Traditionally, we take a nationalist view of our economy. Our politics and economics are wedded in the political economy of the nation state and the nationalist economic policies. This “nationalist paradigm” is, however, showing signs of fatigue: The role of the nation state is diminishing as the economy globalizes; our national accounting systems are less effective, technology forces change; trading blocs are emerging; there is less control of exchange rates; regional economies are restructuring; and competitive environments are changing. This book poses that political jurisdictions are not economies but polities, and explores the complex and important economic implications of this thesis. In reality, metropolitan-centered economic regions are the basic economic units and the building blocks of the U.S. economy. The linked, interdependent system of local economic regions form the U.S. Common Market, which in turn thrives within a global context of mutuality and interdependence. William R. Barnes and Larry C. Ledebur's paradigm shift from the “nation as the economy” to the “national system of local economic regions” changes the framework in which we think about governance and policy and puts this book at the forefront of U.S. economic thought.

Intergovernmental Roles in Economic Policy Making

Intergovernmental roles in economic policy making

Two noncongruent federalisms—one political, the other economic—provide a difficult framework for making good policy. The greater the mismatch, the less facilitative is the framework and the more difficult it is to establish effective governance and good policy. One appeal of the nationalist paradigm is that its simple equating of state and economy avoids this sense of mismatch.

The lens through which the economy and the political economy are viewed fundamentally shapes economic policy and governance. After all, it is the reality that is defined through this lens that influences the allocation of policy roles, the search for appropriate governance mechanisms, and the choice of solutions. A good lens leads to appropriate questions and the possibility ...

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