I always learn something from Lyman Stone’s posts. Great stuff.
I wish the final graph would grapple with the reasons the federal government became its current size, historically and practically. It’s not an accident.
The statement about Texas rankles, because it points to one of those reasons, and of the realities over which all calls to increased localism founders— race. We know exactly the kind of state many sates would be if we let them do more for themselves. I’m talking about the Civil War, which is as good a “never again” event to avoid risking again as any. I’m also talking about recent practice. Whether in criminal defendant rights, education, housing, the ACA you name it — the states of the former Confederacy remain on the forefront of trying to deny equal protection and rights and benefits (or, as the 14th Am. says, the privileges and immunities of citizenship) to minorities.
What would Texas do if able to decide more policies for itself? I’m sure it would provide socialism for white people. It also would refuse to provide public education to the children of undocumented immigrants (even if the children are themselves citizens), creating a permanent underclass of brown people. We know this because they tried to do this until forced to provide those services by the Supreme Court.
Let’s not even talk about my great state, Louisiana — putting aside the practical issue that we are so poorly run that, if not tethered to the union, we would be Haiti.
If we want more accountability for government, great — unicameralism it is. Doing it by increasing the role of states? No thanks.