Advantages and Disadvantages of Federalism

July 22, 2017 | Author: Mohamed Tayeb SELT | Category: Federalism, Capitalism, Communism, Economic Inequality, Class & Inequality
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Advantages and Disadvantages of Federalism Twenty four of the world's one hundred ninety three countries have a federal political set up. Looking at these countries' political history, it can be said there are both advantages and disadvantages of federalism. Read the following article for an in depth analysis of a federation Federalism is a political system in which the powers are divided between the central government and numerous regional governments. There is a written constitution which formulates this power sharing arrangement between the state and its units. These units referred to as the provincial or regional governments have the power to act independently in certain areas of governance. For example in the USA, the local governments have exclusive powers to issue licenses, provide for public health, conduct .elections and form local governments, look after the intrastate trade, etc Federalism in Today's World At present, Federalism is being followed not only in first world countries like USA, Australia and Canada but also in developing countries like Mexico, India and Brazil. Contemplating a change in the governing set up of the nation, some countries like Sri Lanka and Philippines are intently .scrutinizing the advantages and disadvantages of Federalism Advantages of Federalism Every province has political, social and economic problems peculiar to the region itself. Provincial government representatives live in close proximity to the people and are most of the times from the same community, so that they are in a better position to understand these problems and offer unique solutions for them. For example, traffic congestion in Oahu, Hawaii is a problem that can be best solved by the local government, keeping local factors in mind, rather than by somebody living in New York. Federalism offers representation to different populations. Citizens of various provinces may have different aspirations, ethnicity and follow different cultures. The central government can sometimes overlook these differences and adopt policies which cater to the majority. This is where the regional government steps in. While formulating policies, local needs, tastes and opinions are given due consideration by the state governments. Rights of the minorities are protected too. For example, in states like Arizona where there is a large Hispanic population and therefore, a large number of schools provide bilingual education. State governments have the freedom to adopt policies which may not be followed nationally or by any other state. For example, same sex marriages are not recognized by the federal government of USA but they are given legal status within the states of Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont and Massachusetts. Division of work between the central and the regional governments leads to optimum utilization of resources. The central government can concentrate more on international affairs and defense of the country while the provincial government can cater to the local needs. Federalism has room for


innovation and experimentation. Two local governments can have two different approaches to bring reforms in any area of public domain, be it taxation or education. The comparison of the results of these policies can give a clear idea of which policy is better and thus, can be adopted in the future. Federalism no doubt has many positives vis a vis Communism or Imperialism but still some political scientists often raise questions about .advantages of Federalism Disadvantages of Federalism Sharing of power between the Center and the states includes both advantages and disadvantages of federation. Sometimes there can be overlapping of work and subsequent confusion regarding who is responsible for what. For example, when typhoon Katrina hit Greater New Orleans, USA, in 2005, there was delay in the rescue work as there was confusion between the state governments and the federal government on who is responsible for which disaster management work. This resulted in the loss of many lives. Federal system of government is very expensive as more people are elected to office, both at the state and the center, than necessary. Thus, it is often said that only rich countries can afford it. Too many elected representatives with overlapping roles may also lead to corruption. Federalism leads to unnecessary competition between different regions. There can be a rebellion by a regional government against the national government too. Both scenarios pose a threat to the countries' integrity. Federalism promotes regional inequalities. Natural resources, industries, employment opportunities differ from region to region. Hence earnings and wealth are unevenly distributed. Rich states offer more opportunities and benefits to its citizens than poor states can. Thus, the gap between rich and poor states widens. Federalism can make the state governments selfish and concerned only about their own region's progress. They can formulate policies which might be detrimental to other regions. For example, pollution from a province which is promoting industrialization in a big way can affect another region which depends solely on agriculture and cause crop damage.Federalism does not eliminate poverty. Even in New York, there are poor neighborhoods like Harlem with a majority of black population. The reason for this may be that during policy framing, it is the intellectuals and not the masses who are invited by the local government. These intellectuals may not understand the local needs properly and thus, policies might not yield .good results Thus, it is understandable that there have been both advantages and disadvantages of Federalism in USA. There is a general feeling that the rights of the minorities, like blacks, are compromised in USA. But at the same time, USA now has a democratically elected African American President. Similarly, there have been advantages and disadvantages of federalism in other countries as well. For federalism to be truly successful it should be accompanied by other ideals like Secularism, Democracy and .Liberalism


