American Federalism
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American Federalism


hello in this week’s video I want to talk a little bit about American federalism that is the topic this week and at the end of your reading you will have a critical thinking assignment due this week this is the first of five critical thinking essays that you’ll be submitting to me the semester in the critical thinking assignments you actually write a 200 word essay response to the question that i posted this is a little different than the discussion board assignment in the critical thinking essay assignment you actually write a 200 word essay and submit it directly to meet through the form provided so you’re not submitting it for others look at you’re submitting it directly to me so please make sure you read the instructions for the assignment this week’s question asks whether you think the federal government has taken on too many responsibilities that would be better handled by the states or is it appropriate federal government has taken on certain responsibilities at some background on the question before you answer please make sure you read carefully the chapter as well as the lecture and in the lecture you’ll notice that the that I just divide American federalism into three distinct periods the first period was nation centered vs state centered federalism, the second dual federalism and the third period is the one we’re currently in which is cooperative federalism so please make sure you read through those the critical thinking assignment really is dealing with the third period of American federalism which is a period in which we’ve seen the federal government take on a number of responsibilities that in the past would have been primarily handled at the state level a couple of examples of things the federal government has has done in recent years that used to be handled primarily by the states education. Now education is still a state responsibility but the federal government since the 1960’s has provided a lot of money to the states to better educate their students to improve educational standards and so forth and that money goes to almost every public school in the country now most federal spending but most money for education is state money but the states benefit greatly from the federal money because it does help them to provide a lot of services that they would not be able to provide otherwise now there are some who are critical of this believing that the federal government should not be getting too involved in education since it is always it has always been a state responsibility but again others argue that if the federal government was not providing this money to the states the states would not be able to to provide a lot of the services educational services that they provide to their students another example of something the federal government has taken on in recent years has been healthcare back in the nineteen sixties the federal government established the medicare and medicaid programs Medicaid is health insurance for low-income families and it is a joint federal-state program the federal government provides the money the states actually provide that the benefits there’s also Medicare which is health insurance for for the senior citizens and then more recently there’s the Affordable Care Act which is a federal program that is operated in many states in every state but in some states the states themselves run it which provides health insurance to people who cannot who do not get it through their employer there has been a large political debate about the Affordable Care Act and it may be possibly repealed by congress in coming weeks but right now it still exists all those are examples of where the federal government has taken on a responsibility that in the past would’ve been handled primarily the state level some people believe the federal government has infringed on state rights states’ rights by doing this whereas others argue if the federal government was not helping the states with these activities then the states would not be able to serve their citizens very well in the healthcare example if you look at medicaid medicaid is the health insurance program for low-income families and the federal government provides the money for the program it has actually expanded the program in the last several years in a number of states both Democratic and Republican have expanded their Medicaid programs because they know it helps their citizens stay healthy but again the the criticism that people make of these federal efforts at helping the states is that it’s federal intrusion into state responsibilities so some people argue against it based on on their view of federalism whereas others argue that it’s a positive thing that the federal government is helping the states in these areas so that’s kind of what the question is asking so please if you have any questions about the assignment or about the topics covered in this week’s reading or lecture please let me know so please make sure you’ve done that reading before you answer the critical thinking question thank you

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