Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Why "state polarization" is a good thing

It's what you probably think it is -- states becoming more "red" or "blue" as a function of, among other variables, the different political views and policy decisions of their respective state governments.  Lots of political commentators decry this increasing trend though, I think it's a great thing.  And apparently The Volokh Conspiracy blogger Ilya Somin believes it's beneficial as well:
 Consider a few well-understood but underestimated advantages:
Competitive federalism reveals information. We can debate the abstract advantages of “red” or “blue,” “American” and “European” social models until the cows come home: there’s no substitute for observing the actual effects in real life.
Competitive federalism satisfies preferences. A thoroughly blue or red United States would leave one half of the country very unhappy. That’s not true under federalism—not when preferences are heterogeneous across states and (relatively) homogeneous within states. As, increasingly, now.
Competitive federalism reveals preferences and reduces ignorance. People move across states lines in response to a ton of factors (climate, jobs, housing costs…)—many of which are policy-dependent. “Foot-voting” is a pretty good political feed-back mechanism: sooner or later, (state) politicians will pay attention….
Personally, I view the increase in polarization as the very early, much-needed first step in the dissolution of the US into a collection of smaller countries...a mass secession sort of thing...but hey, what do I know? I predicted Ryan Leaf would be a better pro quarterback than Peyton Manning...yeah, that worked out pretty well. [ht:]