Midterm Elections Special: The Surprising History of Gerrymandering
Professor Nick Seabrook joins me to discuss his new book *One Person, One Vote*
Books about American history are often dry. Even more when the topic is political history. Most of us remember the boredom of civics lessons on log-rolling, pork barrel spending, and Gerrymandering – shortcomings in our democratic system rooted in the selfish interests of our elected officials. Nick Seabrook, however, has managed to turn the topic of Gerrymandering into a work of popular non-fiction that makes the “surprising history” come to life. The New Yorker even named it as one of the best books of 2022 so far:
Seabrook is a professor of political science and public administration at the University of North Florida. He joins me this Sunday to explain why the biggest threat to our democracy comes from the way we draw lines on the map.
The “Gerrymander” – named for the under-appreciated founding father, Elbridge Gerry – is a frightening creature, Seabrook says, because it reverses the traditional mode of democratic decision-making. Instead of the voters selecting their elected officials, the elected officials select the voters. The end result is a rigged system that favors incumbents and party insiders at the expense of We, the People.
Nick will take us through the highlights of Gerrymandering history – from the most egregious examples to the pivotal moments when a Gerrymander forever changed the country’s trajectory. He will also explain how the courts view their role in policing unfair redistricting practices, and which states are the worst offenders.
Before casting your ballot for the midterms, be sure to catch this episode of the show of ideas.
You can also read my summary of the key concepts from the book here:
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📈 Inflation Tracker
Christian Britschgi at Reason provides a quick economic update that is worth reading. In short, while GDP growth is no longer negative, the risk of an ongoing recession is still there. He notes that the mediocre economic will likely hurt Democrats in the upcoming midterms.
GDP rose by just 0.6%, and the Fed is still tightening its monetary policy to control inflation.
I’ll soon be interviewing Britschgi about another article of his, updating us on the mandatory designation of independent contractors as “employees” when they meet certain opaque criteria set by a bureaucracy in Washington D.C. – the Department of Labor.
Regular listeners may recall my show back in 2020, with freelance writer Kim Kavin, after California passed the terrible AB 5 bill under the guise of “consumer protection.”
Millions of Americans have discovered that working as an independent contractor offers them freedom and flexibility. Biden says, “Too bad – you must be classified as employees, even if it means you lose your job.”
Never mind that 80% of independent contractors say they prefer the more flexible arrangement to being salaried employees – with all of the restrictions and burdens that come with the benefits. Now, the Federal Government appears to be following California’s bad role model. Will the draft regulation go into effect? Stay tuned…
Catch the 4th installment of my series debunking immigration myths. I take on none other than Milton Friedman, who believed that immigration could not co-exist with a welfare state. He wasn’t exactly wrong, but some of his fears were unjustified. Find out why: