Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Grand Theft Representation?

So the 2010 Census data was just released. Predictably, the states with lower tax rates saw an influx of people, and the states with higher tax rates saw an outflux. However, there was another phenomenon which was also evident: states with high rates of resident illegal aliens also saw an increase in numbers, which is to be expected (since the census specifically does not ask or care if people are in the country legally, or are actively breaking the law). For federal money to states for infrastructure, this can make sense: the state has extra burdens from extra people, and doesn't deserve to shoulder the extra burden from the federal government's incompetence in securing the borders and enforcing the law.

However, the census also determines representation in the federal government, and this is where the otherwise academically interesting situation graduates into a big problem. In essence, by giving representation based on ongoing criminal activity, we're not only rewarding the criminals with federal funds, but we're encouraging more people to break the law. Even worse, though, we're literally ceding control of the country (in some part) to the criminals, and the states which foster them. How in the world does that make sense?

Lest you think this is a minor problem, think again. For example, according to the census, California has around 37 million people. Now, it's impossible to accurately measure the number of illegal aliens in California, but recent studies have put the number between 5 and 16 million. If you take the average there, that means over 25% of California's population is in the country illegally, breaking the law, and giving California about 13 additional people in Congress! That means criminals in California are being given more representation in House of Representatives than most smaller states, and more electoral college votes for the office of the Presidency! The whole idea is patently absurd, and an affront to the whole idea of representation of the people of the country.

How can we, the [legal residents of the United States] people, expect to stem the tide of criminal activity when we not only reward it, but we give it a voice in determining the future of the country? It's ridiculous, absurd, infuriating, incomprehensible, and probably the most asinine thing our country is currently doing. If we can't fix brain-dead obvious problems like this, what hope do we have a tackling the larger issues?

1 comment:

  1. It's got to stop. We have to have a national debate about this. The current policy is to look the other way.

    My state of WI has moderately high taxes but has experienced population growth. We have spent the money reasonably wisely; there's always a lot of room for improvement in gov't spending, but we do okay. But this is something we can debate. We just elected people who disagree and want to bring back those wonderful paper mill jobs. At least we're having a fair debate. US immigration policy is one of avoiding a real discussion of the issue.