by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The American Enterprise Institute has compiled an interesting set of essays touting the virtues of pursuing local solutions to society’s major challenges.
Some of the contributors assess the merits of local governing itself and suggest that, paradoxically, solving big problems may work better with smaller units of government. Others contend that localism involves the integrity of essential units within society such as families, neighborhoods and other locally approximate communities. Understood this way, the best way to promote local problem-solving in critical areas such as education and health care means empowering these essential units of society regardless of whether a state or local government or another governmental body is administering the relevant policy.Contributors to this volume also draw our attention to the growing importance of cities in our understanding of local solutions, why poverty is best addressed at the local level, and how reinvigorating local solution-making is best for American democracy as a whole.