The Volokh Conspiracy
Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent
The recently established State and Local Government Law Blog (SLoG), which Jonathan Adler wrote about here, has posted my piece on "How Federalism Can Empower People to Vote With their Feet." Here is an excerpt:
American state and local government has gotten its share of criticism in recent years, including on this blog. Instead of being "laboratories of democracies," as Justice Brandeis once famously called them, the states – especially red states – are often seen as agents of "vote suppression," promoters of dysfunctional policies, and oppressors of women and minorities. In addition, the nationalization of state politics has led to a variety of flaws in state and local elections, including reductions in competitiveness and accountability.
Much of the criticism of states and localities is deserved. But most of the debate over the vitality of American federalism overlooks a crucial way that it can help alleviate our political and economic woes: by providing opportunities for people to "vote with their feet." Foot voting withing federalism already helps hundreds of thousands of people, every year, choose government policies that better fit their needs, and increase their economic opportunities. Reforms could greatly expand that number. At the very least, foot voting should play a much bigger role in debates over federalism.
I am now a regular contributor to SLoG and will do other posts there in the future. However, the Volokh Conspiracy will remain my primary blogging outlet.