Happy Friday! It’s time for Federalism in Action’s Top 3 Local weekly blog post. First time stopping by? Every Friday, we find the 3 top stories highlighting local people making local decisions across the nation. We find the best examples of “Federalism in Action,” so you can stay informed.
You’ll find this week’s Top 3 Local stories below, and you can click here to read last week’s highlights. Do you have a story to include in the next edition? Email us at FIA@statebudgetsolutions.org!
FOR FUN: It’s Harvest Time
We often talk about you can see the difference that local makes, but with the harvest time upon us, you can also taste the local difference. Tasting the food grown by local farmers in soil close to home is special, as one food writer explained in a recent New York Times column about the abundance of these “new-crop apples” in October. These are the ones you typically won’t find in a grocery store. To take advantage of this seasonal delicacy, he encourages visiting your local farmer’s market or orchard to try the fresh-picked goodness of local apples. And if you’ve already tried them this fall, you and your taste buds know firsthand the difference that “local” makes.
FOR INSPIRATION: Washington’s Inadequacies Highlight the Beauty of Federalism
The dysfunction of Washington, DC, was on display during the federal government shutdown; however, there is a bit of silver lining to the whole ordeal. As Cato Tax Policy Director Chris Edwards writes, “One advantage of our system of federalism is that budget battles at the national level do not shut down most government services that citizens actually use, such as police, fire, and the schools.” As the federal government has grown in size, it has also ushered in a growing recognition for the value of state and local decision-making.
FOR MOTIVATION: The Federal Government Still Owns More than Half of America’s Land
Americans can breathe a sigh of relief that the recent government shutdown is now “over,” but we should not neglect the lessons learned in the past two weeks. A federal shutdown should not affect state residents in such far-reaching ways as was most apparent in the West. Beyond closing down national parks, the shutdown negatively impacted tourism and private businesses, all vital to local and state economies in the west. In a NW Watchdog piece this week, SBS President Bob Williams lamented, “The federal government, prevented from responding quickly and adequately to problems facing our communities, effectively handcuffs our states. We are forced (to) wait on the federal government for permission just to keep our communities open for business.”
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