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The New Federalism

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 7 months ago

The New Federalism

As people on the "right" point out, the United States government is set up as a Federal system. People on the "left" see how the ideology of Federalism has been used historically by slavery based states to protect their power. To respond to the problems of the Great Depression and World War II, more power moved to the Federals. Based on the evidence, it seems that the Federal level was the appropriate activity space to engage the problem of legalized racism in the United States. It was the only locus of power that could  uproot local power structures working at the State level activity spaces.

 

But now, it may be that the problems of the 21st century may not be able to be framed and solved at the Federal level. "Solutions" crafted at the scale of 300+ million people are necessarily either "one size fits all" or complicated beyond comprehension. The more complicated, the less transparent. The less transparency, the less accountability. The less accountability, the less the effects of policy are visible to the policy makers and voters. This is a prescription for dumb government and the implementation of private goals.

 

As is clear in the move from a mass market to networks of micro-niche markets of one, there are new capabilities which are leading to new ways of framing problems. The common wisdom that poltical compromise are a neccessary method of problem solving leads to serious unintended consequences at the Federal level. It does make sense at appropriate scales of activity spaces.  It seems that cities might be the most appropriate scales for the next period of time.

 

The posts below look at interesting (to me) stories that focus on this isssue.


Posts follow, bold face is mine, not in the articles


 

Clinton, Obama Making Big-Money ’04 Hopefuls Look Like Amateurs

Here’s how fast the money chase has accelerated in the still-early contest for the 2008 presidential nominations: The amounts raised individually between April and June by each of the two leading aspirants for the Democratic nomination appear likely to match or exceed the totals raised in the parallel period by the top five contenders for the party’s 2004 nod — combined.

Democratic Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois are among the phalanx of candidates who have stepped-up their solicitations for campaign cash to a crescendo this week. This Saturday marks the end of this year’s second quarter, and the cutoff point for next batch of money reports that are due to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) by July 15. Read more.

 

Bloomberg and Schwarzenegger: The New Action Heroes

Thursday, Jun. 14, 2007 By MICHAEL GRUNWALD

On an unseasonably hot May day in Central Park, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg — the pint-size billionaire whose last name needs no elaboration for anyone who knows anything about finance or the media — was talking about saving the planet. With the mayors of more than 30 of the world's largest cities at his side, Bloomberg was opening a climate summit, highlighting his ambitious plan to slash the Big Apple's carbon emissions. Together, the mayors pledged to enlist their 250 million constituents in the fight against global warming. "Unfortunately, partisan politics has immobilized Washington," Bloomberg said. "But the public wants this problem solved. Cities can't wait any longer for national governments to act."

 

 

...Look at global warming. Washington rejected the Kyoto Protocol, but more than 500 U.S. mayors have pledged to meet its emissions-reduction standards, none more aggressively than Bloomberg. His PlaNYC calls for a 30% cut in greenhouse gases by 2030. It will quadruple the city's bike lanes, convert the city's taxis to hybrids and impose a controversial congestion fee for driving into Manhattan. And Schwarzenegger signed the U.S.'s first cap on greenhouse gases, including unprecedented fuel-efficiency standards for California cars. (He's already tricked out two of his five Hummers, one to run on biofuel and another on hydrogen.) The feds have done nothing on fuel efficiency in two decades, but 11 states will follow California's lead if Bush grants a waiver. After signing a climate deal with Ontario — on the same day as his stem-cell deal — he said he had a message for Detroit: "Get off your butt!" He had a similar message for Washington. "Eventually, the Federal government is going to get on board," he said. "If not, we're going to sue."

read more from Time Magazine

 


The big picture has always been the world economy


Unfettered finance is fast reshaping the global economy

By Martin Wolf Published: June 18 2007 19:01 | Last updated: June 18 2007 19:01

“In Rome everything is for sale.” – Prince Jugurtha in Sallust’s ­Bellum Jugurthinum

“Yes to market economy, no to market society.” – Lionel Jospin, French Socialist ex-prime minister

 

It is capitalism, not communism, that generates what the communist Leon Trotsky once called “permanent revolution”. It is the only economic system of which that is true. Joseph Schumpeter called it “creative destruction”. Now, after the fall of its adversary, has come another revolutionary period. Capitalism is mutating once again.

 

Much of the institutional scenery of two decades ago – distinct national business elites, stable managerial control over companies and long-term relationships with financial institutions – is disappearing into economic history. We have, instead the triumph of the global over the local, of the speculator over the manager and of the financier over the producer. We are witnessing the transformation of mid-20th century managerial capitalism into global financial capitalism.

 

...Last but not least are the challenges to politics itself. Across the globe there has been a sizeable shift in income from labour to capital. Newly “incentivised” managers, free from inhibitions, feel entitled to earn vast multiples of their employees’ wages. Financial speculators earn billions of dollars, not over a lifetime but in a single year. Such outcomes raise political questions in most societies. In the US they seem to be tolerable. Elsewhere, however, they are less so. Democratic politics, which gives power to the majority, is sure to react against the new concentrations of wealth and income.

 

Many countries will continue to resist the free play of financial capitalism. Others will allow it to operate only in close conjunction with powerful domestic interests. Most countries will look for ways to tame its consequences. All will remain concerned about the possibility for serious instability.

