Essay on Balanced Federalism

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Debates over how the division of powers between the states and federal government should be handled have been predominant from the very beginning. The founders understood that this decision would have an enduring influence on the types of policies implemented along with how the impact would be felt by the citizens. This would all be dependent on if the laws were coming from Washing D.C. or the state capitals (Barbour and Wright, 78). In light of this the founders established the United States government based on a fair division of powers between Federal and State governments as highlighted in the constitution and tenth amendment. However, in the past few years I believe the country has shifted towards giving more power to the federal …show more content…
This can be noted in the Welfare Reform Act of 1996. The national government based this policy on corresponding models from Wisconsin, California, and Michigan (McClenaghan, 96).
An additional feature provided by federalism can be found in the strength of unity. While federalism allows states to deal with their own matters it likewise provides the benefits that come from a union (McClenaghan, 96). These benefits can be experienced in matters corresponding to foreign affairs where the advantages include a standard set of rules for immigration and international interaction. It is also visible in issues dealing with national defense which can be seen in the national security response after the events of September 11, 2001. These advantages serve as an structural mechanism to reduce disarray. Never the less, federalism like most other systems is not free of flaws which highlights a need for the distribution of power to be balanced. For example although the notion of states being used as “laboratories” is potentially beneficially it too has a defective feature. Unfortunately, this theory proves inefficient due to the fact that policies are implemented on a trial and error basis and seeing as that each state is different the results may vary (Lecture, September 14). What is effective in one state may not be as successful in another and so the prospective advantages of this scheme

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