Tuesday, November 17, 2009

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.


Unknown said...

This sounds like the less extreme version of Patri Freidman's Seasteading.

Shawn said...

Unfortunate that federalism needs to be proposed and supported.

Anonymous said...

Right on. What the original Americans really had in mind. However, the Federal government isn't going to just hand power over. There has to be an idea of nullification; even, dare i say....secession. No!! He must be racist, he advocates secession. When a central authority is too authoritarian the only way to check real checks can be nullification and the credible threat of secession. Massachusetts threatened 3 times between 1801-1813, and south carolina nullified the tariff of abominations. Unfotunately the mercantilist despot Lincoln wanted to keep his tariff; oh yea, and he wanted ever so bad to free the slaves (nope, actually could have cared less about that). Constitutional framers should have been clearer. BTW---the American Revolution was a secession.

Anonymous said...

And there's this--Escape from New york--tax refugees making there way out of the state. This is the plot that Kurt Russel should have been hired for.