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InsiderOnline Blog: November 2012

Why Not Try Federalism Before Secession?

Glenn Harlan Reynolds:

[I]n general, the causes of secession are pretty standard around the world: Too much power in the central government, too much resentment in the unhappy provinces. (Think Hunger Games).

So what’s a solution? Let the central government do the things that only central governments can do – national defense, regulation of trade to keep the provinces from engaging in economic warfare with one another, protection of basic civil rights – and then let the provinces go their own way in most other issues. Don’t like the way things are run where you are? Move to a province that’s more to your taste. Meanwhile, approaches that work in individual provinces can, after some experimentation, be adopted by the central government, thus lowering the risk of adopting untested policies at the national level. You get the benefits of secession without seceding.

Sound good? It should. It’s called federalism, and it’s the approach chosen by the United States when it adopted the Constitution in 1789. [USA Today, November 19]

Posted on 11/20/12 10:47 AM by Alex Adrianson

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