The US is made up of states and it is very important for each of the states to be strong because if every state is strong than the US as a whole will be strong. If the states are mostly weak then combining a bunch of weak states will not make them strong.
I think that it is really important for states to be strong. I think that when states are strong, then the country as a whole is stronger. There is no benefit to state being weak and not being able to take care of itself. When that happens, the whole nation is burdened by it.
I do agree States should have more power and be strong. I look at Colorado and Washington rejecting the failure that is the War on Drugs and allowing pot to be sold legally. I think Washington D.C is out of touch with what people want and they would rather go to the highest bidder.
My only concern is if States become too powerful and allow hate and discrimination to occur. Yes, there has to be some regulation but if the people vote on measures and they pass I see no reason why the States can't ignore federal law and implement their own rules.
Yes, I believe that it is important for states to be strong, because the federal government would overwhelm the states if they don't. There is a great deal of government regulation from the federal level. States have to hang on to their own interests and agendas, of they will be micromanaged from Washington DC.
There are several areas a state should strive to be strong in, and the first that comes to mind is probably economics. A strong state economically can provide jobs for its citizens, nice roads to drive on, and amenities. Having a light tax burden and a large income is a great thing.