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Wednesday, September 16. 2015
Quoted from a commenter at Is the World Rejecting Western Values?
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Federalism advocates state and local government, actually, or shared authority.
let's pretend its your favorite year, 1790, about 3.00pm. the Constitution is unsullied by any amendment numbered XI or over, Article I Sec 8, Amendments XI and X are biblically strong. Marbury doesn't exist and by the Grace of the Deity won't ever exist.
the fed is about as weak as its ever going to be. but state governments are and have always been governments of general jurisdiction or general police powers, and in any event all powers are reserved to them.
why on earth does anyone think that state governments won't expand to fill the same oppressive role you now assign to the fed? are state senators less venial by nature than US senators? is a state assemblyman more saintly than a US representative?
apart from the daily fantasy roleplaying about the founding fathers and the good ol' days, has any thought this through?
My guess is that the states would vary greatly in character. Corrupt? Of course state and local governments are corrupt and attract the corrupt, but are also ineffectual (which is a good thing).
let's take away the corruption issue and assume that state legislators are acting in good faith. say there's no federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration/Act or OSHA approved state plans. every state is going to enact worker safety regulations or laws, so why wouldn't you expect a hypothetical state OSHA equivalent not enact regulations that are just as onerous as the actual regs? and if these aren't standard across the country, why would I not want to locate my nitroglycerin bottling plant in the state without any safety regs?
Not a good comment when the simple answer is choice. There's still a vestigal element of it and I, for one, shall never, ever live in any of the northeastern blue states, or if you prefer, the NE as a region. Vote with your feel.
see, you live a a world where the number of ducks in your yard is of paramount importance and you can vote with your feet by crossing the crick to the next cow county. those of us who have to deal in interstate business are more concerned that there's a single federal bankruptcy law and court instead of 50, or that there's a federal securities law instead of 50 separate blue sky laws.
I'm already aware of your habitually conflating stare decisis with intent, but thanks for the reminder, sofistikat law-yer man. Keeps the bills paid, I'll bet, but does the hubris match the suit?
I'll be out tending the hogs should you need me. Pondering how just well you skirt obvious questions with that ego. I give it a three-point five.
get a law license before you presume to lecture anyone on legal terms of art.
if you're out feeding pigs, I'm not ever going to need you.
I well know your Achilles' heel - the whole world is a nail, isn't it, counselor? And it's not so much as a pig pen as a briar patch. Welcome to it, Chief Fallacist.
But your concession is accepted.
there's a reason you've been schooled by everyone you've picked fights with here.
you should figure out why, take some english lessons and go back to lurking.
Did I ever tell you about that time I did a root canal and as the consequence astrophysics was completely overhauled by evening?!
Sure, declare a nice little projected victory, counselor. I suppose in your shoes I can't blame you. Although I, for one, have the integrity not to.
It is dangerous in 2015 to talk about federalism in the US and not be familiar with the Soros-funded new Constitution in 2020 push. It is pushing a doctrine that has the feds, states, and localities coordinating around the same progressive vision, but the point of implementation varies.
http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/progressive-polyphonic-federalism-invisibly-binds-people-and-places-to-the-just-society-vision/ covers the vision, but we are seeing this virtually every time Congress talks about returning power to the states or local areas. They are quietly, but quite powerfully binding what must occur at other levels.
Both the K-12 education legislation now in conference but known as the Every Child Achieves Act and WIOA--Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act are prime examples. In fact every state now owes the federal Ed and labor Departments its plans for the state economy and helping identified groups especially by next March 2016.
Will we be tracking who is named to each state's required WIOA boards at the state and regional levels?
This is certainly not Jefferson's federalism, but it is Cass Sunstein and Eric Holder's vision.
