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Federal versus unitary government
Federal 57%  57%  [ 4 ]
Unitary 43%  43%  [ 3 ]
Total votes : 7

MisterCosgrove
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20 Oct 2012, 9:55 am

I live in the USA. I listen to people arguing about state's governments (ie Federation) versus unitary governments. Now, I am asking if you can give me a compelling reason why the unitary or semi-unitary (i don't know if there's such a thing) model is less 'outdated' than the USA and whether it's a model America could follow. I included a poll to see how others think on the matter.


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ruveyn
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20 Oct 2012, 8:01 pm

MisterCosgrove wrote:
I live in the USA. I listen to people arguing about state's governments (ie Federation) versus unitary governments. Now, I am asking if you can give me a compelling reason why the unitary or semi-unitary (i don't know if there's such a thing) model is less 'outdated' than the USA and whether it's a model America could follow. I included a poll to see how others think on the matter.


We pretty much have a unitary government and what has it brought us? A deficit we cannot repay, high taxes, burdensome regulations and there is no escape since they are nationwide. If the States were more sovereign people could vote with their feet.

ruveyn



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20 Oct 2012, 10:35 pm

Regarding debt, I think of California (with its silly amendment and referendum rules) and all the other states with debt problems, the ones who used stimulus money to patch state deficits even as they struggled to make cuts.

The fact that there are different but at times overlapping forms of taxation between local, state, and, federal governments is bizarre and I doubt it does much for the finances of any of the institutions involved.

Voting with feet is problematic when it causes interstate competition at the expense of the country as a whole and the individual citizens. :(

Look at interstate competition on casinos.

State 1: New Casino!
State 2: Keep your money here by making a rival casino, to compete, incentives with tax breaks and subsidies at taxpayer expense! Sure, it's a zero sum game with a neighboring state, but screw those guys!
State 1: Damn you state 2! Let's give tons of taxpayer money to OUR casinos to beat those other casinos! It's the only way!
State 2: It's not enough! We need more tax breaks!
(I live in a State 2, the ballot issue on the latest round of tax breaks is this November, I'm SURE that will be the end of it) :roll:

It happens in business in general too (right to work, variable tax rates), maybe if we put country ahead of state it would be simpler and better for everyone?

Have 1 tax code and 1 regulator instead of 51 of each with their own peculiarities.



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20 Oct 2012, 10:46 pm

I think the "Anti-federalists" were right, personally.

The federal government has expanded its power ever since the ratification of the constitution. I pretty much agree with Ruveyn in that our government has become more and more 'unitary' with the federal government's power grab.



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20 Oct 2012, 11:01 pm

ruveyn wrote:
MisterCosgrove wrote:
I live in the USA. I listen to people arguing about state's governments (ie Federation) versus unitary governments. Now, I am asking if you can give me a compelling reason why the unitary or semi-unitary (i don't know if there's such a thing) model is less 'outdated' than the USA and whether it's a model America could follow. I included a poll to see how others think on the matter.


We pretty much have a unitary government and what has it brought us? A deficit we cannot repay, high taxes, burdensome regulations and there is no escape since they are nationwide. If the States were more sovereign people could vote with their feet.

ruveyn

The USA are a strong federal state, but not a unitary state. Compare to France, une et indivisible. Americans states have various specific jurisdictions and manage a number of things by themselves. In France, including the DOM like Guyana, Paris decides almost everything, and merely delegates a few unimportant tasks.



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20 Oct 2012, 11:14 pm

There is no perfect government.


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again_with_this
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21 Oct 2012, 4:57 am

I think geographic size plays a role.

It's easy for small countries to have centralized, unitary power. But for the larger countries, I'm not sure it's as practical.

In regards to the United States, the goal was simple: They did not want centralized power and an all-powerful central government, as was the case with the British Empire (and the UK to this very day), but at the same time, they didn't want a loose coalition of sovereign nations either. Federalism was the balance. One nation, but with limits on the Central Government at the sub-national level.



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21 Oct 2012, 5:02 am

ruveyn wrote:
We pretty much have a unitary government and what has it brought us? A deficit we cannot repay, high taxes, burdensome regulations and there is no escape since they are nationwide. If the States were more sovereign people could vote with their feet.

ruveyn


ruveyn, we both live in the Garden State. I think its safe to say most of the regulations, laws, property taxes, and other nonsense we have to deal with on a day-to-day basis are the result of STATE laws, not federal laws. As New Jerseyans, we probably know this better than anyone else. So I don't understand why you of all people would be pushing state sovereignty, when you live in a state that exercises such sovereignty with ill results.

It's easy for those in the poorer, more rural states to scream "state's rights," and then of course take more from the Federal Government that they give. But ironically, it's the pro-union states that actually exercise those rights, and you and I live that every day.



ruveyn
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21 Oct 2012, 10:49 am

Fnord wrote:
There is no perfect government.


I will go even further. There are no good governments. Only bad ones and worse ones.

ruveyn



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21 Oct 2012, 10:54 am

ruveyn wrote:
Fnord wrote:
There is no perfect government.


I will go even further. There are no good governments. Only bad ones and worse ones.

ruveyn


Spoken like Aristotle himself.


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21 Oct 2012, 12:40 pm

Federalist. The less centralized power there is, the better it is for the individual.


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ruveyn
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21 Oct 2012, 2:57 pm

outofplace wrote:
Federalist. The less centralized power there is, the better it is for the individual.


The only advantage centralized power gives is in millitary situations. That is why control of the armed forces is centralized in the President, as commander in chief.

ruveyn



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22 Oct 2012, 9:42 am

ruveyn wrote:
The only advantage centralized power gives is in millitary situations. That is why control of the armed forces is centralized in the President, as commander in chief.

ruveyn


You ignored my reply to you regarding state's rights run amok.

In regards to people voting with their feet and moving to other states, it sure is nice not to have to apply for a visa to cross state lines, to not have to exchange currency at the state border, and to have no restrictions on moving to another state. Common currency, common citizenship, another advantage of a federalist system where defense, citizenship, and printing money come from the central government.