The Great State of Northern Virginia

Competitive federalism has many advantages.  Citizens can move to communities that better reflect their preferences for public goods, they can vote with their feet, thereby penalizing poorly performing governments, and they can serve as a salutary example for others by trying out new ideas in governing.   

Yet, in 1789 the United States had 13 states and four million people.  If the number of states had grown as fast as the number of people or if
we in the United States had about the same amount of federalism as do
the contemporary Swiss we would today have about 1000 states.

I think we need more states.  If 1000 sounds extreme why is 50 the magic number?  And why is 50 the magic number when the population is 150 million as when it is 300 million?

James Buchanan (my colleague not the one who was President) once asked, "Who will join me in offering to make a small contribution to the Texas Nationalist Party?  Or to the Nantucket Separatists?"  I side with Jim, in saying sign me up!


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