On political competition
Tyler had a interesting post yesterday about how increasing political competition via increasing the number of political parties is unlikely to bring about the same kind of improvements that increasing competition in the economic realm does.
I think he is right on the mark here.
However, there is another important dimension to political competition; viz polities compete with each other.
In the US, States implicitly are competing against each other for residents, businesses, jobs, etc.
In fact, if there is one thing Mark Crain taught me, it is that the States are hothouses of political innovations that often catch on and diffuse across the country.
Having our political system less centralized would allow inter-state competition to produce potential innovations in more spheres of policy.
In a way, devolving more functions of governance to the states increases competition over those functions in a way that is at least somewhat analogous to increasing competition in the economic realm.