PSC 101 EGCC Federalism & Political Activism Discussion


Chapter 3 Discussion

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What are the merits and drawbacks of American federalism? Respond to at least 2 other students’ posts.

The relevant learning objectives for this chapter are:

  • Explain the concept of federalism
    • Discuss the constitutional logic of federalism
    •Discuss the advantages of federalism
    • Explain the disadvantages of federalism

Remember to  incorporate the course readings to form a foundation for your responses. Additionally, you must properly cite the course text  (Krutz, 2020, page number). Consult the Discussion Grading Guidelines for additional details. 

I can’t see my peers post until I submit my post. Please reply by Wednesday so i can send you my peers post.

Reading material below.…

First peer below

I think that the basic idea of Federalism is the way it splits the power between the federal and state levels. The basic idea for this country that the Constitution was founded on is that there was a desire to limit the amount of power a centralized government would have the idea of federalism is an attempt to ensure that. Looking at Figure 3.3 on page 75 of the course text (Krutz 2020) has a good list of the various powers allowed at each level. It does make things like having several forms of money a non-issue since only the federal level can coin money, rather than each state using their own system. Attempting to have a postal service that is controlled by each state rather than the central government would probably be nearly impossible to facilitate across the country. Recent debate has come to the forefront with the state’s reserved power of providing for public health and safety with the pandemic. Many people think the central federal government has overstepped the line into the reserved powers of the state by forcing mandated masking and other requirements throughout the pandemic. It is probably a good thing that the individual states are not allowed to enter into treaties with foreign interests, but there again, it is a fine line because private companies and even state governments will enter into commercial deals or agreements with foreign companies for products or supplies.

Second peer below

Federalism is a system for government to be divided into two autonomous entities and the constitution defines the separation of powers for each to work together, yet independently. States can ratify their own laws, as long as they do not supersede the Constitution.

The Constitution allocates powers between the Federal government and State government. The enumerated powers of the federal government are defined in the Constitution. These specific powers provide uniformity between the federal and state governments. Some delineate the scope of national and state power, while others restrict it. The remaining provisions shape relationships among the states and between the states and the federal government. (Kurtz, 2020, p.74)

Advantages of Federalism: The Constitutions provides for centralized protection for the states by the federal government. This provides the states to be more creative in policy changes, opportunity for stronger political activism.

Disadvantages of Federalism: States compete with each other for business, using lower tax base and less regulations as incentives. This lowers the tax revenue for the state and could put employees in less than favorable conditions. There are also disparities between states in regard to education, unemployment benefits, and state supported aid.