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Subject:  Re: Impact of Right Wing Echo Chamber Date:  12/19/2018  2:39 PM
Author:  albaby1 Number:  122975 of 130220

Now the world has changed. The Federal government, after the great depression and World War II became far more active in the average person's life. Taxation is mostly federal, rights are entirely federal, important infrastructure is largely federal, and so on. Town governments and state representatives seem invisible to the common person (who here can name their representative in their *state* legislature?) while the Federal has an overweening presence.

While I certainly agree that the role and influence of the federal government has dramatically increased, the above is clearly wrong.

State government is still incredibly important. State and local government spending was about $2.8 trillion last year, roughly the size of the federal government. There's no similar way to quantify regulation, but massive areas of the law are still under the purview of state legislatures: family law, property law, trusts, estates, torts, contracts, insurance, criminal law. Many (if not most) of your legal rights are state, not federal - things you are entitled to by dint of state statutes or local ordinances, rather than federal rules. Even areas that have become more federal over the years (like environmental law, for example) are still areas in which states are prominent, both in implementing the laws (a lot of federal environmental permitting is delegated to states) and in continuing to regulate beyond the federal backstop.

So we're still in a world where much of our governmental function and most of our laws are done by state government, not the federal government.

Most people don't realize that. I think you're right that most people don't pay much attention to state law and local government. That doesn't mean those things aren't important. People should pay far more attention to their state legislature and city commission than they do.

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