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Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Post-Pandemic Plans in the U.S. through the Lenses of Federalism

I take it as a basic maxim of federalism that problems infecting the entire federal geography uniformly are best tackled by the federal government, with the involvement of the polities (governments) within the federation being in sync with the federal mandates. Problems that plague some polities while barely leaving a scratch on other polities within the federation are best solved by the individual polities because their situations differ appreciably. The federal government’s role would be more about coordination than setting one size that fits all. Federalism is especially beneficial at the empire-scale, which the U.S.S.R., Russia, India, China, the United States andthe European Union have, because the large geographical size tends to be diverse, or heterogeneous, within, whereas the smaller republics, provinces, or states within tend not to be so large as to have such striking differences. Hence, the cultural differences between Bavaria and Bremen are dwarfed by the differences between Germany and Greece, and the differences between Northern and Southern Illinois are dwarfed by the differences between Illinois and Texas. So it is only natural, I submit, that U.S. and E.U. state governments took the lead in combating the coronavirus pandemic because it was a much more serious problem in some states than others.[1]

1. I don’t feel the need to look smart by using the particular scientific name, covid-19, especially when coronavirus is sufficient for readers to understand which virus to which I am referring. As this is not a scientific writing, but is instead a piece oriented to the general educated reader, using a scientific term not only does not fit the genre, but also is less widely known and thus understood.