

You don't even have to cheat to make this happen. Consider the voter ID laws that are proposed or on the books in many states. There's a reasonable argument to be made that voter ID laws protect the election process by mitigating vote fraud. However, some studies # estimate that voter ID laws depress turn out of lower socio-economic voters, who typically vote for Democrats, by as much as 10%**. If we can assume this is true, and the recently rejected TX voter ID laws were in place in the 2000 election, Democratic voter turn out there may have been lower by about 640K votes; more than enough to flip the election.

Under NPV, all 50 states have a powerful incentive to monkey with their voting laws because with just a little nudge they can affect the outcome of the entire national election. Hence, the eventual outcry for a national system of standards for elections.

* New York: 6.8M votes, 25% margin of victory for Gore; Texas 6.4M votes, 21% marge of victory for Bush
^ California: 10.5M votes, 12% margin of victory for Gore
** State of Texas v Holder http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/415387/texasopinion.pdf
# 2011 paper by Dr. Michael Alvarez of the California Institute of Technology http://vote.caltech.edu/sites/default/files/vtp_wp57.pdf

Comment Re:further reason for a popular vote (Score 1) 642

Sounds great in theory; isn't going to work.

First, it's going get get dumped the first time the "wrong" candidate wins the popular vote by 0.001% and some blue state has to vote all red or vice versa. Imagine all whining about the 'stolen' election in Florida, but an order of magnitude more annoying.

Secondly, it's a huge incentive to cheat wildly in counting the votes. In order to prevent rampant cheating, you'd have to get all the States to agree on a single voting procedure and/or control of their election systems by the Federal government. If the latter's the case, you're right back to needing to amend the Constitution.

Finally, there are plenty of States that aren't going to want this. If urbanization continues then a small number of urban centers will be setting policy for vast areas of the US about which they know little and care less. How many bitter gun-clinging, religious, 'fly over' states want to give over their power of self-determination to LA or NY?

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