 

Our brave new capitalist world has many similarities to that of the early 1900s. But, in many ways, it has gone far beyond it. It brings exciting opportunities. But it is also largely untested. It is creating new elites. This modern mutation of capitalism has loyal friends and fierce foes. But both can agree that its emergence is among the most significant events or our time.

read more

 


From Strangemaps

 

 

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is a convenient way of measuring and comparing the size of national economies. Annual GDP represents the market value of all goods and services produced within a country in a year. Put differently:

GDP = consumption + investment + government spending + (exports – imports)

Although the economies of countries like China and India are growing at an incredible rate, the US remains the nation with the highest GDP in the world – and by far: US GDP is projected to be $13,22 trillion (or $13.220 billion) in 2007, according to this source. That’s almost as much as the economies of the next four (Japan, Germany, China, UK) combined.

The creator of this map has had the interesting idea to break down that gigantic US GDP into the GDPs of individual states, and compare those to other countries’ GDP. What follows, is this slightly misleading map – misleading, because the economies both of the US states and of the countries they are compared with are not weighted for their respective populations.

Pakistan, for example, has a GDP that’s slightly higher than Israel’s – but Pakistan has a population of about 170 million, while Israel is only 7 million people strong. The US states those economies are compared with (Arkansas and Oregon, respectively) are much closer to each other in population: 2,7 million and 3,4 million.

And yet, wile a per capita GDP might give a good indication of the average wealth of citizens, a ranking of the economies on this map does serve two interesting purposes: it shows the size of US states’ economies relative to each other (California is the biggest, Wyoming the smallest), and it links those sizes with foreign economies (which are therefore also ranked: Mexico’s and Russia’s economies are about equal size, Ireland’s is twice as big as New Zealand’s). Here’s a run-down of the 50 states, plus DC:

  1. California, it is often said, would be the world’s sixth- or seventh-largest economy if it was a separate country. Actually, that would be the eighth, according to this map, as France (with a GDP of $2,15 trillion) is #8 on the aforementioned list.
  2. Texas’ economy is significantly smaller, exactly half of California’s, as its GDP compares to that of Canada (#10, $1,08 trillion).
  3. Florida also does well, with its GDP comparable to Asian tiger South Korea’s (#13 at $786 billion).
  4. Illinois – Mexico (GDP #14 at $741 billion)
  5. New Jersey – Russia (GDP #15 at $733 billion)
  6. Ohio – Australia (GDP #16 at $645 billion)
  7. New York – Brazil (GDP #17 at $621 billion)
  8. Pennsylvania – Netherlands (GDP #18 at $613 billion)
  9. Georgia – Switzerland (GDP #19 at $387 billion)
  10. North Carolina – Sweden (GDP #20 at $371 billion)
  11. Massachusetts – Belgium (GDP #21 at $368 billion)
  12. Washington – Turkey (GDP #22 at $358 billion)
  13. Virginia – Austria (GDP #24 at $309 billion)
  14. Tennessee – Saudi Arabia (GDP #25 at $286 billion)
  15. Missouri – Poland (GDP #26 at $265 billion)
  16. Louisiana – Indonesia (GDP #27 at $264 billion)
  17. Minnesota – Norway (GDP #28 at $262 billion)
  18. Indiana – Denmark (GDP #29 at $256 billion)
  19. Connecticut – Greece (GDP #30 at $222 billion)
  20. Michigan – Argentina (GDP #31 at $210 billion)
  21. Nevada – Ireland (GDP #32 at $203 billion)
  22. Wisconsin – South Africa (GDP #33 at $200 billion)
  23. Arizona – Thailand (GDP #34 at $197 billion)
  24. Colorado – Finland (GDP #35 at $196 billion)
  25. Alabama – Iran (GDP #36 at $195 billion)
  26. Maryland – Hong Kong (#37 at $187 billion GDP)
  27. Kentucky – Portugal (GDP #38 at $177 billion)
  28. Iowa – Venezuela (GDP #39 at $148 billion)
  29. Kansas – Malaysia (GDP #40 at $132 billion)
  30. Arkansas – Pakistan (GDP #41 at $124 billion)
  31. Oregon – Israel (GDP #42 at $122 billion)
  32. South Carolina – Singapore (GDP #43 at $121 billion)
  33. Nebraska – Czech Republic (GDP #44 at $119 billion)
  34. New Mexico – Hungary (GDP #45 at $113 billion)
  35. Mississippi – Chile (GDP #48 at $100 billion)
  36. DC – New Zealand (#49 at $99 billion GDP)
  37. Oklahoma – Philippines (GDP #50 at $98 billion)
  38. West Virginia – Algeria (GDP #51 at $92 billion)
  39. Hawaii – Nigeria (GDP #53 at $83 billion)
  40. Idaho – Ukraine (GDP #54 at $81 billion)
  41. Delaware – Romania (#55 at $79 billion GDP)
  42. Utah – Peru (GDP #56 at $76 billion)
  43. New Hampshire – Bangladesh (GDP #57 at $69 billion)
  44. Maine – Morocco (GDP #59 at $57 billion)
  45. Rhode Island – Vietnam (GDP #61 at $48 billion)
  46. South Dakota – Croatia (GDP #66 at $37 billion)
  47. Montana – Tunisia (GDP #69 at $33 billion)
  48. North Dakota – Ecuador (GDP #70 at $32 billion)
  49. Alaska – Belarus (GDP #73 at $29 billion)
  50. Vermont – Dominican Republic (GDP #81 at $20 billion)
  51. Wyoming – Uzbekistan (GDP #101 at $11 billion)

This map was suggested by Morgan via strangemaps@gmail.com, and can be found here. Please note that the GDP data used for this comparison are not necessarily the same as those used in compiling the original map.

 

 

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