State Governments

Federalism?Freedom

State and local tyrants are still tyrants.

|

What do home Bible study classes, transgender bathrooms, lemonade stands, cat litter, and marijuana have in common? To the blind eye, not much—but in fact, they're all things state and local governments are actively working to regulate.

Recent legislation in North Carolina blocking cities from allowing trans individuals to use public bathrooms that are marked for the sex they identify as (instead of their biological sex at birth) has caused quite a ruckus. Many libertarians take issue with a state moving to quash a local ordinance—in this case, one written by the Charlotte City Council to allow transgender people to pee where the hell they want.

This is hardly the only instance of a state government acting against cities that want to implement freedom-enhancing policies. But while states are rarely consistent champions of individual liberty, it turns out local governments are frequently the worst offenders of all when it comes to petty tyranny.

The Charlotte ordinance that triggered state sanction added sexual orientation, gender identity, and marital status to the list of attributes protected from discrimination—not just for public accommodations such as hotels and railroads, but also for private businesses like restaurants and retail stores. This is more problematic than it might sound: The right of a private individual to decide with whom to do business according to the dictates of her conscience is the very essence of free association.

Local governments in some places have prohibited businesses from offering gender-neutral bathrooms, while in others, like Washington, D.C., they've prohibited single-stall bathrooms from being designated for one gender or the other. (Is it any wonder small businesses struggle to comply with the minutiae of local regulations?)

The buttinskyism extends far beyond bathrooms. Dozens of places, including Austin, Texas; Sacramento, California; and Thurston County, Washington, have banned supermarkets, convenience stores, and pharmacies from providing customers with free plastic bags.

"Many cities restrict the economic freedom of their residents and potential migrants through minimum wage laws, business licensing, rent control, and zoning restrictions," Mercatus Center state and local policy expert Adam Millsap explains. And many of these regulations, particularly zoning and occupational licensing laws, place a disproportionate burden on poor people and minorities.

This reality is at odds with the widespread belief among libertarians and conservatives that local representatives are better-suited to look out for the interests of their constituents than are state and especially federal lawmakers.

Many on the political right believe that the devolution of power to lower levels of government can help overcome problems created by centralized authority. Superficially, such federalism makes a lot of sense. Just as devolving powers to competing states feels like it should be freedom-enhancing, devolving powers to thousands of competing cities and towns should be the ultimate check on the spread of bad laws. After all, local government is as close to "we the people" as governing institutions can get.

Mayors, district attorneys, law enforcement agencies, and local bureaucrats should be more attuned to the needs and desires of their constituents, with whom they live and interact from day to day. And because it's easier for citizens to move from one city to the next than to relocate to another state or country, that low cost of exit should keep local officials behaving responsively and responsibly. As Millsap notes, "This interjurisdictional competition among local governments should be even more pronounced today as many cities are experiencing population decline [and] will find it increasingly difficult to raise revenue."

But as the depressing array of bad policies being implemented at the local level shows, that devolution of power is often better in theory than in practice. In fact, there's evidence that states can act as a check by forcing local governments to adopt better, more liberty-friendly policies. In 2014, for example, Oklahoma passed a law preventing cities and counties from increasing their local minimum wages beyond the federal rate.

Bans on rent control are another instance of states enacting freedom-enhancing rules despite local-level protests. "Boston was forced to eliminate rent control after a state law was passed by referendum in Massachusetts," Millsap writes. "The state of Washington also doesn't allow rent control, much to the chagrin of Seattle politicians who are trying to implement it." The same is true in California—and that's a good thing, since rent control both restricts the ability of apartment owners to earn income from their privately held assets and makes it harder for people to find apartments.

In some cases, states have even taken a stand against federal government abuses, like when Colorado and Washington legalized marijuana despite its status as a highly (and illogically) restricted Schedule I drug.

However, there are also instances when the federal government has actually had to step in to force states to end discriminatory or unconstitutional practices. The 13th Amendment outlawed slavery while the 14th Amendment recognized the natural rights of former slaves. Believe it or not, the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice—hardly freedom-loving institutions—routinely argue against local regulatory barriers to entry, such as Certificate of Need laws and even some occupational licensing schemes. In the 1990s, the Federal Communications Commission barred local governments, homeowner associations, and cooperative and condominium managers from unnecessarily restricting the installation of television dishes on residential buildings.

