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Thread: how much power should the states have?

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    Member Rongue has a reputation beyond repute Rongue has a reputation beyond repute Rongue has a reputation beyond repute Rongue has a reputation beyond repute Rongue has a reputation beyond repute Rongue has a reputation beyond repute Rongue has a reputation beyond repute Rongue has a reputation beyond repute Rongue has a reputation beyond repute Rongue has a reputation beyond repute Rongue has a reputation beyond repute Rongue's Avatar
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    Default how much power should the states have?

    Philosophical discussion on what the states should be able to do and not be able to do. Generally and on certain issues.

    Just so we have it ready.....
    "Amendment 10
    The powers not delegated to the United States by the constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to it by the states respectively, or to the people."

    I personally feel that many issues have ignored this amendment and that more power should be given to the states. I feel like the department of education at the very least should give some of it's power to the states. At best the states should be the ones in full control or remake the department of education. Let's face it, the current set up deserves an F-, yes I added a minus. How in gods green earth can the economic powerhouse of the world have an entire federal department dedicated to education and yet have such pitiful results?

    Then we have the department of defense. ( yea I am going there. ) 60% of our budget and yet they feel the need to pass the patriot act and NDAA? 60% and yet we have not gotten into a "real" war in a very long time, the conflicts we got in were called wars, but they were wars of aggression. So 60% of the budget is being misused to fight wars that greatly increase hate for america. This is a fact. Resent wikileaks leak shows anti insurgent manual and in that is creating a situation where the insurgency starts to target it's own people...... This is so utterly immoral I can not begin to describe it in words but that's where my tax dollars go.

    Ok your ideas?
    Last edited by Rongue; 01-07-2012 at 11:06 AM.
    loops....


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    Default Re: how much power should the states have?

    Very, very good questions.... unfortunately I live in canada, and feel as though it's not my right to discuss issues about another persons country. If you become Canadian anytime soon then I would love to discuss our major economic crisis, and our newly created harsh criminal acts.

    I do really like the fact that you're reading inbetween the lines of government policies though; I've spent countless hours researching this type of stuff, and was quit astounded by what I found.

    In my personal opinion, power lies with the people.

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    Default Re: how much power should the states have?

    If newt gingrich became president I would flee to canada faster than you can say "NDAA"!
    Also matty I understand because you don't live here you don't want to say much but if you would like to give me an outsiders view of America I would certainly welcome it.
    loops....


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    Default Re: how much power should the states have?

    Personally, I feel that the states should be able to say "No! You may not use OUR National Guard troops to fight some battle on foreign soil!" The National Guard is roughly equivalent to State Militia. The Federal Government should not force the states to send their own militias to fight in another country, especially those halfway around the world. When there was the big floods going on in Iowa and Missouri in 2010, outside contractors had to be brought in to make temporary levies and such because the national guard and their equipment were already stretched thin by deployment and the shear magnitude of the flooding.

    I do agree that the states should have the say over their educational curriculum, but that would be a double-edged sword. :/ Yes, I'm talking that Creationism business and Sex Ed. Sex Ed. should be mandatory, only it should lean more towards how those parts work and the risk factors involved: pregnancy, STDs/STIs, social stigma... Show them lots of pictures of what Genital Warts looks like, that may scare some of them into a little more caution. As for Creationism, go ahead and teach it, but as an opposing viewpoint to Evolution and in a Philosophy class or something like that.

    And the healthcare stuff, let the states deal with that. The states have enough trouble as it is to get their programs to have a positive effect, they don't have the time or the resources to enforce Federal Standards.

    Sometimes I wonder if it would just not be better to succeed from the Union... That was partially why we fought to get away from British rule: we weren't being listened to, and it took too long to get communications back and forth. Today, we aren't being listened to and the Government insists on doing a bulk of the communication back and forth via postal mail. A government run resource that is soon to go defunct. This is a digital world with almost instantaneous communication. Things have got to give somewhere.
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    Default Re: how much power should the states have?

