Sunday, June 03, 2007

The Unbearable Lightness of Federalism

Scott Lemieux puts up a a good discussion on federalism, specifically how little work it seems to do in most arguments. Rare is the public figure--I don't mean academics here, I mean mainstream politicians and columnists--who can really tell you what and why a particular issue should be devolved to the states. Nor is there particularly strong evidence that states do a better job of dealing with the issues that tend to be at the center of federalism, or that we should care about the structural issues above and over the substantive issues in the first place. I've made similar remarks with regards to the last point myself. But in Lemieux's post, I particularly liked the point about how Federalist #10's argument in favor of large, diverse polities has been far more prescient than the pro-federalism arguments in The Federalist Papers.

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