Of course, that's only when Washington isn't busy imposing restrictions on individual freedom of its own, or infringing on the legitimate authority of the states—as when it tried to use Obamacare to coerce Republican governors into expanding their state-run Medicaid programs. The truth is, when it comes to terrible laws, there's plenty of blame to go around.

In a 2014 paper, George Mason University economist Richard Wagner explored whether federalism really supports liberty. He found that devolving power to lower levels can be good for individual freedom under the right conditions—but it's far from guaranteed. In fact, depending on the specific institutional framework within which governance occurs, pushing power downward from Washington may actually discourage liberty.

The problem, Wagner explains, is that the competing governments we'd expect to see under federalism have been replaced by cartelized governments. As a result, with very rare exceptions, our federal, state, and local representatives act in ways that grow their own power while shrinking our freedoms. Though states and localities still possess some governing capabilities, Wagner explains, they are not truly independent political bodies. In reality, they retain power only so long as Washington allows them to.

The federal government is so big today that state and local bodies have incredibly narrow margins on which to compete to attract taxpayers. No matter where you live, your federal tax bill is by far the biggest tab you owe on April 15. This limits the ability of states and localities to compete by offering lower rates and leaner government operations. And since state and local taxes can be deducted from your federal bill anyway, there's virtually no incentive for them to reduce their levies.

Wagner would say that the petty tyranny of local government is happening not in spite of federalism but in many cases because of it. To change this sad state of affairs would require true competition among jurisdictions—and an understanding that governments derive their rights from us, instead of the reverse.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

111 responses to “Federalism?Freedom

  1. the only way forward for libertarians is to adopt socialist rhetoric and just define the “groups” down to individuals. That seems like the logical endgame of identity politics.

    1. Pick your intersectionality.

    2. Except libertarians are all white males, so they don’t qualify for any rights or protections.

      1. I find your statement triggering. Reason needs to create a safe space where we are not othered by such hate speech.

        1. Right through here, Cyto. Pay no mind to what sounds like woodchippers.

    3. Anybody can earn 450dollar+ daily… You can earn from 8000-15000 a month or even more if you work as a full time job…It’s easy, just follow instructions on this page, read it carefully from start to finish… It’s a flexible job but a good eaning opportunity..
      Go to this site home tab for more detail… Go this Website========== http://www.earnmore9.com

  2. That’s easy, I’m the only real libertarian, everybody else is a poseur for disagreeing with me.

    1. Shut up, Tulpa.

      1. Hey, I’m Tulpa!

  3. That’s easy, I’m the only real libertarian, everybody else is a poseur for disagreeing with me.

    1. Except for the squirrels. They seem to agree with you Susan…

  4. Well, there is some truth to the idea that there is fundamentally no difference between 1 tyrant 3000 miles away and 300 tyrants 10 miles away. However, rulers further afield from where they rule tend towards abuses that are worse over a larger swath. I can move from my local city if I have to get away from the assholes in the Tampa government. Its a fucking bit harder to get away from the assholes in Washington DC on the other hand…..

  5. Well, there is some truth to the idea that there is fundamentally no difference between 1 tyrant 3000 miles away and 300 tyrants 10 miles away. However, rulers further afield from where they rule tend towards abuses that are worse over a larger swath. I can move from my local city if I have to get away from the assholes in the Tampa government. Its a fucking bit harder to get away from the assholes in Washington DC on the other hand…..

    1. The squirrels are always close at hand to argue with you.

      But seriously, if my local city council or even state government decides to tax the shit out of me, then I have the option of moving away. I don’t have that option with the federal government. Fuck, even if I want to move to another country, I have to denounce my US citizenship to get a foreign bank account.

