We focus on state and local solutions here at the Tenth Amendment Center. It’s not because we think the state and local governments feature less corruption or somehow act more nobly than the federal government. It’s not because we trust state and local governments more. We don’t! All governments violate our rights.
We focus on state and local action instead of pouring all of our energy into Washington D.C. because we believe a decentralized system protects liberty better than a system with all power concentrated in one place. We shun government monopoly for the same reason we shun economic monopoly. You might realize certain advantages in efficiency in making everything uniform and controlled in one place. But the danger of empowering an institution to that degree far outweighs those benefits. Think about it – do you really want Walmart to stand alone in the department store world? Then why would you want Washington D.C. to control everything for 300-plus million Americans?
Shortly after taking office as governor of California in 1967, Ronald Reagan sat down with William Buckley Jr. and made the case for devolving power away from the central authority and to the 50 states.
The advantage is this, that if conditions are so terrible in one state, the federal system of 50 states gives the citizen the right to vote with his feet. As long as the rules and the regulations and the taxes aren’t uniform, there’s a kind of built in control on how bad a state government can get. Because if it passes a certain point, the people just pack up and move to another state where things are better.
I think that we should look very carefully at throwing away this control, because let’s say that all of the rules become uniform, that Walter Ruther has his way and unemployment insurance becomes the same nationwide, and all the rules for disability insurance, all the rules for welfare, all of these things become a pattern nationwide – and then if you object to the policies of government, where do you go?
Reagan certainly had his issues, but he hit the nail on the head hear. Centralized power stands as the greatest danger to liberty. Join us as we work to devolve and decentralize.
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