No Taxation Without Representation?
How about No compensation Without Proper Representation?
I was looking at a chart the other day showing how real GDP (defined therein as economic growth, less debt, and not even taking into account quicker-rising inflation) has fallen, significantly.
That chart is showing real GDP as falling by some -45% from 2009-2013.
And though this chart is Russian Authored (not a dig on Russia, but meant for disclosure purposes), I can’t find error in the numbers.
Similarly, along with wages, consumer purchasing power has also decreased significantly.
Though wages are showing an increase of some 3.3 – 3.5 % (through Mar. 2020, though highly-disputed by fact of the massive manipulations of numbers that have been occurring since before 2007-2008, but increasing even more significantly since then), real inflation is likely closer to 6% – 10% (the lower number accounting for anomalies stemming from the economic impacts of recent lockdowns).
So the “average” and “common” Americans are losing pace to both inflation and debt.
Why should Politicians maintain their wage structure when so many Americans are losing pace?
This system helps nullify incentive for proper political representation. And, as will be shown below, only Politicians, the top-wage earners, and the largest corporations, are benefiting from this current structure.
“No taxation without representation” is a political slogan originating during the 1700’s that summarized one of 27 colonial grievances of the American colonists in the Thirteen Colonies, which was one of the major causes of the American Revolution. In short, many in those colonies believed that, as they were not directly represented in the distant British Parliament, any laws it passed affecting the colonists (such as the Sugar Act and the Stamp Act) were illegal under the Bill of Rights 1689, and were a denial of their rights as sovereign citizens.
The Assembly of Massachusetts Bay … was the first which ever took exception to the right of Parliament to impose Duties or Taxes on the Colonies, whilst they had no representatives in the House of Commons.
So what is “Representation”?
It is merely the act of participating in the process of voting?
As per the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, proper political “Representation”, there exists at least four different views of political representation: formalistic representation, descriptive representation, symbolic representation, and substantive representation.
But as per Political Theorist Hanna Pitkin (The Concept of Representation 1967) provides, perhaps, one of the most straightforward definitions: to represent is simply to “make present again.” On this definition, political representation is the activity of making citizens’ voices, opinions, and perspectives “present” in public policy making processes.
This is more akin to the formalistic form of representation.
It holds that Representatives can and should be held accountable.
It provides the ability of constituents to punish their representative for failing to act in accordance with their wishes (e.g. voting an elected official out of office) or the responsiveness of the representative to the constituents.
But the voting process by itself has proven inadequate, as I will discuss.
Thus, there must be other forms of punishment in absence of proper representation.
I have written preciously of the erosion of the representative process.
Currently, there are about 22 Lobbyists per Member of Congress.
Yet, as per the 2010 U.S. Census, in the House, there are an average of over 709,000 Constituents (defined herein as all people) per each Representative.
In the Senate, the proportion is even worse, with 3,270,000 constituents per Senator.
So, not only are Lobbyists, those influencers whom exist largely as people seeking special interest, extremely over-represented, but as employees/contractors of those special interest firms, they maintain far greater presence amongst Politicians than does the common Constituent.
If there’s any question as to why corporate, CEO, large shareholder special interests and wealth have grown so much more than that of the average citizen, this is one of the main reasons.
Worse, even the process of voting those non-representative Representatives out, is moot, as all incoming Representatives will engage in the same disproportionate system.
New Members of Congress will similarly be inundated with greater Lobbyist presence, and a continually growing Constituent base, of which they can never fully nor properly represent.
Many have written of the growing influence of special interest politics, and this is why that is occurring.
Many occupations, like Sales, Consulting, small business Owners, and such are compensated most often based on performance.
The worse their performance, the lower their pay.
The better their performance, the better their pay.
Thus I propose the same for Members of Congress.
When the economy tanks, or under-performs, the less their compensation should be.