State Your Decision

The lack of federal response to the coronavirus outbreak has me thinking about states’ right. Many people think that our country is too big and too different that it just isn’t possible for the federal government to mandate how everything works at the local level.

The real reason is actually embedded in the founding of the United States. States had been given power over lots of decisions because the founders did not want the federal government to become too powerful. This was one of many decisions made in response to being ruled by a monarch.

One example of this is the management of road, even the interstates that run through states. When traveling from state to state, the design of the roads change. The material of the roadbed changes. Even the signs changes.

Green highway signs all look the same, but there are subtle font differences across states. Illinois, which has a vested interested in distinguishing between capital I and small L, uses an L on their highway signs with a slight curve on the bottom to no confuse it with an I. This improved readability does not exist in other states, as the small L does not have a curve.

Jeffrey L Cohen

Jeffrey L Cohen