Communism Vs Capitalism This article is my take on the communism vs capitalism debate. It will talk about the major points of difference between communism and capitalism Communism vs capitalism debate is a battle between two extreme socioeconomic theories. They are theories that represent two inherently opposite ways of thinking. One is extremely individualistic (Capitalism), while the other one (Communism) believes in putting the society before self. The communism vs capitalism clash polarized the world during the cold war. This article explores all dimensions of communism vs capitalism debate and explores the two ideologies while comparing their points of .difference Communism vs Capitalism Comparison Here is a straight comparison between communism and capitalism, which .discusses the pros and cons of both the ideologies Communism vs Capitalism: Ownership of Means of Production The primary point of difference between capitalism and communism is regarding the ownership of 'means of production' or resources in general. Communism shuns private/individual ownership of land or any vital resources. Instead, all the 'means of production' like land and other resources should be owned by the state. By state here, I mean the whole community of people. All land and resources which enable the production of goods and services will be owned by one and all. Everything will be shared! All decisions about production will be made by the whole community by democratic means. There will be equal wages for all. All the .decisions taken will be according to what is good for all


On the other hand, capitalism believes in private ownership of land and means of production. Every man will have to earn his worth. The major share of the profits earned from a business will go to the person who owns the means of production, while the workers who are responsible for running the business will get a small share. Every man will get his wages according to his merit and according to the thinking of the man who owns the means of production. Naturally the people who own the means of production, the capitalists, call the shots when it comes to decision !making This is the major bone of contention between the two ideologies, ownership of means of production! Both are extreme ideas. While communism can kill the idea of individual enterprise, which has led to most of the technological innovations we see today, capitalism has the seeds of exploitation, where too much wealth and therefore power, is .concentrated in the hands of a few people

Communism vs Capitalism: Individual Freedom As I said before, communism and capitalism are two extreme points of view, which have contrasting views about individual freedom. Communism asks one to put the society before the individual, while capitalism puts .individual freedom, before society So, the polarity between two ideologies is 'Individualism vs Social welfare'. Capitalism gives more importance to individual aspirations and appeals to the inherent selfish nature, which is inherent in all human beings. This .inherent selfishness, is a result of the instinct of self preservation Communism appeals to our more saintly side, wherein we think about others before ourselves. It is a noble thought, which goes against the inherent selfish nature of people, though it is appealing to their generous .natures Both again are two extreme points of view, which have their advantages and disadvantages. Some of the greatest advances in human history have happened due to individual creativity and enterprise, which were self serving, though they ultimately benefited the society. Communism can kill that individual creative streak, by making a person do what he is told. In .short, it has the danger of killing creativity and original thinking


Capitalism, on the other hand, feeding selfish desires can create capitalist autocrats who can have control of life and death over thousands of people, .'leading to exploitation. Read more on, 'Pros and Cons of capitalism Communism vs Capitalism: Society Communism advocates a classless, egalitarian society, where all men and women are placed on the same footing. There will be no differences of class, race, religion or even nationality! This way, there will be nothing to fight for. This is nice as an idea, but trying to implement this idea is tough and asking people to give up all the things that make them different, is .unfair! Every person is special and different in his own way Capitalism promotes class distinction. In fact creates the major class distinction of haves and have-nots, the rich and the poor. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer under pure capitalism. The rich class controls the means of production and wields power, thereby imposing their .own class distinction and whims on the society Communism vs Capitalism: Anatomy of Power Communism appeals to the higher ideal of altruism, while capitalism promotes selfishness. Let us consider what will happen to power distribution in both these ideologies! Capitalism naturally concentrates wealth and therefore, power in the hands of the people who own the means of production. So, it creates the rich elite who control wealth, .resources and power. So, naturally they decide the distribution of power In communism, ideally, if all of mankind was of saintly nature, altruistic and selfless, the distribution of power would be equal. All decisions would be made by democratic means and there would be no unjust rules !favoring a few However, that is not the case here, people are inherently selfish and the nature of power is such that it corrupts minds and absolute power corrupts absolutely. We have the example of how communism can concentrate absolute power over a whole nation, in the hands of a single man, in Stalinist Russia! So, both the ideologies can fail and create an unjust !society Ultimately what we need, is a balanced approach, which is a combination of good points in both the ideologies. A mixed economy where the state has control over all the vital resources of a nation, provides welfare for the needy, while also promoting free entrepreneurship! Communism being an :extreme form of socialism, you can read more on

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