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« The Stimulus and its Consequence: Statism | Main | Lucky Man »


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I think you mean ensured in point 4.
Which raises the question of which level of government ensures that?

Thanks Frederic for offering the additional Weingastian perspective and your opinion on the Barnett proposal. For my part, the Barnett Federalism Amendments proposal has been the first time I have been even a little optimistic about constitutional reform -- in the broad sense of constitutionalism, not the written US Constitution -- for many years. We'll have to see how it plays out. One can see the various rational actors and their interest groups pulling out all the stops to derail any constitutional reform that would weaken their power.

Thanks Craig.

K.D. I hope there will be a grassroots movement in the U.S. reclaiming federalism and the Constitution. It is possible but for this to happen, we will need many institutional entrepreneurs.

Did William Riker travel through a temporal vortex in the Enterprise in order to complete his work in the 60's?

Practically speaking, the time for a federalism amendment may have passed. Opening up the constitution to a new amendment, or, perhaps more drastically, to a "new constitutional convention," would likely yield far more harm than good. The opportunity to re-engineer the foundations of our society would prove irresistible to the forces of totalitarianism, and there are only a few who still stand against such forces. No, an amendment to the constitution would only hasten our fall.

Henry Hazlitt wrote a book called "A New Constitution Now" (rev. ed 1974). He advocated moving to a parliamentary system. This might be worth another look in view of Barnett's re-opening the can of worms.

Tim, there is a lot of truth in what you are saying. However, it is not improbable in my view that a grassroots movement would develop in the U.S. to reclaim federalism. As many states have to cope with serious fiscal crisis and even the threat of default, it may come to light that federal encroachment in the decision powers of states has a lot to do with the problem. See for instance the likes of Steve Lonegan in NJ or Governor Mark Sanford in SC. But yes, the likelihood is still small at this stage.

And thanks Mario for the Hazlitt reference.

Nation states are hopeless. So are democratic republics. I can not see the point of trying to save this gangrenous arm of political history.

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