    2. I was actually considering volunteering to be on the Hillsborough county audit committee not too long ago. Thought that I could cause a bit of havoc by pushing for audits of certain governmental activities. But then I realized that I would not only be a government stooge for my regular job, but also in my free time as well…

      All in all, I haven’t had any bad encounters with Tampa bureaucrats. Even the folk in the DMV were quite pleasant when I came in with some very random questions. And the sherriff deputy that lived beside me was nearly libertarian in his approach (“as long as they aren’t endangering anyone else, I’ll leave them be”)…

      1. I live in Clearwater! Nice to know there are some likeminded people around here.

  6. You’ll never find a more meddlesome set of nannies and busybodies than in your local Homeowners Association or Neighborhood Association.
    The counterweight to the ‘broader swaths’ argument is that the bigger the government, the harder it is for it to meddle with the minutiae of daily life. The closer it is, the easier it becomes for it to decree things like what your lawn must look like, what colors you can paint your house, how many dogs you can own, etc.
    Scale of oppressions maps well to scale of attention, and vice versa.
    Taking it all down to the level of the individual is the only way we can ever be free.

    1. Right. Because of 9% of Austinites and 8 city council members, I no longer have access to Uber or Lyft.

      1. Don’t worry – you soon will. Uber is a $60+ billion company now. Their earning power as is can’t possibly support that sort of valuation. So I suspect that part of their going-public process will be for their VC/investors to lobby DC to override all local control of taxi services (and probably a few extra goodies for their other companies) in favor of a new DC-based Dept of Free and Safe Private Transportation Gigs. That will, shockingly, be captured by Uber or Lyft and prevent all future competition. And be lauded by Reason as an example of the libertarian moment spreading nationwide.

    2. Next you might suggest volunteerism as a rational choice….

    3. Absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely, but small, petty power makes for small, petty tyrants.

      1. None of us can fuck up individually as bad as we can if we all work together.

        1. Remember, government is just the rights we all choose to trample on together.

    4. You’ll never find a more meddlesome set of nannies and busybodies than in your local Homeowners Association or Neighborhood Association…Taking it all down to the level of the individual is the only way we can ever be free.

      I’d argue that the reason most HA’s are nannies and busybodies is because most people who don’t want the nannying are busy paying attention to useless global nonsense that they can’t possibly affect and they often deliberately choose to have no connection with actual place.

      So the local HA is dominated by the local realtor (who is the crony beneficiary of the HA state) and people who are planning to exit soon. IOW – people who think of their house primarily as short-term property value rather than as long-term home. And those who don’t participate are complicit in the next step of state-force – ie making sure the town/city decisions re zoning/etc are corrupted for personal benefit – at the expense of some ‘other’ outside the HA.

      Nothing gets ‘resolved’ by taking it down to the level of the individual. The conflict exists because it actually exists. It can’t be denied out of existence and the solution can’t possibly lie in atomization. And one can hardly claim offense at the micro-nannying-by-default when one benefits from the macro-zoning.

      And this particular issue ain’t nothing compared to neighborhoods dominated by absentee landlords where the residents mostly rent.

    5. You don’t have to buy in an HOA development. That takes their power over you away.

  7. One article claims that the Orlando shooter was gay.

    Also casually mentioned in the article: a police academy

    I knew it.

    1. “If he was gay, why would he do something like this?” Seddique Mateen asked.

      The mind boggles.

      1. His dad is a big piece of the puzzle. What a dick.

        1. Pl?ya, I’ve only been to the Disney water parks once, so I don’t know about attendance rates in August specifically. I had a good experience at both parks and didn’t feel like the waits were too long. Blizzard beach has the more intense slides and typhoon lagoon has a much more relaxed vibe. Discovery Cove isn’t really a water park as much as a water resort.

    2. Gay men always get the hot women. Life is twisted.

      1. So Hipster … It just doesn’t matter?

        1. Damn richers across the lake!

          1. You did not disappoint.

    3. Apparently he graduated from the palm beach police academy but never became a cop.

    4. Funny that you knew it, because it seemed obvious to me as well. “Dude shoots up gay club” screams “closeted homosexual struggling with his own sexuality”. It is a trope on TV cop shows for a reason. (Same reason that the anti-gay politician inevitably gets caught with a gay lover). “Me thinks he doth protest too much”.

