Why we should hope the states win their lawsuits.

I found this really interesting article about the differences between US libertarians and their counterparts in the EU, check it out here. It points out that increased centralization decreases tax revenues because people no longer have a reason to "vote with their feet." The subnational governments will then have more trouble paying for projects without help from the central government. Some things are better dealt with at a federal level (national defense) however we must be careful about what powers we give up. Its a slippery slope to give up subnational power to the central government and it leads to less focused representation of individual citizens.


Jack said...

Do they really stand a chance? Most issues I've read about seem to push s-value opinions such as abortion aide and state rights, but federal issues lean more towards p-value opinions and economic welfare: being wrong or right.


Dr. Tufte said...

Economics has been called the theory of decentralized decision-making. Most government policies are about centralization of decision-making.

What is clear is that the stimulus package was an exercise in European style decentralization: increased support of sub-national units by the centralized power structure. This is clearly anti-federal, in the U.S. sense.

BTW: some authors have argued that we get better understanding of how political units will align if we classify them as centralizing vs. decentralizing, rather than right vs. left. In that sense, both Bush and Obama (and I feel McCain too) are strongly in the centralizing group.