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The Divided States of America

Why Federalism Doesn't Work

Donald F. Kettl

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Princeton University Press img Link Publisher

Sozialwissenschaften, Recht, Wirtschaft / Politikwissenschaft

Beschreibung

Why federalism is pulling America apart—and how the system can be reformed

Federalism was James Madison's great invention. An innovative system of power sharing that balanced national and state interests, federalism was the pragmatic compromise that brought the colonies together to form the United States. Yet, even beyond the question of slavery, inequality was built into the system because federalism by its very nature meant that many aspects of an American's life depended on where they lived. Over time, these inequalities have created vast divisions between the states and made federalism fundamentally unstable. In The Divided States of America, Donald Kettl chronicles the history of a political system that once united the nation—and now threatens to break it apart.

Exploring the full sweep of federalism from the founding to today, Kettl focuses on pivotal moments when power has shifted between state and national governments—from the violent rebalancing of the Civil War, when the nation almost split in two, to the era of civil rights a century later, when there was apparent agreement that inequality was a threat to liberty and the federal government should set policies for states to enact. Despite this consensus, inequality between states has only deepened since that moment. From health care and infrastructure to education and the environment, the quality of public services is ever more uneven. Having revealed the shortcomings of Madison's marvel, Kettl points to possible solutions in the writings of another founder: Alexander Hamilton.

Making an urgent case for reforming federalism, The Divided States of America shows why we must—and how we can—address the crisis of American inequality.

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Deficit spending, The Big Issue, Currency, Decentralization, Federalism in the United States, Inflation, Bureaucracy, Gerrymandering, Emmanuel Saez, American Dream, Americans, Distrust, National identity, Air pollution, Pollution, Racism, Misconduct, United States Census Bureau, National Policy, Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive, Environmental policy, Amendment, Economic inequality, Articles of Confederation, Neo-Nazism, Percentage, Waiver, Payment, Disaster, World War II, Social inequality, Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Government debt, Infant mortality, Impasse, Pollutant, Doctrine, Border, Warfare, Public policy, Recession, Policy, McCulloch v. Maryland, Poliomyelitis, Politics, Three-Fifths Compromise, The New York Times, Unemployment, Stan Greenberg, Politics of the United States, Total cost, Slum, Great Society, Poverty, Separation of powers, Criticism, Slavery, Immorality, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Hostility, Infrastructure, Market failure, Income, Federal government of the United States, Give me liberty, or give me death!, State government, Vomiting, Political machine, Desegregation, Government, Income inequality in the United States, Minority rights, Political faction, Rates (tax), Chemical warfare, War on Poverty, American Community Survey, Redistricting, Tax, Institution, Medicaid, Minority group, Legalization, United States, Current population survey (US), Nuisance, Sewage, Nausea, State of emergency, Uncertainty, The Public Interest, Health insurance, Addiction, Finding, Irony, Anti-Federalism, Racial segregation, Negotiation, Smallpox, Aphorism