As of April 1, 2010, the date of the 2010 United States Census, the nine most populous U.S. states contain slightly more than half of the total population. The 25 least populous states contain less than one-sixth of the total population. California, the most populous state, contains more people than the 21 least populous states combined. (from Wikipedia)
Most U.S. People Live “Near” the Big Water
The 9 most populous states (each with > 10M people): CA, TX, FL, NY, IL, PA, OH, GA, NC, have seashore (Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf) or lakeshore on the Great Lakes.
The next 4 most populous states (MI, NJ, VA, WA, ranked 10-13) have seashore or lakeshore on the Great Lakes, and populations between 7M and 10M (each).
Ranked 14th is AZ, the first landlocked state (population between 6M and 7M).
Of the 16 states ranked 15-30, 7 have seashore (Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf) and 3 have lakeshore (Great Lakes), the remaining 6 are landlocked. All have populations between 3M and 7M.
The last 20 states have populations between 0.5M and 3M. There are 7 states with seashore (Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf), none with lakeshore (Great Lakes), and so 13 are landlocked.
Of the 37 states below rank 13:
all 20 landlocked states are included,
14 have seashore (Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf)
3 have lakeshore (Great Lakes).
Whether Trump or Hillary is US president, Climate Change will continue unabated
In the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton won the population centers and the wealth zones; Donald Trump won the countryside (see maps). The peasants and proletarians revolted against the self-satisfied and arrogant cosmopolitans, and backed an avenging berserker they hoped (hope again!) would save them economically, and thus preserve their insular and primitive cultures. This revolt is a reaction to the supreme failure of the Democratic Party to care about the impoverished and ill-educated lives in the despairing countryside. Bernie Sanders would have swept this election. The American people lost the general election to the billionaires and the corporations on 25 July 2016, at the DP convention in Philadelphia. The Trump presidency is the direct result of Hillary Clinton’s ambition and the Democratic Party’s complicity with it.
Under a Trump presidency, billionaires and corporate bosses will openly and in full public view run the country to their personal advantage, paid for by the continuing impoverishment of the citizens and degradation of the natural environment. Many hope that by political legerdemain Hillary Clinton can be installed as the president instead, on January 20, 2017. Then, they would be relieved to know that the billionaires and corporate bosses running the country to their personal advantage, paid for by the continuing impoverishment of the citizens and degradation of the natural environment, would do so discretely out of public view.
In my view, we will never stop (let alone reverse) climate change, because the addiction to fossil fuels is universal and incurable. Basically, all the personal excuses worldwide boil down to something within the range of: “I’ve got to have it to survive,” and “I’ve got to have it to profit.” Climate change is the exhaust product of capitalism (whether of “free market” or “command economy” style), and no one is willing “to miss out” on getting more power NOW to “survive” and “profit.”
Socialistic frugality to economize and thus forestall climate change could only happen under a “dictatorship,” with a top-down enforced regimen of shared economics, as under Fidel Castro in Cuba. This is impossible globally, as well as in almost every country.
I have no doubt that essentially the same policies and trends would have occurred under a Hillary Clinton presidency as under a Trump presidency. There would be big differences of style between the two, but little differences of timing. The desperate peasants who voted for Trump simply hoped to get some economic lift by getting skilled-labor jobs in Trump’s promised America-first unleashed smokestack economy (factories and mines on the prairies and in the hills, but also Wall Street pulling the strings). There was no such hope for the peasantry in Hillary’s likely economy of outsourced smokestack industries, H-1B domestic tech industries (IT and Bio-tech) and an unleashed financial industry (high-tech along the coasts, and investment banking everywhere). It’s kind of like picking between “Ford” and “Chevrolet” economies with billionaires in the drivers’ seats either way. The gas, oil and coal will be hammered, pumped and dug up, and burned to inflate fortunes.
The one advantage of a Trump presidency and economy is that it will hit most of us with an instantaneous jab of pain and burning sensation, like the sting of a bee puncturing public consciousness, and cause an immediate mass reaction seeking to swat the offender.
In contrast, a Hillary Clinton presidency and economy would hit us like the stealthy sting of a tick, which regurgitates a highly infectious anticoagulant during its bite so it can linger draining your blood until you eventually become aware of a persistent pain and a possible enduring disease.
