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Monday, September 5th 2005

Katrina & Federalism

Here’s a ridiculous claim from Slate:

Federalism Strikes Again: As long as we’re apportioning blame in the Katrina fiasco, here’s another culprit: federalism, by which I mean a) the U.S.’s interpolation of an unnecessary level of government (states) between cities and the national government and b) the non-hierarchical, “sovereign” nature of this unnecessary level, so that the national government can’t just give its Louisiana subdivision orders the way, say, General Motors can give its Pontiac division orders.

This is not a logically sound argument, mainly because it can go both ways. Perhaps the problem is that there’s not enough Federalism. If the federal government hadn’t seized control of so many aspects of government, if it didn’t tax the hell out of people, limiting the amount that state’s could collect, then Louisiana would’ve had more resources to respond to the disaster.

Who do you want leading the relief? The state and local authorities who know the area, the people, what is necessary or the leaders in Washington? Seems like an obvious answer to me.

Strike another one for stronger federalism and state rights.