Who should have more power? The States or the Federal Government?

Posted by: bfochtman14

The United States has been moving further from federalism ever since the Constitution was ratified. Many today believe that the U.S. would be better off to forget about federalism and to give the federal government all the power. But others believe we should be returning many powers back to the State governments. What do you think the United States would be better off doing?

28 Total Votes

Keep the States and give them more power!

18 votes

I think the United States is fine the way it is now.

7 votes

Get rid of the States and give the Federal Government all the power!

3 votes
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(Maximum 900 words)
Seido says2014-07-16T17:56:52.4981440-05:00
The fed should have a great deal of power, but the states should have a lot of power as well.
ChosenWolff says2014-07-16T18:05:22.0740198-05:00
I slowly feel state identity slipping. I don't want our different cultures, foods, festivals, traditions, people, ect., to all become one carbon copy
debate_power says2014-07-16T18:05:44.1168198-05:00
The Federal Government should always have a big power advantage over the States. Machiavelli agrees.
Seido says2014-07-16T18:06:24.4740198-05:00
Giving the federal government more power wouldn't get rid of our cultural identities, Chosen. It would give them more jurisdiction legally, but our cultures will remain as they are.
debate_power says2014-07-16T18:08:09.5192960-05:00
Yeah, what I think Seido means is we'll have unity through a strong federal government while keeping our state traditions.
ChosenWolff says2014-07-16T18:09:00.6604456-05:00
I disagree with you. Social issues aare really the dividing line. Federally, a lot of important cultural characteristics have been being taken from the states. Such as Louisiana and my own state, Michigan. It has been hard retaining our Franco German American culture when the USFG starts pushing us to either be a republican or a democrat puppet.
Seido says2014-07-16T18:11:30.7470835-05:00
Let me ask you this. Is the founding of the EU, the UN, or other international bodies harming the cultures of the members of those groups? Has France's culture changed as a result of being part of the EU? What about the US' culture from being a part of the UN and NATO? Our legal policy changes, but our actual culture doesn't much.
debate_power says2014-07-16T18:12:01.4756960-05:00
Well, even if you're right, in this case (say for instance), I ask you this: Which is more important, stability or identity?
debate_power says2014-07-16T18:12:47.1056960-05:00
In all cases, which is better?
ChosenWolff says2014-07-16T18:13:21.7376960-05:00
The EU is as decentralized as possible. To compare the EU constitution to the federal government of America's is silly. The EU can't involve itself in internal affairs of its member countries. IE, we can't legalize gay marriage in Austria through the EU.
debate_power says2014-07-16T18:13:42.5948960-05:00
Btw I directed my question to Wolff.
Seido says2014-07-16T18:15:17.2712960-05:00
I wasn't just talking about the EU, Wolff. And the EU, UN, and other international bodies do in fact have the power to create international laws that directly affect the members of that body. Take the Geneva and Hague conventions for example.
debate_power says2014-07-16T18:15:36.3224868-05:00
@ChosenWolff History has proven that with a decentralized government and a lot of separate states, countries collapse and chaos ensues. Besides, our states are very similar culturally anyway- not like those of Europe.
ChosenWolff says2014-07-16T18:17:40.9940960-05:00
I don't want a decentralized state. I want a strong interconnected economy, but a disconnected policy of having states manage social problems. Unless a social issue is unconstitutional, the states have full authority to determine things for themselves.
debate_power says2014-07-16T18:19:28.8056960-05:00
Sure, let's turn a country that relies on a strong central government into an amalgam of diverse fiefdoms. Machiavelli wouldn't approve of such a monstrous political blunder. Don't know if that's what Wolff's suggesting but that would be about the worst thing one could do to 'Murica.
Seido says2014-07-16T18:21:38.0368248-05:00
I more or less agree that the states should be able to try to solve some issues, but the federal government should have power over them, and should put their hand into important issues that affect the whole country. One such issue would be gay marriage. And debate_power, do all of your beliefs come from Machiavelli?
debate_power says2014-07-16T18:21:41.5156471-05:00
Still sounds bad to me, bro. Still sounds like it would cause too much nationwide chaos for my liking. Don't we want more political efficiency over here?
ChosenWolff says2014-07-16T18:22:04.5569948-05:00
Don't straw man me. I said that social issues are perfectly capable of being handled by the states. Culture has evaporated from about every state in America. It really has. Whatever shread bit we have left is gone. I am for strong federal regulation of the economy, a strong constitution which is held liable to all states, but I will never support congress passing social laws that affect individual states like we have recently.
debate_power says2014-07-16T18:22:50.3276882-05:00
Oh no, I just respect Machiavelli because of his insight, knowledge, and level of perception, Seido.
Seido says2014-07-16T18:23:22.4950944-05:00
Can you please name one law that the federal government has passed recently that has directly affected the culture of a state, and explain how that culture changed? And no, homophobia is not a culture.
debate_power says2014-07-16T18:24:32.3877654-05:00
So, Wolff, if you're so concerned about "culture", and it's already "evaporated", then what do you intend to accomplish by increasing the law-making power of the states?