It was never in the public interest to support Hillary Clinton to “avoid” Donald Trump, whether before or after the November 8 election. Post-election efforts going into fantasies promoting Hillary (importuning Electoral College electors to switch their votes in favor of Hillary, while sopping up conspiracy theories aiming hatred at the Russians, and blame away from the real culprits) would be better spent on planning resistance to Trump’s policy initiatives. I suspect that within two years (mid-term elections) that disillusionment with Trump will have already become visible among the ranks of Trump’s populist supporters. Then the members of the Sanders Revolution will have the opportunity to begin combining forces with disillusioned Trump supporters, and ideally also reformed and reeducated Hillary supporters (though these are likely to be the most obdurate, i.e., brainwashed), and a second populist wave might beneficially inundate the electoral spectacle by 2020.
However the politics of the next four to eight years unfolds, two conclusions seem clear:
You cannot have capitalism without gross inequity and climate change.
You cannot have socialism with ignorant, greedy and self-centered people.
Eliminate or Reform the Electoral College?
Without an Electoral College (1, 2, 3, 4):
1. If a presidential candidate “A” could will ALL the votes in the 9 states: CA, TX, FL, NY, IL, PA, OH, GA and NC, and ALL the votes in the other 41 stares went to the opposite candidate “B”, then candidate “A” would win the national election. (ALL of the voters in the 9 “biggest” states could determine the national election; 41 states – just under 1/2 of the population – being superfluous.)
2. If a bit more than 2/3 of the voters in the 25 most populous states voted for candidate A (and just under 1/3 voted for candidate B), and ALL the voters in the 25 least populous states voted for candidate B, then candidate A would win. (2/3+ of the voters in the 25 “biggest” states could determine the national election; the other 25 states – about 1/6 of the population – being superfluous).
3. Only if the popular vote EVERYWHERE were razor thin near 50%/50%, would every popular vote in every state count.
4. The about three scenarios remain the same if the voter turnout (% of eligible voters who actually vote) is uniform nationally.
The voting age population (VAP) in 2016 is 251.1 million. The voter turnout in 2016 (latest figure) was 137 million (54.5%). Hillary Clinton received at least 2.8M more popular votes than Donald Trump, this is 2.04% of the turnout. A 2% advantage means the popular spilt nationally was 51% Clinton to 49% Trump. The 4 least populous states of ND, AK, VT, WY have a combined population of just under 2.8M. However, given a uniform turnout of 54.5%, we have to include the 7 least populous states in our equivalence: MT, DE, SD, ND, AK, VT, WY (which actually gives 3M voters, which is 0.2M higher then 2.8M).
So a 2% Clinton advantage nationally picked up in, say, California (the most populous state, greater than the combined populations of the 21 least populous states) could easily overshadow the voting sentiments in up to 7 other states. Despite the undeniable imperfections of the Electoral College, without it the “Big States” would eat up the “Little States” every election, and national policy for every region would be determined by the political interests in the Big States, a geographical subset of the entire nation. Since it seems unreasonable to forcibly spread out the US population uniformly across the US landmass (given a purely popular vote mechanism), some other “fair” geographically equalizing mechanism seems desirable so as to moderate the unfair dominance of the Big States under a purely popular vote mechanism.
The other option is to simply accept the idea that the voters in the population centers have the right to determine the presidential initiatives of how everyone everywhere has to live, pay, and go about their business (or suffer the consequences it that doesn’t suit them), where that right is implemented through purely popular voting for the presidency. In this case the “local voice” would only enter the formation of federal policy through Senate (statewide) and House of Representatives (~countywide, ~700,000 people) representation. Remember, high population regions would also have proportionately more House representation.
We are faced with the delicate political problem of reforming a “too unpopular” Electoral College, which can obstruct the national consensus, while at the same time not letting a purely popular vote mechanism for the presidency entirely shut out the voices of a large minority fraction of the national population, which is spread out over a vast geographical expanse of low population density.
Another solution is to field presidential candidates that have wide popular appeal everywhere, and thus bring the nation together into a unified conception of national governance. We missed that chance (were cheated out of it) in 2016.
The New York Times has this article on the same theme as this post, but much more detailed.