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Another Senate Reform Proposal

Over at AUFS, I posted a proposal to reform the Senate. In light of the recent Supreme Court ruling regarding corporate involvements in campaigns, I would like to give it another try. First of all, we would need to break the connection between senate seats and particular states, creating a pool of 100 at-large seats drawn from the entire country. Then, in order to save the cost and administrative overhead of a formal election, every two years the top 100 performers in the S&P 500 (by net average value for the period) would each appoint a senator. I had initially considered the idea of having the top 100 firms be chosen on the basis of market capitalization, but a share price-based metric seems more fair, as it would allow innovative, up-and-coming firms to have their say rather than having everything determined by sheer size.

The senators themselves would of course receive stock options in addition to a modest base salary paid by the appointing corporation, to ensure that their interests lined up with those of the shareholders. Each corporation would supply the requisite staff for their senator, and the Congressional Budget Office’s responsibilities would be contracted out to the ratings agencies on a rotating basis. Along with the money saved by not having a formal election, the savings on senatorial pay and staff could be put toward deficit reduction.


January 23, 2010 - Posted by | economics, politics


  1. I don’t understand why corporations don’t have the vote at this point.

    Comment by ben wolfson | January 23, 2010

  2. Each share of publicly traded stock should represent one vote in all elections.

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | January 23, 2010

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