1. Efficiency of state governments is impaired as they relinquish and turn over to the federal government responsibilities which are rightfully theirs. Calvin Coolidge, PART TWO: Unease in the Golden Age (Page 1 of 3) - "Clearly Vicious as a Matter of Policy": The Fight Against Federal-Aid - Highway History - FHWA 2. The Founders envisioned a decentralized political arrangement, one which empowers individuals because it dispersed power, rather than amassing it in one place. Read the Tenth Amendment, ratified in 1791: a. The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. b. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis referred to the state legislatures as "laboratories of democracy" willing to tackle new and innovative approaches in meeting the needs of society. 3. Referred to as federalism, it was a relationship between the central authority and states, discussed in Federalist #39, by Madison. Citizens of each State had a duty to insure their States retained their constitutional sovereignty, a duty to support legislators who put a check on general power, who interposed on the citizens behalf. It is for this reason James Madison words make sense when writing, in Federalist 39, Each State, in ratifying the Constitution, is considered as a sovereign body, independent of all others, and only to be bound by its own voluntary act. In this relation, then, the new Constitution will, if established, be a FEDERAL, and not a NATIONAL constitution. Even those who disagreed agreed on federalism Tenth Amendment Center a. FEDERALISM-THE IDEA THAT our central government's powers are delegated to it by the states and are therefore limited is a rare and delicate flower that blooms briefly in election years. http://www.cato.org/pubs/regulation/regv7n3/v7n3-7.pdf b. Indicia of the intentions of the Founders can be found in the existence of the electoral college rather than a majority-rule system, and the statement in Article VI that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and that includes the Tenth Amendment. 4. Further, the distance of the decision makers from the locale of the problem is inversely proportional to the chance of satisfaction. Professor Lino Graglia, University of Texas, explained that decentralizing power controls the tyranny: "It can be shown arithmetically that if an issue is decided by larger units, involving more people, the likelihood increases that fewer people will obtain their preference and more will be disappointed... .As the power source is farther removed from the individuals affected, what might be called dissonance or interference in transmission-in communication and responsiveness--increases.... http://www.cato.org/pubs/regulation/regv7n3/v7n3-7.pdf a. Another reason why federalism is the best approach, is that it allows folks to vote with their feet, and if they are unhappy with one jurisdiction, move to one more in line with their wishes. This mirrors the free-market system with businesses competing for customers. Where the federal government is a monopoly, federalism is a vehicle for freedom. b. But the federalism is a problem for progressives, as states have less of a progressive tax system: property taxes and sales taxes tend to be less graduated, and some states have no income tax, as well. Redistribution is slowed to a trickle. 5. Careful consideration should be used before assigning jurisdiction to the federal government, rather than local authorities. National security, judiciary, international relations, and patents and copyrights are properly within federal purview. Beyond those areas, hegemony lies with the states and the people. a. Before the Civil War, petitions to the federal government for aid of for subsidies were rarely approved. In 1817, Madison vetoed a road and canal construction bill as unconstitutional. In 1832, Andrew Jackson vetoed a bill to improve harbors and rivers as it would have meant a principle that concedes to the General Government an unlimited power over the subject of internal improvements, Andrew Jackson: Veto Message The states should reclaim the power that the progressive century has abbreviated.