      The cop part…. well, kinda goes without saying on the whole “security guard” stereotype.

      The guy is a walking movie character, straight out of central casting.

  8. Is it any wonder small businesses struggle to comply with the minutiae of local regulations?

    Hey, how about just requiring every business to hire a government-approved regulation-compliance specialist to handle it for them?

    Think of the JOBS!

    1. What do you think attorneys and accountants are?

      1. Generalists.

        1. Half true, the other half is government compliance. I spend more on tax filing costs than on financial reporting. And fully half of the attorney work is mandated by law. Can’t have proles doing basic legal filings on their own.

          1. And fully half of the attorney work is mandated by law.

            Something something Thirteenth Amendment.

            1. something something commerce clause, something, penaltax

              1. “It’s always something!”

                1. Rosanne Rosannadanna’s father approves of your conclusion.

  9. and an understanding that governments derive their rights from us, instead of the reverse.

    Not. Gonna. Happen.

    It’s increasingly and painfully obvious that the “American Experiment” has failed – just as the founders predicted.

  10. DC is a bad example of a local government since it ultimately answers to the Feds. It will be the worst of both worlds.

    VdR mis characterized the NC situation. It was the STATE that preserved the right of businesses to configure their bathrooms however the hell they wanted. Isn’t that the libertarian position? It was the CITY that wanted to micromanage bathrooms.

    1. VdR mis characterized the NC situation. It was the STATE that preserved the right of businesses to configure their bathrooms however the hell they wanted. Isn’t that the libertarian position?

      It’s too hard to explain freedom of association, thus it’s been cut from the libertarian platform. Gary Johnson was ahead of the curve on this.

      1. Kidding aside, it is sometimes hard. Someone gives you a sound bite, you could draw the wrong conclusion, because it’s hard to explain clearly & briefly, plus people may draw the wrong conclusion unless you’re not only explicit but dilatory. Trump said people should use whichever toilet they want, but does that mean regardless of what the property owner wants, or does it mean in accordance with what the property owner wants? And Trump might not have understood the situation either. I’ve frequently been in that state of confusion due to glibness.

  11. Evan . if you, thought Gladys `s story is impossible… on saturday I got a new Alfa Romeo since getting a check for $5834 recently and-in excess of, ten thousand this past-munth . it’s definitly the best work Ive ever done . I began this 4 months ago and almost immediately started bringing in at least $80.. p/h . you could look here …
    ………………….. http://www.MaxPost30.com

    1. Evan’s not here, man.

      1. Shouldn’t we have a “report spam-triggered comment” button?

  12. Well, distributed power is better than centralized power.

    1. True Dat

  13. Yeah, I’m still going with Federalism.

    1. I don’t care where people in NC pee and poop. I won’t affect me unless I’m visiting there and even then I’m pretty sure I can relieve myself without getting in trouble. Their bad laws (if they are bad) are their problem, unlike bad Federal laws.

    2. If a local douche-bag politician pisses me off, I tell him or her about it in person. If they do not correct themselves, I vote for the guy who will fix it and recommend the same to my neighbors. This actually works, unlike a Presidential election where a dozen votes one way or the other is pretty meaningless.

    1. I agree, and you can also just move out of a city, much harder than a country. When cities are run like shit people leave like in Detroit.

    2. One lefty town in NC cared very much where you peed and pooped and mandated that every business had to install a special trans bathroom . The state then decided to nix that and outlawed such bathrooms . I think the state was right . Other than rare genetic disorders there are only two sexes (ask any mammal), why should anyone have to make a bathroom for the mentally confused ? If someone wants to make a special bathroom for the any particular subgroup there is no law preventing them from doing so .

      1. Didn’t you just write that the state enacted a law that would indeed prevent them? “Outlawed”? Or were you just confused? Or am I?

  14. Is there a “Libertarian” who writes for Reason with the viewpoint that there is no a priori discrimination if the state offers restrooms to everyone and practices equal discrimination across the board based upon the natural standard of the human sex chromosomes, sans mutation?

