We should make some much needed amendments to the Constitution

On this Friday night, I did something that I hadn’t done before, but I should have: read the Constitution itself. The document is often referenced in politics and in our life. It is one of the Founding documents upon which this country is built. After almost 250 years, I think it needs some much needed amendments sooner rather than later.

Take Congress. As far as I know, there is no term limit to congressmen or congresswomen or Senators in Congress. We see many folks who serve multiple terms and are still in office despite being of age. There is undoubtedly the benefit of wisdom that comes with age, but there is also a risk that elder folks do not catch up with the technological and societal advances in our life. If you watch hearings on technological issues that took place in the past, you can see how much our lawmakers don’t understand technology. There is a minimum age at which one can apply to be in Congress. So why isn’t there an upper limit on age?

Another issue I can think of is the Electoral College. Electoral College favorably gives power to Midwestern States, which are much less populated than coastal states. In 2016, Hilary Clinton won the popular vote, but lost the election due to the Electoral College, something that happened 5 times in the past. In my opinion, a democracy should follow what the majority say. Hence, that’s something we should change. Getting ride of the Electoral College doesn’t strip anyone of their vote. Each individual vote would become equally important. As of now, that statement cannot be said about the Electoral College.

The same vein can be applied to the Senate. Each state sends two Senators to the Senate. As in the case of the Electoral College, the rule doesn’t take into account the population size of each state. Consequently, senators from less populated states have the same power as senators from usually coastal states. When it comes to votes, senators represent folks from their state. Put it this way, let’s say every vote from a senator is worth a million points. One state’s two votes are worth two million votes at a time. If California has 40 million people in population, each Californian’s representation is 0.05 points. If Wyoming has 500,000 in population, the representation of each citizen of Wyoming in the Senate is worth 4 points. So, isn’t it against the tenet of democracy that the two states’ voices carry the same weight?

Another amendment that should be added relates to the 2nd amendment or the right to bear arms. First of all, I do agree that the freedom and right to bear arm should be given to citizens. What I think should be clarified in the writing of the Constitution is that such a right should be in accordance with regulating rules. We are entitled to drive a car to the streets, but we all have to get licensed to do so. Then, why is it different for bearing arms? And since so many folks get hung up on the language of the 2nd amendment, the best way for this country to move forward on this issue is to give more clarification to the amendment.

Lastly, the impeachment. The Constitution says that a President can be impeached for “High Crimes or Misdemeanors”, but it fails to clarify what High Crimes or Misdemeanors actually means. When there is ambiguity in the language, there is a change that it will be misused and taken advantage of by folks with motive. To avoid the situation, we should clarify as much as possible what the terms mean. The Office of The President is extremely powerful. Because of the power it wields, we should be as precise as possible in how we can hold Presidents accountable. I don’t think we take into account all scenarios in one update of the Constitution. What we instead can do is to keep it a living document, updating it frequently.

Insufficient Wages – Who Should Be Responsible?

A friend of mine sent me this link in which a Congresswoman questioned CEO of JP Morgan, Jamie Dimon on a specific case in which a permanent employee couldn’t make ends meet despite working at one of the biggest and richest companies in the world

While I appreciate the intention, I don’t think it’s practically helpful. The ones that should be questioned are the lawmakers that allow this atrocity to happen in the first place.

Strictly speaking, your behavior is only illegal if it’s outside the boundaries of the laws. If a company isn’t required by the laws to pay employees a minimum wage, how is the company’s failure to pay the minimum wage illegal? The answer is that it’s not illegal. Should JP Morgan have paid employees more? Yes, it should. But put yourself in their shoes. If you could maximize profits and personal wealth while staying in the boundaries of the laws, would you do the same? Personally, I am not so confident that I would have done differently.

The thing that annoys me with all this questioning is that only the lawmakers have the power to change this. If they really care about citizens, pass the regulations requiring a minimum wage. Together, every state raises the minimum wage so that the corporations headquartered here in the US have no choice, but to comply. What would they do? Leave the US? It wouldn’t make much business sense to some companies to leave the country, just to avoid a higher minimum wage.

A higher minimum wage will surely result in social and economic ramifications. But that’s the job of the lawmakers. That’s why they are elected to the office. All their working time is supposed to be devoted to figuring out a way to better our lives. It’s not our job to figure out all the complex policies while having to make ends meet ourselves.

Insufficient wage is a real issue in the US. However, the ones that should answer all the burning questions regarding this should be the lawmakers. Even if corporation executives are questioned like this, without a legal framework, how could they be held accountable?