Federalism: Where Do You Stand?

Federalism is the sharing and distribution of power and resources between the federal government and the states.  You can also add “…and the local governments” when you discuss the separation of powers between the levels of government.  For the purposes of this discussion, let’s examine two different views.  The first view, the decentralist view contends that the Constitution is a compact among the sovereign states which gave the central government a limited framework to work from.  Those who oppose such a framework would be centralists.  Centralists see the Constitution as the supreme law of the land and that the states are not the representative of the people.  Centralists claim that the representative of the people is the national government.

Where do you stand on the idea of federalism?


9 responses to “Federalism: Where Do You Stand?

  1. I think there needs to be a balance of both federal and state power. I guess i would be more for the Marble Cake or Cooperative federalism. The powers of the state and federal government are intertwined and you don’t really recognize the levels of government at work.

  2. I feel that I am for the Marble Cake/ Cooperative federalism as well. I feel that there needs to be some sort of both Federal gov’t and the State powers. In class we used a example where certain plow trucks don’t plow snow, that’s because they are working with the Federal gov’t as opposed to the State/Local gov’t. One thing I have to say about this that can apply to the entire spectrum is, does it really who does it? It just needs to get done.

  3. Laura Pasciak

    I think I’d have to go with the Dual form of Federalism. I think it is important that each of the levels knows where their boundaries are with their authority. Setting limits helps keep one level of government from gaining too much power. Also just because they are separate doesn’t mean they don’t work well side by side. That being said dual also has a good mix of centralist and decentralist ideals.

  4. Maria Vilarete

    I think Madison’s perspective of having both centralist and decentralist ideologies makes the perfect combination for a political framework. The dual form of federalism captures that framework and is able to see both sides of the scale. In a dual the federal and state government have their own powers and authority, so they aren’t getting in each others way but they are still able to keep each other in check if necessary.

  5. Peter Wisniewski

    I think that Cooperative federalism would be the best choice. As powerful as the federal government is, it could have a tough time taking care of smaller areas without the states or local levels pitching in. Likewise, state and local levels really couldn’t manage federal problems if the federal government’s power was too limited. This would likely lead to the failures the Articles of Confederation suffered from.

  6. I think that there needs to be a balance between the federal government and states. I think own type of government shouldn’t be in charge of everything. So in my opinion, the marble cake is the best type of federalism, because it gives both the federal and state responsibilities on particular issues.

  7. I agree with what Caitlin G said “one type of government shouldn’t be in charge of everything”. Too much power in the hands of one can be quite disastrous. I’m not really sure where I stand. I like a little bit of each. Like Dual, each government should have their own powers. I favor the Cooperative’s idea of helping, etc. I kind of “have my feet in different sides”.

  8. I believe that Marble Cake federalism seems to be where I would stand regarding federalism. I think that is important to involve both the federal government and state government. This would mean that the ideas of both centralists and decentralists would work together to produce the best results.

  9. Morgan Galvin

    Balance is key when talking about federal and state governments. Federal government should be a general law of the United states but state law is a way to provide leniency in federal laws which can be good but also bad. In my opinion state governments are more representative of the people than the federal government and since this is the land “for the people, by the people” state and local governments should be allowed to create laws that may go “against” federal laws.

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