    Quote Originally Posted by marvel_phoenix View Post
    Personally, I feel that the states should be able to say "No! You may not use OUR National Guard troops to fight some battle on foreign soil!" The National Guard is roughly equivalent to State Militia. The Federal Government should not force the states to send their own militias to fight in another country, especially those halfway around the world.
    I should intervene on this little opinion because it is a bit convoluted, if only because you don't seem to understand how the National Guard works.

    Technically, National Guard troops are federally organized in the first place; they are pretty much reserve forces. The governor can use them within the state during an emergency situation, but National Guard troops don't belong to the state (especially considering who commands them, who's in charge of their discipline, and who gives them weapons).

    Now, there are states that have genuine state militias that are commanded by the governor (and only the governor) and, by law, can't be federally deployed. But only 22 states have such forces.

    Kinda important to understand the difference.

    Quote Originally Posted by marvel_phoenix View Post
    I do agree that the states should have the say over their educational curriculum, but that would be a double-edged sword. :/
    States do have a say in their educational curriculum. In fact, with the exception of maintaining certain federal guidelines, they have the ultimate say in what is done within their schools. Unlike other countries, our schools are highly decentralized; their are some guidelines that the government has in place for schools, but otherwise, states get to decide what is taught within their schools.

    And as you pointed out, giving the states complete and unchecked power over what is being taught to their children can be an issue.
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    Default Re: how much power should the states have?

    Yes, I didn't understand about the National Guard, but when I was talking about education, I had No Child Left Behind in mind. That is smothering the school systems that are actually competant. And Iowa, among other States, had regular standardized testing. It's rediculous to make them take another set of tests, especially when the scores are acceptable to begin with.
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    Default Re: how much power should the states have?

    The main reason the states are unified is to make the United States look superior to everybody else in terms of war. If it wasn't for war, I would agree that the states should be their own sole governing bodies, because the United States is too big for one government to govern. Although, I severely doubt that the United States' intentions are noble when it comes to the affairs of war, I understand why the government stays unified, because if they were separate, they would be a lot more vulnerable.

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    Default Re: how much power should the states have?

    Quote Originally Posted by marvel_phoenix View Post
    Yes, I didn't understand about the National Guard, but when I was talking about education, I had No Child Left Behind in mind. That is smothering the school systems that are actually competant.
    Well, this I can understand. I was being choked by that act until I went to a college prep high school and those standardized tests were put on the back burner. I still had to take them, but the curriculum didn't revolve around them (thank goodness; I could actually learn something versus having to study for 8 months for a test).

    However, this only means that we need to get rid of NCLB, not the entire Department of Education.

    Quote Originally Posted by Volta View Post
    The main reason the states are unified is to make the United States look superior to everybody else in terms of war. If it wasn't for war, I would agree that the states should be their own sole governing bodies, because the United States is too big for one government to govern.
    And...um...what makes you say that? Bare in mind that the United States is not the biggest country in the world, so the idea that we are "too big" for our government to handle doesn't even make sense. Hell, Canada and Russia are federations just like the United States and they are bigger than we are.
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    Default Re: how much power should the states have?

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfgirl90 View Post
    And...um...what makes you say that? Bare in mind that the United States is not the biggest country in the world, so the idea that we are "too big" for our government to handle doesn't even make sense. Hell, Canada and Russia are federations just like the United States and they are bigger than we are.
    We are still pretty big, just because there are other countries that are bigger than us doesn't mean we aren't too big.

    And I'm also speaking in terms of population, not landscape. We outnumber Canada drastically, and Russia by a couple hundred million.

    (As if those countries don't have enough problems themselves o.O)

    But like I said, just because we aren't the biggest doesn't mean we aren't too big. The biggest is probably too big too. But that is irrelevant.

    I personally believe the best way to govern, is as locally as possible. The more power your local governments have, the more opportunities open up for your society. And good local government will encourage people to govern their communities, their workplace, their schools, their households, and themselves better. At least theoretically. Good local government should intend personal accountability.

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    Default Re: how much power should the states have?

