Model for Improved Interstate Relations
The preamble to the U.S. Constitution commences with "We the People of the United States, in order to form a more Perfect Union, . . . ." The constitution has provided a more perfect union than the one provided by the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, yet the union is not a perfect one, as evidenced by interstate disputes and the failure of sister states to cooperate fully with each other on regulatory matters and development projects.
Our findings in Chapters 2-10 permit an assessment of the current state of interstate relations, in terms of cooperation and conflict, as a five on a scale of one to ten, with ten indicating a perfect union. This composite rating, of course, masks major differences in the degree of cooperation and conflict among individual states.
The United States federal system is the product of compromises between states and regional blocks of states relative to their retained powers and powers delegated to Congress. Compromises seldom satisfy completely all parties. As one would anticipate, tensions and disputes among states and between states and Congress are prominent features of the system, which are accentuated by the natural tendency of each state to seek to export taxes, protect state industries from outside competition, and attract industrial firms and various categories of purchasers of merchandise.
Furthermore, the modus operandi of most states does not encourage interstate cooperation, coordination, and joint ventures. There is a natural reluctance on the part of states, as semiautonomous entities, to engage in joint ventures, because of the loss of exclusive control that accompanies them.
Global economic competition in the second half of the twentieth century has stimulated interest-group pressure on Congress to exercise more frequently its powers of total and partial preemption of state regulatory authority to lower the cost of production by removing barriers and obstacles to the free flow of commerce among the states. 1 The dramatic increase in the number of preemption statutes since 1965, while promoting interstate commerce, has changed significantly the nature of the federal system by reducing the reserved powers of the states, enlisting states
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Publication information: Book title: Interstate Relations:The Neglected Dimension of Federalism. Contributors: Joseph F. Zimmerman - Author. Publisher: Praeger. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 1996. Page number: 213.
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