High Programmer > Blog Archive > I Miss State's Rights
Tuesday, March 16, 2004

I Miss State's Rights

Aren't Republicans supposed to be for small government? So why are they so damn eager to pass more laws restricting local governments? Our president wants to tell states how to handle marriage. Our executive branch is all too eager to enforce federal laws that override state laws. More locally, Wisconsin's legislature wants to take control of minimum wages away for cities. (Courtesy of a party line vote in the Senate with the Republicans voting for). Apparently it's all small government and states rights until one of those local communities actually tries to exerciser those rights, then it's all "we must protect you from yourself!"

The new flap about limiting minimum wages in Wisconsin is entirely because Madison is considering raising the minimum wage within the city. Local laws in Madison are the source of much panicked legislation in Wisconsin. Apparently we're much too liberal to be allowed to govern ourselves. Several years ago Madison enacted some laws restricting storage and possession of handguns. Sure enough, the legislature was quick to pass a law overriding any local limits on guns. These people don't even live here, why are they so keen to interfere with our healthy local governance?

Local government is the most healthy government. I can trivially meet with every single city council member in Madison. I could probably meet my state legislatures with a bit of work. With enough time I could probably mean most of the state legislature and promote my views. My federal representatives are hard to reach, but at the outer limits of my capabilities as an independent citizen. The entirety of the US Congress? Not a hope in hell. If you want to keep government in the hands of citizens and not in the hands of lobbiests you need to support local government. Apparently we've entered some sort of bizzaro world where liberals want to limit big government and conservatives want a big nanny state.

Contact webmaster