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfgirl90 View Post
    And...um...what makes you say that? Bare in mind that the United States is not the biggest country in the world, so the idea that we are "too big" for our government to handle doesn't even make sense. Hell, Canada and Russia are federations just like the United States and they are bigger than we are.
    Populations (millions floored)
    U.S. 307
    California 36
    Texas 24
    Rhode Island 1
    Canada 34
    Russia 141

    Why would you be thinking about land area when it comes to the size of a jurisdiction? Also how are Canada and Russia even good examples of federations? Canada is smaller that California and Putin has to come out defending Russia's parliamentary election results.



    The federal government should only do what it needs to do to keep the states amicable. The constitution lays this out well enough as it is. Elitists want to impose their ideals on others through the government. They can already do this on the state level. The problem? The competent people leave the elitists' state (e.g. California) and go to another one (e.g. Texas). The solution? Elitists want to use the national government to impose their ideals so that you have to flee the damned country entirely. This is what it's about, and what it will always be about.
    Last edited by Wio; 01-11-2012 at 02:18 AM.

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    Default Re: how much power should the states have?

    Quote Originally Posted by Volta View Post
    I personally believe the best way to govern, is as locally as possible. The more power your local governments have, the more opportunities open up for your society. And good local government will encourage people to govern their communities, their workplace, their schools, their households, and themselves better. At least theoretically. Good local government should intend personal accountability.
    Should being the operative word here. Humans are humans. Personal accountability doesn't count for much when the very concept is lost on certain people (our current government is a good example of this).

    I live in a great community; low crime, excellent, nationally rated schools, clean parks and all that jazz. Is there some corruption in the local government? Hell yes. Because some people can be jerks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wio View Post
    Populations (millions floored)
    U.S. 307
    California 36
    Texas 24
    Rhode Island 1
    Canada 34
    Russia 141

    Why would you be thinking about land area when it comes to the size of a jurisdiction?
    *rolls eyes*

    If someone asked you "which country is the biggest" and you said China, you would be wrong as hell. And India isn't the second "biggest" country either. Look up "biggest countries" anywhere and its going to be about land mass, not population (not unless you specify). Hell, saying that California is "bigger" than California is just stupid (just say that it is more populous; gets all the ambiguity out of the way). And I only mentioned the fact that Canada and Russia were federations in order to point out that they have the same government that we do.

    And either way, that still doesn't change what I was asking. The United States is still not the biggest federation in the world (in neither landmass or population), so how are we "too big"? How big is "too big"? Because, as you pointed out, there are states here that are more populous than some entire countries (countries that are bigger than we are). So how are we "too big"?

    And I don't see how our size as any baring on how well our country is run; if only because there is so much crap going on in our country that our size is rather irrelevant.
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    Default Re: how much power should the states have?

    @wolfgirl90 To err is human. Corruption is inevitable. But human beings also have the power to make solutions.

    I live in a pretty big city, so everything is not so hunky dorry here. People are pretty open about how things should be in the world, because they see violence and injustice in their own backyards.

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    Default Re: how much power should the states have?

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfgirl90 View Post
    *rolls eyes*

    If someone asked you "which country is the biggest" and you said China, you would be wrong as hell. And India isn't the second "biggest" country either. Look up "biggest countries" anywhere and its going to be about land mass, not population (not unless you specify). Hell, saying that California is "bigger" than California is just stupid (just say that it is more populous; gets all the ambiguity out of the way). And I only mentioned the fact that Canada and Russia were federations in order to point out that they have the same government that we do.
    Out of context, big has no default meaning, it is completely ambiguous, and it makes no sense to assume it's talking about land, population, volume, mass, etc. In the context of government power, I don't see how you'd think land was the determining factor unless you were trying to misinterpret something.

    And either way, that still doesn't change what I was asking. The United States is still not the biggest federation in the world (in neither landmass or population), so how are we "too big"? How big is "too big"? Because, as you pointed out, there are states here that are more populous than some entire countries (countries that are bigger than we are). So how are we "too big"?
    How is it relevant whether we're the biggest or not? If you fail a class does it really matter if someone did even worse than you? Either you had sufficient points or too few points.

    How big is too big? If I had to give a straight number here and now I'd say 20 million. To elaborate on that, a state/prefecture should be less than 20 million, and a collection state/prefecture may unite under a single nation in order to cooperate more smoothly. However the nation and state serve completely different purposes.