    I’m not talking about genuine issues arising from mutation. Things like Swyer Syndrome that effect innocent people exist, but they are not the natural standard, they are mutations. When someone has a genuine biological issue they should be afforded every courtesy including the bathroom of their choice, but when there is no biological mutation and the is a clear normative X/X or X/Y in play we do not discriminate illegally or with bigotry so long as some facility is available to every human with the caveat that everyone, cis, bi, gay, trans, purple, etc. must use the bathroom of their natural biological sex. The law discriminates upon an natural biological standard and does so equally to all citizens regardless of their gender or sexual disposition, therefore there is no special right extended to those who identify according to their biological makeup. By insisting that a transgender individual can select a bathroom outside of that position you are in fact championing special rights for a group.

    Is there any Libertarian who writes for reason who actually still uses reason and not SJW progressive bullcrap?

    1. If people’s objections to trans* folk using the restroom were based on biology, and not on other fuzzier social norms, then we wouldn’t have the cases where butch women run into problems.

    2. reason is very unpopular with lefties, and as a “progressive” society it’s use is deprecated and its users attacked.

  15. Federalism?Freedom

    Misses the point of Federalism.

    People disagree on what Freedom looks like. Federalism allows for some choice and competition between jurisdictions.

    None of them are going to exactly match what you think Freedom is.

  16. nice to see this viewpoint intelligently represented. federalism is at differing times defended as a foundational component for liberty and derided as an opportunistic ploy to defend bad behavior from states & localities. Ive always had mixed feelings about federalism. Then again, I have had mixed feelings about democracy – modern constitutional monarchies are producing results that are similar in terms of respect for individual liberty … whats so great about mob rule, anyway? What strikes me as important is a deepseated respect for individual rights among the public, and a codified set of barriers that limit government. If everyone agrees the Emperor of JayDubya Land can only pick up sidewalk trash on Wednesdays, who cares how the schmuck is appointed?

    1. Mob rule sucks, that is why the the constitution specifies a republic and makes pure democracy as difficult as possible, the tenth amendment the original method of appointing senators and the tenth amendment are all a means of preventing mob rule. Progressives have been eradicating the foundations of the republic quite successfully for more than 100 years and increased democracy is part of that .

      1. Republic & democracy are synonyms.

        1. Not really.
          A representative can be elected with 100% of the vote and another can be elected with 51% of the vote and, when it comes to legislation they both have the same single vote to cast.
          The one, who 49% of his constituents disagree with, has the same voice as the one who has the agreement of all of his.
          If it was pure democracy, one position would have 66% approval, assuming the two disagreed.
          Instead it is a tie.

        2. True democracy is 3 wolves and 2 sheep voting on what to eat for dinner.

          1. I’m going to guess they vote to eat…the rich?

  17. Wow what nonsense. This article contradicts itself. Federalism means that if you don’t like your local laws – just move. And if you can’t move because you were incented into buying a house because of the Mortgage Interest Tax Deduction, well whose fault is that? Also NC proved that discriminatory laws can be challenged when people boycott the state and governments have to reverse course. Federalism works like a charm – this is probably what people from other countries find so annoying.

    1. Sorry NC is being attacked by the PC delusionists who insist you can change your sex by wishing hard enough and self-mutilation . No one should be forced to build bathrooms for the sexually deluded , and no one is discriminated against by being required to use bathroom designated for use by their biological sex (as determined by their chromosomes) , moreover if they are sufficiently slick as disguising their biological sex then no-one will know if they cheat anyway .

      1. If a law, such as who may use which gender’s bathroom can’t rely on definite proof, instead of how one feels, then it is no law.
        They write them as long as they do, to be precise and allowing one’s feelz to make a difference is hardly that.

  18. When I sing the praises of federalism, I don’t mean that the states should actually exercise power.

    I’m suggesting that regressive a go on turning CA and NY into their own dystopian nightmares despite themselves, and leave everyone else alone.