debate_power says2014-07-16T18:25:07.6903391-05:00
Or autonomy of the states, if that's what you mean.
ChosenWolff says2014-07-16T18:25:32.4904191-05:00
Education is the best example. The USFG passed several common core laws on education that went solely to Texas, although the constitution gives the states the rights to manage the education system
debate_power says2014-07-16T18:26:42.6124191-05:00
What do you mean, "went" solely to Texas? I don't really understand what you're saying.
debate_power says2014-07-16T18:27:20.6764191-05:00
And what's more, how does that benefit your point?
debate_power says2014-07-16T18:27:40.9096191-05:00
I need more information here...
Seido says2014-07-16T18:30:19.3607412-05:00
...How is an education system part of someones' culture? Sorry, but no, Texas doesn't get to decide to teach its kids about Christianity in place of evolution. And in general, you must remember that we no longer live in the 19th century. People can communicate and travel between states faster than ever before, even instantaneously in some cases.Companies now hire Americans from all over the country, and we are in an international playing-field in which we are not 50 different states, but one country. We must have uniformity in order to progress both on a national and international level. That ESPECIALLY applies to things like education, as education is the foundation that we all function on. Our educations help form who we are, and help decide what jobs we can obtain. If we want corporations to be able to hire qualified Americans, we're going to have to have a certain level of uniformity in our education system.
ChosenWolff says2014-07-16T18:31:15.8325828-05:00
He asked for an example. It's not a point, it's an opinion. I am living in one of the few states that hasn't became a carbon copy of the rest. We have the slightest resemblance of a culture left. We are also liberal, and we ussually make somewhat liberal desicions. But I do sympathize with states who feel their culture and traditions are being taken away. It's not about specific examples. It's about looking to the future, and deciding if the federal government really should have a say in how the states manage non-fiscal internal affairs. If a states constitution looks like a carbon copy of the American constitution, then you start to wonder why we even have states. If we're going to be federalized and not unitary in nature, we need to at least live up to our original promises to the states.
debate_power says2014-07-16T18:32:39.9460191-05:00
Isn't the purpose of having states to make it easier for the federal government to manage the country?...
ChosenWolff says2014-07-16T18:32:55.7681046-05:00
I'm talking more along the lines of current issues. If a state wants to be extremely catholic, and the majority of the people are catholic, they are entitled to a catholic state. If a state as a whole doesn't believe "marijuana" is a morally right thing to legalize, then they should be able to make that decision.
ChosenWolff says2014-07-16T18:33:29.2931493-05:00
No debate. If that were true, we would have "administrative" zones like other nations without states.
ChosenWolff says2014-07-16T18:33:49.4799375-05:00
The US constitution guarantees sovereignty to each of its constituent states.
debate_power says2014-07-16T18:33:51.9400191-05:00
I don't see how the cultures are being affected. You've never really said how, Wolff.
debate_power says2014-07-16T18:35:33.7768191-05:00
You can't deny that the central government ultimately has power over the states, Wolff.
ChosenWolff says2014-07-16T18:35:39.7672191-05:00
I don't think you get my point. Almost every decision that affects a body of people affects their culture. I would rather have the 13,000,000 people of Michigan pass a law for our state, then the 300,000,000 people of the other states, who think they know what's best for Michigan.
ChosenWolff says2014-07-16T18:36:14.6644191-05:00
ChosenWolff says2014-07-16T18:37:01.9792191-05:00
The economy is different. The economy has an effect on all states. And our system gives every state a say in the senate, which is good.
debate_power says2014-07-16T18:37:11.2061994-05:00
Maybe I'd be more open to your opinion if you could give me some examples of state culture being affected. Concrete examples.
debate_power says2014-07-16T18:39:01.5137994-05:00
The states certainly don't have the right to decide if they want to secede. They are forced to be part of our country, which is good.
ChosenWolff says2014-07-16T18:39:27.5189994-05:00
Examples aren't the point. It's the reasoning behind what I'm saying. Listen. Any law that is passed by the federal government affects the body of people within it. Every law passed by the State of Minnesota affects the body of people within it. The smaller the body of people affected by laws, the less collateral damage there is.
debate_power says2014-07-16T18:39:55.1777994-05:00
Seems a false sort of sovereignty to me
ChosenWolff says2014-07-16T18:40:02.9621994-05:00
I never said anything about seceding. I said the constitution grants them sovereignty within the US borders.
ChosenWolff says2014-07-16T18:40:19.0769994-05:00
Exactly my point
Seido says2014-07-16T18:41:22.1009994-05:00
No, Wolff, the economy is NOT the only thing that effects all of the states. Gay marriages, drug legalization, education, prison law, and so much more that you seem to classify under "culture" effects the country as a whole. And in regard to the constitution, the federal government has the ability to both tax and pass laws for the general welfare of the American people, so don't bring the constitution up as a reason for certain states to be draconian.
debate_power says2014-07-16T18:42:32.0201994-05:00
He's right- the economy may be important but it's not the only affecting factor.
