Sunday, February 11, 2007

Regionalism Fosters Responsibility for Communities and the Environment

New York Times
Published: February 10, 2007

California Split

excerpts ...

SOMETHING interesting is happening in California. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger seems to have grasped the essential truth that no nation - not even the United States - can be managed successfully from the center once it reaches a certain scale. ...

... A recent study by the economists Alberto Alesina of Harvard and Enrico Spolaore of Tufts demonstrates that the bigger the nation, the harder it becomes for the government to meet the needs of its dispersed population. Regions that don't feel well served by the government's distribution of goods and services then have an incentive to take independent action, the economists note.

...writing to Jefferson at a time when the population of the United States was a mere four million, Madison expressed concern that if the nation grew too big, elites at the center would divide and conquer a widely dispersed population, producing "tyranny."

...These days, many nations - including Brazil, Britain, Canada, China, France, Italy and Spain, just to name a few - are devolving power to regions in various ways.

Gar Alperovitz, a professor of political economy at the University of Maryland, College Park, is the author of "America Beyond Capitalism."

Read entire article from title link.


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