  19. “The Charlotte ordinance that triggered state sanction added sexual orientation, gender identity, and marital status to the list of attributes protected from discrimination?not just for public accommodations such as hotels and railroads, but also for private businesses like restaurants and retail stores. This is more problematic than it might sound: The right of a private individual to decide with whom to do business according to the dictates of her conscience is the very essence of free association.”

    Now, let’s not get all homophobic!

    I wonder if recognizing the right to earn one’s living at an honest calling as one of the privileges or immunities of American citizenship – the position of the dissent in the Slaughterhouse Cases – might help?

  20. So the North Carolina law confirming the right of the owner’s of facilities to establish their own policies regarding bathroom and other intimate facility use is a “buttinsky” interference and the Charlotte ordinance asserting a positive right by transgendered to use facilitiies reserved for the opposite sex ( I am pretty sure no one has a right to “pee where ever the hell they want”) is something that is in line with libertarian principles. Where does this bizarro notion of libertarianism come from?

    1. Reason — putting the “progressive” back in “libertarian”. Wait, something’s not right there…

  21. Federalism does not equal absolute freedom for all — no shit, Sherlock. But that’s the most crucial step.

    This is what drives me nuts about so many writers on here. They say that federal government is too big and too unaccountable to secure freedom (absolutely true), and yet they seem appalled by the idea that citizens of an individual state can come together and vote for governance that doesn’t cater to the full pot/ass-sex spectrum. Do you want people to come to the understanding that certain things shouldn’t be banned or regulated out the whazoo, or do you want them to shut up and like it as you shove things they aren’t comfortable with down their throats. For a philosophy that’s supposed to be about freedom, so many seem convinced that the peasants are too stupid to bring it about themselves, and thus should be dragged to it kicking and screaming.

    Nanny-statism is aided by a general laziness and unwillingness to participate in the political process. Don’t like the policies? Petition the government. Peacefully protest. Elect new congressmen who reflect your ideas. Run for office yourself. If all else fails, MOVE AWAY. You can’t escape the all-seeing federal eye, but you can certainly move out of the state compound.

    1. We all know how culture is evolving, especially with my generation. More and more people don’t care if you smoke pot or marry the same sex — state laws will reflect this in due time. But the first enemy is the federal government, and this is why libertarians should be trying to build bridges with conservatives instead of making fun of them. Change is easier to effect when the process is closer at hand, and it’s your responsibility to help move things along. Liberals will never understand that.

      1. Are you sure that liberals don’t understand? Who is on your local school board? A nanny state busybody? Statists gonna state.

      2. Look, if you cater to the social conservatives or the progressives you’ve already chosen a side that doesn’t care about liberty.

        Both of them are out to legislate your moral behavior, so why would you want to ally yourself with them? Sure, the enemy of my enemy is my friend, but neither of those groups find the state to be any kind of enemy. To them, it’s the method through which they want to bring their enemies to their knees.

        That’s not an alliance I’m comfortable with. Fortunately, most people are centrists and neither socially conservative or progressive. So really, why appeal to the fringe of either side of the spectrum one way or the other?

  22. It would seem to me that the libertarian position in most cases is not a libertarian position at all, but a libertine position, and it’s amazing how many are willing to use the tyranny of the mob to enforce their morality. Boiled down, Federalism is the belief that communities can coalesce and create rules that are agreeable to that community. It’s pushing governance down to the lowest feasible unit. It is not about individual liberty in the sense that you do whatever the hell you want and no one judges you. That’s libertinism, which is basically one tiny step above anarchy. The beauty with Federalism is that there is no overriding authority that forces all other communities into conformity. So if you don’t like the rules were you live, move somewhere else, or work to change the rules there.

    1. You seem to think anarchism is a bad thing. One form of anarchism would allow for competing systems to choose from, rather than having to relocate to find a better fit among local communities which each favor their local majority over the rights of their local minorities.

      1. In the presence of a non-cloned population anarchism is indeed a bad thing , visit somalia or syria and see if it isnt .

  23. instead of their biological sex at birth

    That’s disingenuous. The NC law was the sex listed on their birth certificate, which under previously passed legislation, can be changed after a sex change.

