What is Federalism’s Future?

As many political scientists point out, the debate regarding federalism still exists today in the form of centralists and decentralists arguing about the size and scope of government.  Those who are centralists favor more national action in regards to solving problems.  Those on the decentralist side of the debate believe in more state/local action in solving problems.

Which direction do you think the United States is headed in terms of federalism and the centralism vs. decentralism debate?  Why do believe your opinion to be true?


11 responses to “What is Federalism’s Future?

  1. Theresa Gergits

    I believe that the United States is headed for favoring the decentralists side. This has been proven with new laws being implemented state by state, such as with gay marriage and cellphone usage while driving. In recent years American citizens have taken a stand by becoming advocates and the state leaders are listening and making changes.

  2. Zeferino Martinez

    I think that the United States is leaning towards decentralism, because of their distrust in the federal government due to events such as the NSA controversy and Benghazi incident. In addition, individual states, such as Colorado and California have been fighting for legalizing marijuana and gay marriage rights, which is not recognized by the federal government. Overall, I believe that federalism will be safe; however, the states will be keep challenging the federal government.

  3. I feel as if the country is heading toward decentralism without a doubt. The reason being that the recent debates about gun control stand out to me, the federal government has passed it off to the states to decide whether or not to make it illegal/legal to have a concealed weapon or not on your person. It’s safe to say that the law has been passed, which I find a good thing because protection is needed by all but can also fall into the wrong hands. Its a touchy subject that has a ton of controversy that clearly shows our country going towards the decentralists.

  4. April Medinger

    Clearly Federalism’s future is in question in the future of the United States governmental system, given the size and amount of power that Washington (the Federal government) has these days. It is clear to me that most people today, along with the Federal government representatives (mainly Democratic), feel that even greater centralism is the direction we should be going. In my opinion, I disagree with this. Having an all powerful Federal government (i.e. centralism) limits the power of the states too much. I believe my opinion to be true, because I feel that it should be up to the people in the local area (our states) to determine most of what happens in our own ‘backyard.’ After all, we are the ones that have to live with the rules we make, so I think that the Federal government should give our states more authority to have more say in our own laws!

  5. The United States has recently (over the last five years) taken on a very centralist form of government and the people are starting to take notice how powerful the Federal government has become. As with most ideals, there is a pendulum swing between centralism and decentralism, and I expect that it will swing back towards decentralism over the next few years. Our country needs the states to continue to fight against the Federal government or else we may have to change our name to simply “America” since the states no longer have any power.

  6. We are definitely headed more to a “Centralist” direction. Democrats are “usually” more Centralist, they believe in bigger Federal government because they believe that the Federal government should help the average citizen. Republicans, on the other hand, are “usually” more Decentralist, they believe that the average citizen should take care of themselves and if they are unable to, then the State and local governments should step in, not the Feds.

    I personally believe that the State and local governments should take care of people should they need it, with subsidies from the Federal government, but not solely from the Federal government.

  7. Kyle Lieberman

    Without a doubt I believe the United States as a whole is heading towards a decentralized system of Government. The biggest thing that helps me argue my point to be true is the debate on gun control and whether certain weapons should be legal in certain states and whether you can carry or not carry your weapon on you has always been left up to the state to decide. Obama has always been trying to limit the amount of ammo you can buy or banning assault rifles but I don’t think it is up to him to decide, I feel the state knows it’s people better and should be the judge of what they think is best.

  8. I believe that the United States is headed toward a centralized system of government, with: “Obamacare” coming soon, a nation debate about firearms occurring everyday, and the future of Social Security and how it relates to the federal deficit, these 3 big programs/topics that show our government is becoming more centralized. As more national programs get passed I see the government leaning more toward a centralized system. Having a “Big” Government is not a bad things, a country can become more unified having one.

  9. I believe that the United States is headed more towards a decentralized form of government because over the years it appears that states are playing a more important role. Today, many important decisions are left up to the states to decide, such as gay rights and equality for marriage. I believe that this is the correct direction for our country to be heading as I believe that the federal government should not have total control, as a way to be more democratic.

  10. It would seem to me that the United States is shifting back and forth between being on a centralized route and decentralized route, but neither of the two really gaining any ground over the other. The United states is in a constant struggle to maintain a balance of power between the states and federal government. It would seem that we are headed down the decentralized route because the states are making big decisions on gay-rights, gun control, state taxes, abortions, etc, but at the same time the federal government is constantly making huge decisions on foreign affairs, federal taxes, what sectors need funding, healthcare and more. At times it might seem that the states are gaining an edge and at times it might seem the federal government is gaining ground, but in reality i don’t think we are moving in either direction but instead maintaining a balance of power between the two.

  11. I believe the United States is headed on a path to centralization. With current national events such as terrorism,health care reform and gun control, the US government has expanded its role within individual states. On a national level, I see everyday in the news debates over assault rifles, a woman’s right to choose and whether or not marriage should be between a man and a woman or between those of the same sex. These are all issues that should be decided at the individual state level. More decentralization would cause states to compete against each other in the national economy and would allow their social policy to match what the citizens in their states believe.

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