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View Diary: What a ScAlito Court Would Mean to Me (219 comments)

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  •  Game theory (none)
    Tells us that every state wants no race at all, yet every state will compete. Democracy has nothing to do with it -- if each state were a monarchy that had to compete withits neighbors, the results occur.

    I've got blisters on my fingers!

    by Elwood Dowd on Tue Nov 08, 2005 at 06:58:23 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Actually, game theory (none)
      doesn't "tell us that every state wants no race at all." Game theory couldn't possibly know the will of the voters of a given state--it is a theory, one of whose variants postulatest that, in a situation in which neither party would benefit from a given outcome, there is often an incentive for both parties nevertheless to seek that outcome. It also doesn't apply easily in situations where multiple (in the case of States, millions) of decisionmakers have input, and in which the interests are infinitely complicated by other related interests.

      In a democracy, however, different States can--and do--value different policies differently and act accordingly. If this were not so, then every EU country would have the same tax rates, and Canada and the U.S. would have the same corporate and environmental regulations. They don't, because different societies are willing to accept greater amounts of regulation, and to forego additional revenue, because they have different orders of preferences.

      Your simplistic view of game theory doesn't accommodate these different orders of preference (although other variants do, with mixed success, and no real practical application).

      But all of this is ancillary to much of the federalism debate, which concerns social regulation and criminal law. If different States want to enact different laws regulating, say, violence against women (the SC's Morrison case) or handgun possession near schools (Lopez), then wouldn't a more responsive, participatory system of government allow these decisions to be made at the State or local level, rather than by a centralized Congress, in which a majority of the States can override the will of a minority?

      Remember, the Commerce Clause interpretation that would strike down VAWA also struck down California's medical marijuana laws.

      State's rights are not a bad thing: those who are unhappy with their State's policies can leave far more easily than someone who is unhappy with national policy.

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