    1. Perhaps worded a bit poorly, but not disingenous. Once a person has had a sex change, then legally they can argue they are that sex. I don’t think most people have a problem with a person who was a man who is taking estrogen, had his wedding tackle removed, and completely and utterly lives like a woman, from using the women’s room. It is the people who say they are “transitioning” or worse, those that are “transgender” as opposed to “transsexual” who are gender-fluid.

      1. Really? ’cause we keep getting reports and youtube videos of women getting harassed and hassled for using the restroom because the other person thinks they’re far too masculine to be a woman.

        You can’t talk about these bathroom bills without addressing that. Well, I mean, you *can*, but it’s ignoring the motivations of the most diehard supporters (that is, the people willing to actually *do* something about it, rather then just *talk* about it).

      2. I have a problem with such people having any job like a bus driver or pilot and having access to weapons, 40% of these people commit suicide and have very disturbed lives . These are not fully competent people . If you think you are napolean you are crazy but if you think you are a a seven year old woman (when in fact you are a 40 year old man) then you are perfectly sane, sorry there ain’t a difference .

  24. The point about tyrannical local government is taken; that said, 400 cities could ban plastic bags tomorrow and it would be much less damaging than a single federal law banning plastic bags. And it’s pretty easy to go shopping in the next town over, not so much the next country over.

    Bad government is bad regardless, but federalism can have a point.

  25. Federalism does not necessarily result in freedom, but there is a larger probability of having a few free localities under the federalist system specified in the US Constitution than under the nationalist system we have today, in defiance of the Constitution.

  26. Local tyrants are much better than national tyrants because bad cities are much easier to bypass than a bad nation. I honestly wouldn’t give a rip if some town wanted to outlaw guns, abortion, and alcohol. I just wouldn’t live there.

  27. Federalism is probably the only way to forge a majority of libertarians, conservatives, classical liberals, etc. Why bring up this argument now? Is preserving libertarianism’s fringe status really that much of a priority?

  28. de Rugy acknowledges that this “reality is at odds with the widespread belief among libertarians and conservatives that local representatives are better-suited to look out for the interests of their constituents than are state and especially federal lawmakers.”

    Oh, for fuck’s sake. Local mafiosa-wannabes aren’t looking out for my interests. The point of federalism is that it makes it easier to flee jurisdictions that act too unreasonably. It allowed me, for example, to flee from a state with a top marginal state income tax rate of 11% to one with that rate set at 0%.

  29. The advantage of federalism for libertarians is that there isn’t one big majority government ruining everyone’s lives. If some scattered states aren’t as enlightened as others, you can always move. But if the central government passes an edict, you’re stuck.

    It’s like the one ring to rule them all. A true libertarian like Ron Paul would throw the ring into the volcano. Cosmotarians would insist that, just give them the precious ring, and they will rule as Libertarian Top Men.

  30. Sure, they are.

    But I can punch my local guy in the nose if he needs it. Unlike the Fed bureaucracy.

  31. I’m going got stick my nose in here and sniff around.

    1. and misspell on my introductory post

  32. “…the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice?hardly freedom-loving institutions?routinely argue against local regulatory barriers to entry, such as Certificate of Need laws and even some occupational licensing schemes. In the 1990s, the Federal Communications Commission barred local governments, homeowner associations, and cooperative and condominium managers from unnecessarily restricting the installation of television dishes on residential buildings.”
    I guess the power to prohibit barriers to entry, such as Certificate of Need laws and occupational licensing was in Article 1, Section 8(a)?
    Because they aren’t anywhere in the copy of the Constitution, that I own. Same with forcing cities to allow satellite dishes on buildings.
    It is the way the nation was set up: the feds had particular powers and the states had the rest, unless prohibited by the Constitution. Like the 2A, which is non-specific about who may not infringe on the peoples’ right – meaning NO ONE can.
    The simple fact is that what local and state governments do, unless it is a mandate, usually unfunded, or is blamed on being one, are more within reach of the voters’ ability to change them, or toss out the offending legislators.

  33. I am making $89/hour working from home. I never thought that it was legitimate but my best friend is earning $10 thousand a month by working online, that was really surprising for me, she recommended me to try it. just try it out on the following website.

