Advocates of State’s Rights and small government urge that as much as possible be left to the States. A popular slogan is “Big government needs to get out of the way, give Americans chance to rise.” However, proponents of small government seldom if ever explain how big government is in the way of anything.
How would small government and States’ rights work for us?
- State laws supersede Federal laws.
- Disputes between states resolved by negotiations, sanctions or war rather than Federal Courts.
- Rich states do well while poor states make the best of their plight.
- No move than voluntary uniformity between state laws.
- No Federal Department of Agriculture, Commerce, Education, or Energy
- No Federal Department of Health and Human Services, or Homeland Security
- No Federal Department of Housing and Urban development, or Department of Labor
- No Department of the Interior, or Transportation
- No Federal Lands: National Forests, National Parks, or Monuments
If the above accurately reflects calls for small government and States’ rights, we should be careful what we wish for.
Often calls for “small government” are no more than slogans suggesting opposition to whichever government programs one dislikes. Similarly, calls for “States’ Rights” apply just to those provisions of Federal Law that one happens to oppose. Thus Rep. Reed was recently caught in a dilemma–should the Federal Government override the NYS fracking ban or respect NY State’s rights? He dodged this issue with an indirect attack on New York’s right to ban fracking.
We already tried small government and States’ rights once with the Articles of Confederation. It would be silly to try that again and expect different results.
© William Hungerford – March 2015