A Fistful of Federalism, Part I

In thinking and reflecting on Michael Greve’s The Upside-Down Constitution over the past year, I still agree with my initial assessment that Greve’s competitive federalism gives us an enormous understanding of so many fiscal and regulatory problems in our current political practice. I think he convincingly shows why many of the states are broke with little hope of recovery, save a federal bailout. Moreover, it also demonstrates why the broken states continue their current course of irresponsible fiscal policy. What else is there for them to do, channel their inner Coolidge? Not bloody likely.

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Will Indiana Zag from the Common Core?

Indiana has emerged, once again, in the national spotlight of states willing to buck national trends and go it alone for the good of its citizens and future citizens who might take root in its borders. Already a leader in freeing up its tax and labor policies, making it a standout in the Midwest, the Hoosier state halted last week its implementation of the Common Core (CC) education standards. Currently, 45 states have adopted the CC, and it has been championed by leading “reform” minded conservatives like Jeb Bush, Bobby Jindal, and former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels. CC was tied to Obama’s stimulus funds and his “Race to the Top” initiative that promoted charter schools and tied increased education funding to a state’s adoption of the CC. So much for free choice and competitive state policies.

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Kling, Greve, Salam Discuss Fiscal Federalism’s Failure

Arnold Kling, blogger at Liberty Fund's EconLog, posted the following interview with Michael Greve on fiscal federalism and other insights from his upcoming book, The Upside-Down Constitution. Greve's thoughts on this subject can also be read in the three posts he did on fiscal federalism recently. Kling writes: Below is an excerpt from a video conference with Michael Greve, Reihan Salam, and me on the problems with fiscal federalism in practice. The full half-hour video is here. And, yes, I also created a podcast. It is a good discussion, but quite depressing. A naive view of federalism is that it encourages robust competition…

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