    ??? http://www.NetNote70.com

  34. Federalism may not equal freedom but competing centers of powers give us a better shot at it than centralized government

  35. And what the author really is bemoaning is the 17th amendment and the death of federalism, both bad for Liberty

  36. Many on the political right believe that the devolution of power to lower levels of government can help overcome problems created by centralized authority.

    And that belief is correct; nothing in your article contradicts it.

    In a 2014 paper, George Mason University economist Richard Wagner explored whether federalism really supports liberty. He found that devolving power to lower levels can be good for individual freedom under the right conditions?but it’s far from guaranteed.

    I.e. he says that the federal government has created conditions in which local and state governments tend not to compete, even though they nominally have autonomy.

    Wagner would say that the petty tyranny of local government is happening not in spite of federalism but in many cases because of it.

    That’s incorrect. It’s not happening because of “federalism”, it is happening because of “federal policies” that actively discourage local governments from competing. That is, the cause isn’t “federalism”, it is “federal policies” that indirectly limit freedom in areas where the Constitution prohibits the federal government from directly limiting freedom.

  37. I’m making over $9k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do…. Go to tech tab for work detail..

    CLICK THIS LINK=====>> http://www.earnmax6.com/

  38. Anybody who thinks that smaller units and local control means freedom never had to deal with a homeowners’ association.

    In fact, small local groups are much more inclined to micromanage the lives of others. For a central authority, trying to micromanage at that level is a logistical nightmare, so they tend to concentrate in the larger issues…

    There is a reason why peasants preferred to deal with a king far away than with the local lord…

  39. I’ve made $76,000 so far this year working online and I’m a full time student.I’m using an online business opportunity I heard about and I’ve made such great money.It’s really user friendly and I’m just so happy that I found out about it.

    Open This LinkFor More InFormation..

    ??????? http://www.Reportmax20.com

  40. my friend’s mom makes $73 hourly on the laptop . She has been out of a job for 6 months but last month her pay was $18731 just working on the laptop for a few hours…..

    Open This LinkFor More InFormation..

    ???????

    http://www.Reportmax20.com

  41. my roomate’s step-mother makes 60 each hour on the internet and she has been out of work for seven months but last month her check was 14489 just working on the internet for 5 hours a day, look at ..
    Read more on this web site..

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> http://www.maxincome20.com

  42. before I saw the bank draft which had said $9426 , I didnt believe that…my… brother woz like actualy earning money part-time at there labtop. . there uncles cousin has done this 4 less than fifteen months and by now repaid the dept on there place and got a great new Mini Cooper . read the full info here …

    Clik This Link inYour Browser??

    ? ? ? ? http://www.selfcash10.com

  43. before I saw the bank draft which had said $9426 , I didnt believe that…my… brother woz like actualy earning money part-time at there labtop. . there uncles cousin has done this 4 less than fifteen months and by now repaid the dept on there place and got a great new Mini Cooper . read the full info here …

    Clik This Link inYour Browser??

    ? ? ? ? http://www.selfcash10.com

  44. before I saw the bank draft which had said $9426 , I didnt believe that…my… brother woz like actualy earning money part-time at there labtop. . there uncles cousin has done this 4 less than fifteen months and by now repaid the dept on there place and got a great new Mini Cooper . read the full info here …

    Clik This Link inYour Browser??

    ? ? ? ? http://www.selfcash10.com

  45. uptil I saw the bank draft four $8760 , I be certain …that…my sister woz actually bringing in money part time from there labtop. . there neighbour had bean doing this 4 only about eighteen months and resently cleard the depts on there home and bourt a top of the range Chrysler ….

    Clik This Link inYour Browser….

    ? ? ? ? http://www.Reportmax20.com

  46. If You Have Any Problem And You Are Not Get Out From Your Problem Than It May Be Someone Black Magic On You So If You Want Remove Black Magic Than Contact Our Specialist.

  47. Thank you for a wonderful work deserves award

    programs2017 programscomputerfree.

  48. Sure, they are.

    Many thanks for the valuable information

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.