The West has got lots of open country but none that you can live on. – October 1, 1933 Will Rogers
Of course when Will talked about the “West” I’m sure he was not talking about the States along the coast but instead those along the east slope of the Rocky Mountains. But it turns out that he was mostly right in that not many people live in that area of the U.S. I always remember the old saying that “50% of the people in the U.S. live within 50 miles of the coast”. But, just how many people live in Will’s “west”. Lets take a look.
As you can see the west is pretty sparse when it comes to people. When you add all the folks in Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Idaho they in total make up about 1.5% of the total population. That is about 20% less than we Hoosiers in Indiana and a full 8 times less than those in California. As a matter of fact there are 25 States with more populations than this group combined.
These five States might be small in population but they pack a political wallop. For 1.5% of the population they control 10% of the political power in the Senate and everyone knows that with the regular use of the filibuster now days that is where the true Washington power now presides. Sadly all five of these States are solidly in the GOP fold. I wonder what would happen if California suddenly had 16 senators instead of two?
Yes, I know the historical reasons for how the Senate is made up but in the end I think the power should remain with the people in a proportionate way. Maybe to level the power of our voices California should declare that they are splitting up into eight different States! I see that Scotland is on the verge of separating from Great Britain so maybe it is time for some fundamental changes in our country too. We do need some serious tweaks to fix many of the problems we have been having for the last few decades….