Sustainability: optimal economic performance versus growth
Sustainability: optimal economic performance versus growth
By James A. George, American Political System Essayist
(Part 2.1 of Essay: Protect & Enable America, U.S. Foreign Policy)
Main idea: Sustainability: optimal economic performance versus growth
1. Each nation on Earth has certain resources that shape a profile of unique value-adding capability as does every governmental unit or territory therein.
2. Resources include natural resources such as productive land, water and raw materials; they include people with certain levels of skill, knowledge, and experience; and they include capital and infrastructure.
3. Each governmental unit possesses form and process that is the basis for unique ability and capacity to serve the needs of people such as 1) insuring national safety, 2) enabling a productive economy, and 3) providing back up assistance to those in need.
4. Optimizing return on national resources is the primary purpose of government ensuring a good life for all people.
5. To that end, Foreign Policy contributes to national security, both military and economic by defining and describing relationships with allies and determining how best to protect the nation from enemies existing and emerging threats.
Unique Government Profiles
Each nation on Earth has certain resources that shape a profile of unique value-adding capability as does every governmental unit or territory therein. Significant is the ratio of population size to available resources.
The focus of this essay is the United States of America, though the concepts are applicable worldwide. It makes citizens nervous to challenge certain assumptions about their governmental systems. In the USA we have Congressional Districts and we have states.
“A congressional district is “a geographical division of a state from which one member of the House of Representatives is elected.”
Congressional Districts are made up of three main components, a representative, constituents, and the specific land area that both the representative and the constituents live in.”
The idea behind defining Congressional Districts is to bind them based on representing like numbers of people within their boundaries.
“Districts are generally drawn up by the partisan majorities in state legislatures in such a ways to favor their party’s candidates in congressional elections (gerrymandering). For many years, Congress provided that state legislatures draw up congressional districts as “compact and contiguous” areas, substantially equal in population; but since 1929, Congress has not specified criteria for redistricting. As a result of the Supreme Court’s 1964 decision in Wesberry v. Sanders, 376 U.S. 1, that congressional districts must be based on substantial equality of population, Congress has reconsidered the problem of establishing standards.” 2010 Census Data”
State legislatures reapportion districts based on Census data every 10 years. Surely, this process is subject to politics and may be ripe for unfairness and corruption, so people have to be attentive to the process.
Let us assume that the districting system works acceptably.
There is a notion of states. States were formed at different points in time during the formation of the nation. They may appear random and arbitrary now, but at the time of their formation different forces were at work: 1) favor was given to political leaders who served the nation in the Revolutionary War, 2) favor was given to prosperous land owners and business leaders at the time of formation, and 3) Congress sought to reward pioneers by awarding land grants to brave souls willing to make something of the land.
The American System of government sought to balance representation among states by 1) allocating more Congressional representatives to states with larger populations and 2) allocating 2 Senators per state to ensure that smaller states had a share of comparable representation with larger states such that both the House and Senate had balanced power in the enactment of laws and allocation national resources for the purpose of government.
What does this have to do “Unique Government Profiles?”
Interestingly, people could choose to establish governments around Congressional Districts. They didn’t do that. Instead they created towns, villages, cities and counties. So now we have more levels and layers of arbitrary governments that do not align well with the notion of Districts. That is problematic, but little attention is given to this subject. If you want to have more efficient government, attention should be given to improving the alignment of governmental operations within Districts.
Each District can be defined and described by its demographic characteristics that include natural resources, people, technology, and infrastructure.
Each State can be defined and described by the aggregation of District characteristics.
States are managed by Governors in concert with State Legislatures and they are responsible for optimizing return on the State’s resources as reflected in the States economic performance – private sector employment and gross state product. Governors must work with support from U.S. Congressional Representatives and Senators from their states to ensure appropriate consideration from the Federal Government regarding the needs of the state’s constituents.
Some things to consider include: 1) size of the population, 2) availability of sustaining resources, and 3) unique characteristics of the community: people and commercial enterprise to contribute to the State’s commercial economy. How much of the state’s production is exported to other states and to other nations?
When this approach is broken down, district by district, such attention will highlight needs and opportunities for economic development.
(To be continued)