“A state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.” – Brandeis
The quote above very succinctly sums up a fundamental notion why I am right of center politically. I believe there is no more important conviction then that of our bottom up system of gov’t paired with a system of checks and balances on the power of the federal gov’t.
This is related to why I support Seattle’s right raise the local min wage even though I disagree with the policy and think the impacts will be adverse.
Why? As a nation of state and of local Govt we are the great laboratory of democracy. The federal gov’t should not overstep it’s bounds and dictate what a local minimum wage should be set at. Seattle has the right to raise it’s min wage if they choose. Even though I personally believe in the end it will hurt their economy that jobs will be lost and it will hurt small business. Seattle has the right to self govern.
The fact remains, I can’t say that with certainty that Seattle’s efforts will end in failure. We can only model, predict and forecast the affects on the local economy. There is always a chance I and others who draw the same conclusions are wrong. If the increase does indeed work out in Seattle then other cities/places should be able to freely choose to adopt or not to adopt. If enough places in Washington have success then eventually the state would consider. That incremental change would be a symptom of success. Success breeds success. Failure stops an idea in it’s tracks.
A philosophy where policy is experimented on at the state and local level first, before it is on the national level is the basis for my politics. I believe in the 10th amendment. Federal gov’t responsibilities are outlined by the constitution. This allows for a diverse patchwork of lower government policies and practices. This is the great laboratory of democracy that is the United States. It’s what makes us special. Unfortunately, the tenth amendment has been eroded over time.
Major change and novel experiments should always occur from the bottom up and then in an incremental fashion. I fear the consequences of wholesale change mandated by a powerful federal gov’t. When that occurs as it did with ACA the stakes are incredibly high and failure can be catastrophic. A failure of ACA will cripple the country and kill our recovering economy. This would be the ultimate example of the failings of a powerful federal gov’t dictating policy beyond the scope outlined by the constitution. I support the notion of fixing our healthcare system. I disagree with the federal gov’t mandated ACA.
In summary, conservatives might disagree with this particular policy. But they should support Seattles right to do it. That’s bottom up gov’t. That’s what makes us special.