Presentation on theme: "By Bikram, Vinay and Jessen. Democracy requires that a good amount of people should participate in public concerns and be governed by representatives."— Presentation transcript:
By Bikram, Vinay and Jessen
Democracy requires that a good amount of people should participate in public concerns and be governed by representatives chosen from and accountable to the local community. People enjoy a sense of personal safety and security when they are governed by representatives drawn from their own community, who share their values and customs. If the United States were a unitary system of government it would be impossible for many Americans to take any part in public affairs and it would be difficult for public officials to understand local needs. So a federal structure provides means for representative democracy to operate in both regional (State) and national affairs. For this reason, federalism is an important feature of political liberty.
Makes it difficult for an unjust dictator or extreme political party to seize power nationally and rule the whole country With a federal political structure, State leaders can resist political revolutions through political means or perhaps through State militia. To gain dictatorial control over Germany in the 1930s, Adolf Hitler had first to destroy the federal structure of the Weimar Republic. Totalitarianism cannot succeed where federalism thrives.
Federalism allows States to undertake reforms and experiments in political, economic, and social concerns without involving the whole country and all its resources in some project that may turn out unsatisfactorily – policy laboratories. In America today, one State can plan some particular educational reform, another State can take a different approach to improving schools; and results can be compared and discussed. In a unitary political structure, no place exists for innovation or experiment.
Example : California has frequently led the nation in environmental regulations: Many measures adopted by California are subsequently adopted by other states. And during the 1990s, Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson experimented with welfare policy, and those experiments influenced federal welfare reform.
Local Representation Federalism offers representation to different populations. Citizens may have different aspirations, ethnicity and follow different cultures. The central government can sometimes overlook these differences and adopt policies which cater to the majority. This is where the regional government steps in. While formulating policies, local needs, tastes and opinions are given due consideration by the state governments. Rights of the minorities are protected too. Example in states like Arizona where there is a large Hispanic population and therefore, a large number of schools provide bilingual education.
Prevents the creation of a national policy: The United States does not have a single policy on issues; instead which often leads to confusion. Leads to a lack of accountability: The overlap of the boundaries among national and state governments makes it tricky to assign blame for failed policies. Example when Hurricane Katrina hit Greater New Orleans, USA, in 2005, there was delay in the rescue work, as there was confusion between the state governments and the federal government on who is responsible for which disaster management work. This resulted in the loss of many lives.
Promotes Regionalism It can make state governments selfish and concerned only about their own region's progress. They can formulate policies which might be detrimental to other regions. Pollution from a State which is promoting industrialization can affect another region which depends solely on agriculture and cause crop damage.
Law in federalism The Constitution lists the legislative powers of the federal government. The 10th Amendment protects the residual powers of the states.
Legal advantages of federalism Uniform immigration laws so easy for everyone to understand.
Legal disadvantages of federalism Supreme Court seen as tilting towards states rights. The Supreme Court's University of Alabama v. Garrett (2001) and Kimel v. Florida Board of Regents (2000) decisions allowed states to use a rational basis review for discrimination against the aged and disabled, arguing that these types of discrimination were rationally related to a legitimate state interest, and that no "razorlike precision" was needed.“ This shows how much legal power states have.
Economic advantages of Federalism
The New Deal Following the devastating effects of the Wall Street Crash and the Great Depression, the period from the 1930s to the 1960s saw a significant increase in the power and scope of the federal government Feds made increasing use of categorical grants. The New Deal was a whole raft of federal government schemes to promote employment, agriculture, industrial expansion One of the most striking benefits of the New Deal was that it restored the confidence of a deeply discouraged population. New Deal did much to lessen the worst affects of the Great Depression, It also transformed the federal government into an active instrument of social justice and established a network of laws and institutions designed to protect the American economy from the worst excesses of liberal capitalism.
Economic disadvantages of Federalism
Uneven Distribution of Wealth It promotes regional inequalities. Natural resources, industries, employment opportunities differ from region to region. Hence, earnings and wealth are unevenly distributed. Rich states offer more opportunities and benefits to its citizens than poor states. Thus, the gap between rich and poor states widens.
Detroit decision had been made for the city of Detroit to formally file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy. It was going to be the largest municipal bankruptcy in the history of the United States by far. She ruled that Detroit's bankruptcy filing violates the Michigan Constitution because it would result in reduced pension payments for retired workers. ensured that there will be months of legal wrangling ahead over Detroit's money woes. Federalism has led to legal wrangling and confusion.
Promotes Regionalism It can make state governments selfish and concerned only about their own region's progress. They can formulate policies which might be detrimental to other regions. For example, pollution from a province which is promoting industrialisation in a big way can affect another region which depends solely on agriculture and cause crop damage. Differing taxes mean that some businesses try to set up in states with lower taxes. Could lead to a race to the bottom.