    How are we too big? Well, the answer is that it's not that we're too big as a union of states, but that we're too big to be passing certain laws. When it comes to deciding things like economic policies, social programs, crime, etc, you want policies that are targeted at the people of a state rather than on a national wide level. That way, people can leave a jurisdiction they are not fond of without necessarily leaving the country and having to gain citizenship somewhere else. States can focus on the problems that are highest priority to their region. States can tackles controversial issues at the expense of a minority opinion of a state as opposed to the minority opinion of a nation.

    The only people this bothers is those who want to impose their ideologies on others. It's harder to impose yourself on 50 legislatures instead of 1 central legislature.

    And I don't see how our size as any baring on how well our country is run; if only because there is so much crap going on in our country that our size is rather irrelevant.
    Not all states face the exact same problems. You can have 50 state governments coming up with new laws tailored to solving the the problems of its state, or you can have one central government coming up with one-size-fits all laws that try to tackle every single problem while impeding the states (through supremacy or grants) to solve their own problems.
    Last edited by Wio; 01-12-2012 at 01:33 PM.

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    Default Re: how much power should the states have?

    States should have limited power, otherwise it'd be too easy to turn into something much worse.
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    Default Re: how much power should the states have?

    Quote Originally Posted by Volta View Post
    @wolfgirl90 To err is human. Corruption is inevitable. But human beings also have the power to make solutions.
    Human beings have the power to make solutions, but as you pointed out, corruption is inevitable. Giving almost all of the power to the states and localizing certain laws doesn't guarantee that politicians are going to be faithful to their constituents; only that it will be more personal when they turn their back on people. Of course, this doesn't stop local politicians even now.


    Quote Originally Posted by Wio View Post
    In the context of government power, I don't see how you'd think land was the determining factor unless you were trying to misinterpret something.
    I didn't say that land was a determining factor in anything. Volta said that the United States was "too big for one government to govern". I wanted to know what he meant by that. And I of course assumed land size because if I asked you how big a jurisdiction was and you gave me the population, you didn't answer my question.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wio View Post
    How big is too big? If I had to give a straight number here and now I'd say 20 million. To elaborate on that, a state/prefecture should be less than 20 million, and a collection state/prefecture may unite under a single nation in order to cooperate more smoothly. However the nation and state serve completely different purposes.

    How are we too big? Well, the answer is that it's not that we're too big as a union of states, but that we're too big to be passing certain laws.
    *sigh* While I understood your point (its one I've heard many times; not from you, but from others), you still seem to be missing mine.

    I don't see how population is a factor in how well our country is run. With your 20 million rule, the overall population would remain the same (hell, we would need two new states). Why is the amount of people in a state or how many people the federal government governs a factor in the quality of our laws?

    If each individual state makes its own laws on social programs, economic policies, health care, etc, why does the population of the state matter? I can see how a central government trying to impose laws on states with individual problems and opinions can be an issue. What I don't see (and what you have still failed to explain) is how population is a factor in this (as far as our country is concerned).

    States can be sovereign and yet still cooperate under a central government (that would be a confederation). But what does the population of the state have to do with anything?
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    Default Re: how much power should the states have?

    @wolfgirl90 Politicians are corrupt because we have a society that is constantly encouraging self gain and personal progress. While the fulfilling your desires is important, when we outweigh those desires over the well being of other people, then that is wrong.

    Actually if we held those standards as a society and encouraged selflessness as a whole, we would minimize corruption at some level, whether it be a little or a lot, getting rid of some is better than staying neutral, or God forbid getting worse.

    I kinda feel sad I made such a hopeless statement about now :3


    Regarding the previous argument, the landscape is irrelevant, population is necessary for government. If me and 9 other friends governed Eurasia but there wasn't a single person living there, we'd just be governing a giant land mass. So in essence we wouldn't really be governing anybody, just a big waste of space :/

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    Default Re: how much power should the states have?