We should always be very careful about trying to drop the templates of founding-era political factions/parties onto today's world. For all our nostalgia about the agrarian vision that Jefferson held, Hamilton's vision for the future was much more accurate, in the sense that the industrial revolution made Jefferson's picture of the future moot, and Hamilton's approach was much more in tune with the forces that made the US such a powerhouse over the next 150 years. I am NOT saying that either H or J could see into the future as of 1790, or could begin to imagine the spectacular technological and economic changes to come.
And let's not forget Jefferson's intense and long-lasting affection for France (including its revolution-turned-nightmare) and his seething hatred for Britain. Disdain for Britain would of course be expected for anyone of his generation, as would some affection for France to the degree that the latter helped with our revolution, but I've always thought Jefferson had a hint of Robespierre in him.
"And let's not forget Jefferson's intense and long-lasting affection for France (including its revolution-turned-nightmare) and his seething hatred for Britain. Disdain for Britain would of course be expected for anyone of his generation, as would some affection for France to the degree that the latter helped with our revolution, but I've always thought Jefferson had a hint of Robespierre in him."
If you found your country by revolution, you should not be surprised that its leaders will be revolutionaries.
We are Rome 2.0 This is the natural progression from a great country to a corrupt and overbearing country. There are those who have hurried us on the way to this point always with "good intentions" and there are those who warned us at each left turn that we were making a mistake. There were many key left turns that could be pointed out but I think the most significant point was Johnson's war on poverty where he opened the floodgates of welfare and higher taxes on the middle class. Now the barbarians are at the gate and inside the country.
Interesting perspective from 1907:
This was, in brief, the desire of the American people on the one hand to protect their liberties from the possibly aristocratic, or autocratic, Federal Government they were about to create; and on the other the desire of the propertied classes, of the Federalists themselves, to protect their rights from the recently created omnipotent State Legislatures. ... Antitheses are dangerous; yet it is true that it was the People, under Jefferson, who said to the Federal Constitution, "Thus far shalt thou go and no farther"; it was the educated, propertied classes, the Federalists at home in their State capitals, who said the same thing to the State Legislatures, to whose local government their lives and personal liberties and private fortunes were to be entrusted. Both in the main are aimed at securing liberty; but the one rather political liberty, in and from their Government at Washington; the other rather personal liberty, for themselves and their possessions at home.
and what are the limits on state governments?
the magical inherent goodness of the educated propertied classes?
The limits on state government is the voters. it is 50 times easier for the voters of a state to limit and control their government then it is the voters of the entire nation.
how easy it is to buy a state assemblyman or a state judge? look at Chicago politics. and I'm not even talking about outright bribes, elections cost money. Guy A is a big campaign contributor. Schlub B is someone who lives within a state senator's district. Whose call is returned by an unpaid college intern and whose call is returned by the senator's chief of staff?
I'm inclined to agree.
We can philosophize forever on federalism (and Canada follows the federal model too) but it all really boils own to a simple, practical question: who is best placed to exercise a particular power? National, state/provincial or municipal authority?
None of this is a cure-all for corruption and absolutism. As you say, remove the national legislators and bureaucrats from the equation and those on the next rung down are just as likely or not to step up to the trough.
I somehow doubt a New England selectman is potentially any more or less venial than anybody else, it's just that the limited scope of his area of influence doesn't usually offer the same opportunities as that of, say, a US congressman.
"best placed" is a slippery concept. best placed for who? when should federal law displace state/provincial and when should it defer to state/provincial concerns and when should they exist side-by-side.
you've got to have a uniform bankruptcy law, you can get away with 50 different definitions of murder, the fed doesn't need to concern itself with street lighting districts.
my point is that federalism is a nuanced issue and invoking Jefferson/Hamilton for talking points without addressing specific issues is just pointless blather, but blather beloved of many on this forum because spouting platitudes is easier than actual debating.
The success of a system such as ours depends on a relatively well-informed polity that exhibits behaviors reflective of self-reliance, self-restraint, industry, thrift and perhaps sobriety as well. The left set about undermining these "bourgeois values" decades ago and has been very successful. I don't believe there is any going back.