ChosenWolff says2014-07-16T18:43:05.8097994-05:00
Gay marriage shouldn't be used as an example, as it clearly violates the US constitution. The USFG has been taken to much a role, and the US is starting to feel like one government rather than 50 states forming one government. I am not saying the USFG can't determine social issues. I'm saying, on balance, the majority of decisions should be left to the states. The majority, not all.
debate_power says2014-07-16T18:44:10.0432191-05:00
We're not really making much ground here...
ChosenWolff says2014-07-16T18:44:26.9453994-05:00
This is a on balance claim. Not a one sock fits all "Feds stay outta our business" claim.
debate_power says2014-07-16T18:45:29.1040191-05:00
Well, yeah, that's your opinion.
ChosenWolff says2014-07-16T18:45:36.3029994-05:00
Thjat's because you guys keep straw manning my stance. I made it very clear from the beginning that I wasn't talking about ALL social issues. Just those to trivial or those to irrelevant to constitute the whole of the US people. It's called being a nanny state.
ChosenWolff says2014-07-16T18:46:40.1223929-05:00
Do you think congress should decide every single law for every single state? That's what I'm arguing against. Being a nanny state which mandates reforms such as drugs, porn, music, ect. For the whole.
debate_power says2014-07-16T18:48:25.0408191-05:00
I don't feel like it would affect culture terribly, unless the state has a drug or porn culture. Things that are illegal are illegal for a reason.
debate_power says2014-07-16T18:49:17.9872191-05:00
Besides, compared to states in Europe, for example, our states are not very culturally different from one another.
debate_power says2014-07-16T18:51:29.9008191-05:00
Even by looking at the political geography maps of the United States, you can see how we're much different from Europe.
ChosenWolff says2014-07-16T18:51:40.7272191-05:00
That's the problem. Our states are carbon copies. When they were created, they all had a unique history and culture. Colonized by different empires, settled by different immigrants, and constitutions were written to match that. I want a strong bloc of countries working together for social progress and economic power. Don't confuse that with me wanting a nanny state though.
debate_power says2014-07-16T18:52:31.7704191-05:00
We're the same people. We're culturally blended into an easily recognizable form, which gives us lots of national stability.
debate_power says2014-07-16T18:54:15.0581647-05:00
So, if you value strength and cooperation, why are you so adamant in your defense of the autonomy of states?
ChosenWolff says2014-07-16T18:54:59.7836514-05:00
I don't want to be some carbon culture though. I grew up in my own unique culture. The midwest is 70% Franko- German. Maine has British ancestry. California has its own unique mexican meets Canada culture. We aren't as similar as you think.
debate_power says2014-07-16T18:55:11.9673295-05:00
Sounds like you're for a Utopian system where the states gain complete individuality and somehow strength and stability are assured. Odd.
Seido says2014-07-16T18:55:19.2057759-05:00
Should the USFG decide over every little issue? No, and it doesn't. But it should be deciding on major issues, ranging from drug legalization to gay marriage, to many other issues.
ChosenWolff says2014-07-16T18:57:45.9941277-05:00
Not autonomy. Stop using straw mans. I said, and I quote, a policy where states decide the majority of social issues. Not all. Not independent. But self governing up until the point their decisions affect more than those within their state. That's a good rule to apply. Does Ohio passing this law affect people in Indiana. If it doesn't violate the constitution, and it doesn't effect anyone outside of the state, then the state legislature should be able to make the decision. The USFG doesn't need to nanny states. Just stop them from being self destructive to themselves or others.
debate_power says2014-07-16T18:58:10.1741277-05:00
Yes, of course certain problems are more prominent in some states, but that doesn't mean that the USFG shouldn't have responsibility of wide-ranging, more serious issues like the ones Seido mentioned. I agree that the states should be able to decide what is best for them pertaining to the less serious issues that only affect them.
ChosenWolff says2014-07-16T18:58:28.7068200-05:00
I am 100% for drug legalization, but it isn't something that should be decided on a federal scale.
ChosenWolff says2014-07-16T18:59:13.7219422-05:00
Alright, well it seems we have all half agreed with each other, so that's good enough for me. Good discussion guys.
debate_power says2014-07-16T19:00:34.3172148-05:00
This is using up all of my time. I'm going to have to go and find something else to do. I still am sticking to my opinions. Thanks for the mini-debate.
debate_power says2014-07-16T19:03:46.7687422-05:00
Oh, and I'm sorry for using sham arguments, Wolff. I did indeed "straw man" you quite a bit without really thinking about it.
ChosenWolff says2014-07-16T19:05:16.3322340-05:00
No problem. I would be lying if I said I didn't do it as well
Seido says2014-07-16T19:06:15.6156540-05:00
Lol, yeah, the mini-debate was fun. It's always fun talking with other intellectuals.
SweetTea says2014-07-18T15:57:26.6640562-05:00
Give the states more power? LMAO! Every time there is a crisis, they scream for Uncle Sam to help them! Texas is a prime example. If Perry wants more manpower on the border, he IS the governor -- call-up the TX Guard! As governor, he HAS that power! Instead, he wants the Federal government to take charge! Keep in mind, this is the same group of people who criticize Obama on a daily basis!
MasterDebater0 says2014-08-11T00:31:03.7623933-05:00
The federal government should be able to overrule the states.

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