Essay, Research Paper: Disunited States


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According to the article, the majority of the nation seems to be pro-devolution,
or for returning power from the federal government to state governments on
several issues. The author gives several reasons for devolution and against it,
but overall he thinks that devolution would be a major mistake for the nation
and proposes that we instead readjust the federal government to meet the needs
of today. There are several reasons given for devolution of the federal
government, the first is that a single state could be used as a laboratory to
try new economic and social ideas, being that if it didnít work it would not
affect the nation as a whole. Competition between states is another reason given
for devolution. Interstate competition would produce more creative and diligent
ways to carry out the task of government. And last, as responsibilities flow to
state governments, public sector efficiency will increase. Next the author goes
on to give his reasons against devolution. The first reason is that it would
have no effect on the public dept; devolution would only cause a cut in federal
spending by less than half a percent. Devolution would also worsen the odds of
prosperity by making unskilled labor jobs harder to come by. The last reason the
author gives against is that it will cause interstate rivalries by making states
compete for citizens causing lower and lower tax rates between cities making it
harder for the state governments to operate. Instead of total devolution the
author suggest that the federal government be reshaped by 5 different ways in
order to meet the needs of today. The first is to devolve, but only in areas
where the state would do a better job. Two, restore federal primacy in anti
poverty policy, being that the federal government would do a better job. Three,
recognize statesí limits as stewards of education. Four, curb competition for
business and five, fix the federal government. I agree with the author in that I
think total devolution would be a mistake for the nation. I believe that in some
areas, such as education, it would have a better effect, but in others , such as
welfare, the federal government is more adept at handeling.

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