    Quote Originally Posted by Volta View Post
    Politicians are corrupt because we have a society that is constantly encouraging self gain and personal progress.
    Spiritual hippie that I am, I am optimistic about certain aspects of humans, that society as a whole can help to positively influence the actions of others. However, I am also quite the realist. Humans are not infallible (in fact, people get in trouble when they think otherwise). People can make mistakes. People can mess up. People can be corrupted. Some is due to societal issues and beliefs and some is due to the simple fact that some people are born with lemon juice in their eyes and a stick up their butt.

    Quote Originally Posted by Volta View Post
    Regarding the previous argument, the landscape is irrelevant, population is necessary for government. If me and 9 other friends governed Eurasia but there wasn't a single person living there, we'd just be governing a giant land mass. So in essence we wouldn't really be governing anybody, just a big waste of space :/
    I'm about to facepalm. You are missing my point. I will go over it again.

    Expecting me to assume that "too big" refers to the population (and nothing else) is pushing things. There are a bunch of things you could have said to make things clearer ("too populous", "the government covers too many people", "population is too big"), but you didn't, hence the confusion.

    And just to push the argument a little further, the overall size of the government can be related to both the population and the size of the land it governs; assuming that just one is relevant to the government is just a tad off. True, you and 9 friends wouldn't be able to govern Eurasia without a population of people to govern. But if there was a population, you and your 9 friends wouldn't be able to govern it by yourselves; its much too big.

    But of course, the definition of size doesn't really concern me nor is it my point. Here's what I want to know. You clarified that you were talking about population. Fantastic. Splendid. Wunderbar. Now, what does the size of the population have to do with anything? As I told Wio, the opinion that the federal government is trying to impose national laws on states with their own problems is something that I understand. But that only means that the government is overstepping its boundaries and should learn (well, re-learn) what its purpose is. The amount of people it governs has nothing to do with this.
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    Default Re: how much power should the states have?

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfgirl90 View Post
    And just to push the argument a little further, the overall size of the government can be related to both the population and the size of the land it governs; assuming that just one is relevant to the government is just a tad off. True, you and 9 friends wouldn't be able to govern Eurasia without a population of people to govern. But if there was a population, you and your 9 friends wouldn't be able to govern it by yourselves; its much too big.
    You're totally missing the point...

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    Default Re: how much power should the states have?

    Quote Originally Posted by Volta View Post
    You're totally missing the point...
    Pardon me, but I acknowledged your point. I even said that it was true. However, since Eurasia does have a population, even if it was 1/20th the amount that it is now, 10 people can't govern it by themselves. The land is too big; people are spread out too far. If you don't have people to govern, that is a problem (your argument). If the population or the land is too big for you to handle, that is also a problem (my argument). Considering only population in the division of government is not going to work. A government can be affected by trying to govern too many people AND/OR from trying to control a lot of land.

    That is why I have been asking you (hell, I'm still asking you) why you think the US is "too big", or rather, what the hell does our population size have anything to do with the issues in our government. Again, I understand Wio's point in regards to how our government is run (with the government imposing national laws on states with different issues), but that only deals with the power and relationship the between the states and the federal government. Population has nothing to do with this.
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    Default Re: how much power should the states have?

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfgirl90 View Post
    Pardon me, but I acknowledged your point. I even said that it was true. However, since Eurasia does have a population, even if it was 1/20th the amount that it is now, 10 people can't govern it by themselves. The land is too big; people are spread out too far. If you don't have people to govern, that is a problem (your argument). If the population or the land is too big for you to handle, that is also a problem (my argument). Considering only population in the division of government is not going to work. A government can be affected by trying to govern too many people AND/OR from trying to control a lot of land.

    That is why I have been asking you (hell, I'm still asking you) why you think the US is "too big", or rather, what the hell does our population size have anything to do with the issues in our government. Again, I understand Wio's point in regards to how our government is run (with the government imposing national laws on states with different issues), but that only deals with the power and relationship the between the states and the federal government. Population has nothing to do with this.
    ...I believe that the federal government is governing too many people, and they need to delegate more power and responsibility to the local government.

    But I cease to see the relevance of this argument anymore. Its just arguing what my meaning and intentions are...

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