Daily Archives: December 1, 2004


Jonah Goldberg thinks federalism is a good thing and rues the apparent abandonment of the concept by bush and other conservatives:

The virtue of a federalist, republican form of government is that the more you push these decisions down to the level where people actually have to live with their consequences, the more likely it is they will be a) involved and interested in the decision-making process, and b) happy with the result. Federalism is also morally superior because it requires the consent of the governed at the most basic level.
Goldberg, though, believes the “most basic level” is the individual state when, in fact, state level legislation exhibits the same problems as federal legislation, e.g., it can not properly take into account the local1 context and, as above, legislators at all levels are disconnected from the consequences of their decisions, their feedback loops are broken, the have likely been captured by moneyed interests, and their citizens are poorly served.
It is time for us, the citizens, to eliminate the federal, state, and, perhaps, city monopolies on creating law and implement federalism carried to a more appropriate level, a polycentric government structure.
Via Running Scared.
1At the level where human interactions take place.