I was reading the book Street Smarts by Jim Rogers and he touched on an idea that I thought had fabulous upside and almost no downside. I wanted to explore your thoughts on this revolutionary idea. He simply said that there is no need for our Federal and State Representatives, whom I commonly refer to our friends in Washington, to have to live in the District of Columbia. Technology today can make the need to show up in person, nearly extinct. Our representation can easily video conference and cast votes from the comfort of their own districts. The whole point of having representatives, is for them to essentially speak on behalf of their constituents. They are there to serve us, we are essentially, their customers. So why cant they accomplish their message delivery from their own district, rather than having to deal with the cronyism that is, Washington D.C.
What would be the benefits of them working from home.
What you ask, is the upside to our Federal Representatives and Senators working from home? For starters, this is likely the best way to avoid obtrusive lobbyists, the very reason why legislation is often misguided. It is far too simple for lobbyists to court multiple legislators all at once in D.C. The lavish parties, private get-a-ways, expensive dinners, even prostitutes bring out the pack mentality in our representatives. They see that ‘this is the way business gets done’. A lobbyist has a particular ‘project’ that needs funding, so they throw a black tie event at the Hotel Monaco with all the fixings to woo the legislators. These legislators inevitably feel a sense of obligation to “help’ them out. Next thing you know, funding for their “project” is buried in the next bill to which they cast their ‘yes’ vote for. Logistics make lobbying so much simpler. If these representatives were not all organized together, less lobbying and therefore ‘pork’ would appear in every bill that makes it to the Presidents desk. How much would this be able to curb Government spending by…Its immeasurable, think of it!
Make them Vote with US!
Lets imagine that all the legislators were forced to go to one of their local schools, a community center, or library to cast a vote. What if their children went to school with their constituents children? Would they have more of a connection to their local community and feel the obligation to serve on its behalf. This is the way our Founding Fathers set it up to work like. They enacted the Residents Act of 1790 which established Washington D.C. The act also stated that the size of the District of Columbia, which it was eventually named, shall not exceed 10 square miles. This decision signed into law by George Washington, in my opinion was a calculated mistake, but in 1790 it was a matter of convenience, maybe even necessity. The new Capitol had to be on the Potomac River between the mouths of the Eastern Branch and Connogochegue.
Return to Accepting Personal Responsibility.
Personal responsibility is what is lost when our representation goes to Washington. They may claim that they are working for their constituents, when in reality, they are working for the lobbyist who last influenced their life. We as citizens need to lobby for a permanent return to the districts for our representation, and create a direct link to those legislators who affect our existence.
How do you feel about this idea?