Monday, January 6, 2014

Robust Federalism and Why People Are Fleeing France

Josh Blackman highlights an interesting article from Newsweek  on France today . Basically that nation's  brightest and economic producers are fleeing the country because of high taxes and labor laws that are well just insane . See Paris Shrugged .

This got me thinking at how the United States having robust Federalism that is not a paper tiger has been such a benefit to the United States.

Now it is true that at times Federalism does not mean always smaller government  It also does not always protect against  a National Government that wants to expand it powers that often happens for the best of intentions and many times  in the case of a national emergency. See FDR and the great depression , and I would argue some ramifications of the Federal Government  having to protect civil rights of blacks in the states.

Both of these situations in order to combat a crisis greatly expanded the Congressional grant of power under the commerce clause to combat an evil. Now the commerce clause is used to justify about anything.

The problem is no authority wants to give back the power it had to take to combat an evil when the crisis is over.

Still I have to think so far it has been a success. The fact is we can debate all day if the Texas experiment or the California experiment or the New York experiment is best. In the end people can and do vote with their feet as they are doing in France. Except in the United States folks are not moving to Toronto , or London ,  or other places abroad. They can just pack up the U haul and move to another State. That is a benefit to the USA as a whole. It is also nice that if you are in a State of the Union that is like France one is not stuck there having to wait on a green card to work in lets Alabama.

However this only happens because people fight for a robust Federalism . The big danger we face now is  that States get bribed to have their power taken away. Now often this is for the best intentions.

How many times have we heard Governor x  is heartless for not taking Federal Funds to help very much in need people y . The problem is these benefits come with obligations and restrictions by the Feds. Before you know it you are so dependent on Federal funds that you as a State are practically pushed out of an arena that was very much properly yours to operate in.

So three cheers of Federalism and the benefits it brings.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Federalism in the USA ended when we lost the War of Northern Aggression. Before then, when the Constitution of 1789 was still in effect, the USA was a union of free and independent sovereign states, federated by the Constitution which limited the power of the federal government to certain functions, such as providing for a common defense. But then the sovereignty of the eleven Southern states was not respected when they seceded from that federation. The Republican Party, and the Northern states established an unconstitutional superstate in Washington, DC, and have ruled over the states as though they are simply political subdivisions of the Washington superstate ever since. The former constitution is now just a pretense.