Federalism Reborn (2)

Re: Central government focus, perhaps only job should be Defense (which is (by necessity) a good offense demonstrated frequently and used overwhelmingly (if not brutally) when needed.. the only "defense" we have is the 5-10% we invest in intelligence, collecting others’ secrets). i.e. No better friend, no worse enemy will insure we don’t have to fight wars.

I’d like to see the Federal government start to return power to the states, perhaps with an incentive for each states to in-turn return power to 50 geographically-drawn jurisdictions. Most of these jurisdictions will be larger than most of the States in the Founder’s time. And now we have computers and networks to make it easy to replicate whatever it is we can locally find of value of what those millions of non-defense related Federal employees do. No reason why a jurisdiction of 300,000 citizens taxes can’t be completely managed by a few of today’s laptops (and open-source application software shared between jurisdictions), etc.

We don’t need to change the Constitution, just have Congress defund organizations (and return the savings to the states, saying "you’re welcome to do this job or not, it’s up to you" – as well as tell the federal employees "there may be a job with the state and local jurisdictions if they value your skills for needs they have."

Just like big business in the 70s and 80s that found they could get by with 1/10th the headquarters staff giving good IT and networks (and they incented the CxOs by splitting the savings with them of downsizing their empire – saying to their own HQ employees "maybe the divisions can use you, which would be wonderful since you’ll move from being a below-the-line burden to generating an above-the-line return for our company!"). I’ll vote for whatever party delivers a schedule and a plan for getting the Federal government out of all domestic affairs – basically a distributed, reliable, redundant, inventive, competitive, governance infrastructure for the 21st Century (why worry about continuity of government when you have 1,000 mostly autonomous jurisdictions, disciplined by the ability of the citizens to vote not only at the ballot box, but with their feet?).

Perhaps we need to do the same thing boards did in the 80s for the Fortune 1000 companies. Split the savings with the agency owners – even if it means 100 million dollar salaries for the few staff remaining in each agency it’d be cheap at twice the price, given what we’re spending today and getting little in return. Wrt DoD, perhaps we need to do the same.. rather than reward “number of sailors per carrier battle fleet” (because number of admirals is determined by headcount – which creates an incentive to grow staffs), we offer half the savings to those admirals willing to drive from WW2 structures to something closer to today (where cruise ships are “run” by 1/10th – 1/100th a carrier’s TOE, and have a duty cycle exceeding 90% – including restocking and refitting. compared to < 50% for today’s Navy).

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