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Economics And The Future Of Federalism

1021 words - 5 pages

Economics and the Future of Federalism
The trends in the current political climate in America tend to be more Americans wanting a less centralized government and to give more power back to the states. In the era of President Bush who ran an administration that seemed to give a lot of power to the states, and over the last 7 years we have had an administration that formed a strong central government this has really seemed to divide our country as to what the people actually want. This can be evidenced through the midterm elections in November 2014 with a sweeping number of states going red, and the Republicans taking control of both houses of Congress (ABC News, 2014). It is still early to ...view middle of the document...

Devolution occurs whenever there is a transfer of power from the federal government to a lower level of government, such as state or local governments. The goal is to reduce federal government powers and transfer these powers to state governments. Devolution aims to allow the state more responsibility in matters previously handled by the federal government. The most common form of devolution occurs when federal programs are administered at state and local levels. An example of this is the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Act of 1996, which set strict federal limits to welfare benefits, while encouraging states to create their own welfare programs through block grants (Soss et al., 2008).
Diffusion occurs through state policies which is then mirrored by other states, and even sometimes the federal government. One of the most recent examples of this is the medical marijuana and recreational marijuana laws that are widely spreading throughout our country, and may even be legalized someday soon by the federal government. The first states that passed these policies took on a risky and experimental policy, and showing signs of success has continued to result in numerous states mirroring and passing their legislation. Shipan & Volden (2013) argue that state governments compete amongst one another as to encourage people to move to their areas in order to create a good economy for the state, and if success is building in one area of the country they may be apt to mirror their policies as to entice people to move to their state to enjoy the same benefits. 
Preemption occurs whenever a state passes a law and the federal government swoops in to invalidate the law. The Supreme Court supersedes all other laws as it is the law of the land, and so the federal government will often utilize the Supremacy Clause in order to enact preemption. An example of this occurring most recently is whenever the federal government via the Supreme Court ordered same-sex marriage bans to be unconstitutional and that all states, even ones with state bans, to start marrying same sex couples....

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