Question 1 Explain how the Constitution creates the framework for the U.S. government and public administration. Please provide examples in your response.
Your response should be at least 75 words in length.
Question 2 Discuss why the American federal system is considered to be more like a marble cake than a layer cake.
Your response should be at least 200 words in length.
Question 3 How much does the nonprofit sector supplement the government’s role in providing social services?
Your response should be at least 200 words in length.
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land. It governs our society and daily activities throughout the nation. Every level of government in the nation has the authority to tax you. Each area of the government has its own function and has to be able to perform those functions and tasks. However, in order to perform those tasks, funding is necessary from the people in an effort to make progress. One of the many areas that foreign governments tend to marvel at regarding our system of government is how taxation is used.
Foreign governments frequently ask how the U.S. form of government can tax and not infringe upon the rights of the people paying those taxes, for example, taking away land, homes, and businesses for the “betterment” of the government. The simple answer is holding an election pertaining to those public administrators holding high ranking offices. Overall, the Electorate controls how public administration works and how federalism works throughout the nation.
A good example of this is Springfield, IL. The capitol which lies within a specific city, is part of a larger county, and has its complete residence in the state of Illinois. This essentially means that each one of these areas and locales has the authority to tax and use that revenue for public administration purposes. Basically, federalism gives the government certain power and authorities between the constituent bodies being represented. Federalism is a great concept and formal approach for the states and the localities because they are able to handle those issues that are closest to the people. States have been given authority to deal with issues closer to the people, but have representation from the counties and locales that assist them with the “administration” aspects in an effort to further deal with the closer community issues that require attention.
Federalism is a good method to use in an effort to distinguish what level needs to become involved concerning projects and development. Local governments and counties should be dealing with projects such as roads and bridges that immediately impact that designated area. On the other hand, state funding may be necessary in order to make those projects happen at the local level. As mentioned in the previous lecture, public administration requires a collaborative effort between the community leaders and public administrators.
On the other hand, there are times when the federal government does have to intervene with the states and the localities. Such a step is called preemption. One of the areas that can be seen as a federal preemption is concerning the use of security identification throughout the nation. These authentication cards have to be issued through the state driver’s licenses branches in order for them to be accepted by the federal government. Based on the federal law, Real ID Act, the states are required to have the ID cards processed to the standards set by the Act and the Secretary of Homeland Security.
Another case where the federal government had preemption was dealing with civil rights during the 1960s. The federal government signed a law requiring that states must uphold fair and equal treatment for all people. This reverts back to the previous discussion where the states and localities know how to deal with the community and the needs of the community. On the other hand, the federal government felt in this instance it was necessary to intervene and create uniformity based on fair and equal treatment of persons within all communities and all the states. The interesting issue to watch is how states and the federal government interact. Much depends on the type of background that public administrators have acquired based on settlement and land acquisition in the early days of forming the United States. Other states have laws that may be different depending on the time when they came into the Union. An agricultural state may not have strict laws regarding use of land, planning and zoning, and the use of land for further development. The complex network of day-to-day actions is an integral process of intergovernmental, interrelationships, and collaboration among governments working within the same system. A combination of political, fiscal, administrative, and developing programs is all interrelated, creating a process whereby revenues need to be shared in an effort to address the needs within the states and communities they represent.
The U.S. Constitution created the foundation necessary for federalism to thrive and capture the effects of intergovernmental relations. These foundations and relations create a multi-layered cake, or better known as a layer cake. This layer cake for government can be deceptive as it is not packaged in a manner that works neatly and orderly. A better pseudonym for the intergovernmental relationship process is called a marble cake. The varying layers of government and interrelationships are working together, collaborating, and intermingling with one another in an effort to accomplish their activities.
Keep in mind, as we continue to evolve as a nation and the global international relationships are incorporated into our daily lives, there will be a movement toward decentralization. This allows another part of the government to offer funds for programs whether partially or completely supported. One of the questions that will remain constant in the upcoming years is whether or not the ability of the political leaders to adapt to such changes will diminish growth or enhance prosperity for all.