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Forum Post: One Standard Deviation

Posted 3 years ago on Nov. 2, 2011, 6:14 p.m. EST by granulorhoek (1)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Given that a full 50% of the U.S. Congress are millionaires, the question naturally arises as to how a member of one socioeconomic class can adequately represent the needs and desires of a constituency from another class. One suggestion is to introduce an economic qualification to public office such as the "One Standard Deviation" rule, whereby the income (or net worth in some variations) of a candidate must fall within one standard deviation of the mean income of the district they intend to represent. Some statistics follow... An ideal Gaussian distribution will include 68.3% of cases within one standard deviation of the mean and so reflect the majority of the distribution; two std. devs. reflect 95.5%. With a distribution as skewed and kurtotic as the U.S. income spread, +/- 1 std. dev. represents more like 75% of the cases. In short, having elected representation in local, state, and national government that actually represents only 1% of their constituency is no representation at all. Putting forward reasoned arguments for standards such as these in government, despite never actually being enacted, draws the ugliness of governmental duplicity out into the light of day that it may wither and be recognized for the blatant, unrestrained injustice it allows to be visited upon the very people it claims to serve.

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[-] 1 points by Bambi (359) 3 years ago

Don't forget to mention that a HUGE number in Congress are lawyers. We know how that goes.

I have long maintained that we MUST have "every day citizens" running our country. WE are the people that know what is needed and what is not wanted. Very few in congress have a clue how to live on $200/week.