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НазваAmerican Federalism in 1990s (реферат)
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РозділІноземна мова, реферати англійською, німецькою
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American Federalism in 1990s.

 

While it would be an overstatement to suggest that the average American

has a clear concept of meaning of federalism in 1994, there is some

evidence than issues, involving locus of governmental power are

important to many. For example, polling organizations frequently ask

citizens - which level of government most enjoys their trust and

confidence. The results consistently indicate, that people trust their

local governments most and their national government least. The states

drift along in the middle. So, most Americans view local government the

most favorably.

 

However, as is the case in most areas of our political life, attitudes

change significantly when citizens are faced with specific issues. Even

though Americans appear to be committed to federalism in the abstract,

they always seem to have lengthy list of problems which they want the

federal government because state and local governments have failed to

resolve them, or a list of services which are perceived as poorly

provided or not provided at all. It is common for individuals and groups

to respond to such perceptions by demanding that the national government

create new standards or mandates or provide direct or indirect

expenditures of money. Sometimes, they seek both.

 

While it is traditional to expect demands for increased national

government activity from more liberal, so-called «big government»,

elements in American society, conservatives, who see themselves as a

defenders of state’s rights and local self-government also may jump on

the bandwagon and demand national action. Thus it is quite unsurprising

that recently liberal elements in American society have sought national

legislation controlling access to firearms, as reflected in

recently-adopted Brady Bill, which requires dealers to run checks on

purchasers. On the other hand, it seems unusual, from a federalism

perspective, that conservative elements have sought national government

action to eliminate or restrict access to abortions or to permit the

introduction of prayers in the public schools.

 

Perhaps the best recent example of such a demand for national action

may be found in public safety area. There is a general perception, that

high levels of criminal activity made the persons and property of the

average citizen in this country unsafe. In general, however, the

definition and control of criminal behavior has historically been a

state and local responsibility. Our national officials sense that there

is a demand for them to do something in response to state and local

failures. The result is anti-crime legislation at the national level

which has been proposed by the President and which is largely supported

by members of Congress. While many of us doubt the effectiveness of the

specific legislation, few people have seriously objected to this

activity as destructive of basic fabric of our federal system.

 

The result is an inconsistent and often confusing approach to solving

governmental problems in a federalist concept. In terms of practical

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