Saturday, February 07, 2009

Readers' Links: Reapportionment and The Fat Tax

My readers are right on the ball and have been sending me links . . . I thought I'd post them while they're still hot . . .

Reapportionment and Upstate's Demise:

Ryan M. was interested in my theory that the NY Senate reapportionment of the 1960s -- caused by a US Supreme Court Decision -- is the root cause of Upstate's demise. I had been been going mostly on memory, but Ryan was kind enough to fill in the blanks with some research on how the whole reapportionment issue unfolded in the US Supreme Court. These make interesting reading:

Congressman Udall's Reports: Reapportionment I Reapportionment II ; WMCA v Lomenzo 377 US 633 (1964)(from ; WMCA, Inc. v. Lomenzo (from

The decision involving NYS was by a split bench 6-3. The court said that the NY Constitution's apportionment scheme (which gave Upstate a lot of clout) violated the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause - the Court equating "one man - one vote" with "equal protection." I happen to think they got it wrong, particularly since the US Senate does not follow this scheme. As the Dissent points out, there may be good reasons for a state to ensure that particular geographic areas have a voice, and it's a violation of State Sovereignty for the US Supreme Court to second guess the reasons why a particular arrangement was chosen. Now that we have the "evidence" of the Court's error (i.e., Upstate's economic travails), it might be time to revisit the issue. . . . .Thanks, Ryan!

The "FAT TAX":

Wow, did this issue ever get people riled! I got a lot of links on Gov. Patterson's proposal to tax non-diet soda.

Erica N. submitted a Daily News column questioning why New Yorkers are being targeted for obesity when we're actually one of the healthiest states.

Grant S. pointed out a Rasmussen Poll on "nanny state" issues indicating that 70% of Americans would oppose a tax on soda like the one being proposed here.

Lisa P. submitted a Siena College Poll about Gov. Patterson and his tax proposals including the fat tax, and a Daily News article that some Democrats think the governor's political future is on life support.

Ian R. submitted a Marketwatch article indicating that Gov. Paterson's soda tax will conservatively result in the the loss of 6100 jobs.

Christian C. sent an American Council on Science and Health article: NY Soda Tax: All Politics, No Science . . . and an article and a video of a "Boston Tea Party" of sorts . . .

only it was Binghamton rather than Boston, the Susquehanna River rather than Boston Harbor, and soda rather than tea that got dumped! This one made my day!

Thanks for contributing guys!

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