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JLeslie's avatar

What works well in one state in the US that does not in another?

Asked by JLeslie (59537points) April 18th, 2012

I’m referring to policies, programs, mandates, that sort of thing. What made me think of asking the question was another Q pointing out how Romney was for Romneycare but not for Obamacare. Romney says it is good for Massachusettes, but not for every state. So, I was wondering, where has this sort of thinking proven to be true? Don’t limit this to just healthcare; think education, labor protections, anything you can think of. I’m looking for examples where a program worked amazingly well in one state, and then when brought to another it failed; did not get the desired result.

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33 Answers

Blackberry's avatar

I don’t know so I’m following, but the reasons some things work in different places is because the people want different things. There is a different ideology amongst the majority in Texas than in Oregon

bkcunningham's avatar

The first thing that came to my mind was hospitality taxes. They work well to garner income in states that are tourist destinations; but not so for states that aren’t vacation hot spots. I know it isn’t exactly what you are looking for @JLeslie, but I think @Blackberry is right. It is difficult to live in a country as large as the US with a constitutional republic and have a one size fits all program or policy.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Come on over to New York state. There is nothing that works in all areas of this state.

JLeslie's avatar

@bkcunningham I am not saying it should be one size fits all, just interested in examples. The tourist tax is an interesting example, perfectly valid for the question at hand.

@Adirondackwannabe Care to share some examples?

bkcunningham's avatar

Ten years ago, imposing a Right to Work law in Rhode Island would have brought on riots. Today, it is being sought by many groups and considered by residents.

JLeslie's avatar

@bkcunningham The riots, or initial rejection of a law or program is not really what I was looking for. What the people think they want, can sometimes have nothing to do with a program actually working well or not.

bkcunningham's avatar

Can I turn it around on you, @JLeslie, and ask you for an example? I really like your question. It got my mind thinking this morning.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Labor regulations, minimum wage hikes, room taxes, environmental regulations, you can pretty much pick anything. What works in New York City isn’t going to work in Chenango county. A good example, the NYC politicians were pushing to have agricultural workers covered by factory worker’s rules. 8 hour shifts, 40 hour weeks, etc. You work in ag you don’t set the hours. Mother nature does that. They are also pushing to hike the minimum wage. Ok, it’s low for NYC, but not for some areas of upstate. Room taxes are OK in NYC. But a ripoff for Cooperstown and Lake Placid. Essex and Otsego counties are a giant leech on the revenue Cooperstown and Lake Placid generate.

bkcunningham's avatar

Coastal regulations wouldn’t work well in states without coasts. My husband just switched the television to the Weather Channel and I thought of that one. There could be many examples along this line. Hurricane warning regulations would be another example. Earthquake building codes wouldn’t work in areas not known for earthquakes.

JLeslie's avatar

@bkcunningham As I think about the question more, I guess I am specifically looking for failed programs. Programs that worked in one state and not in another after giving it a try. I couldn’t think of specific examples, that is why I asked the question. Maybe one will come to me as more people answer.

JLeslie's avatar

@bkcunningham Something like coastal programs doesn’t count to me. If there was a federal program it would be for the coasts. Same with earthquake codes, they would be rules for areas of the US that have earthquake risk even if it was a federal program.

linguaphile's avatar

Standardized tests.

Often tests written in one state do not work in another. The word choices, language use, use of prior knowledge, cultural differences and even geographical awareness makes the test biased.

An example… on a standardized test, I saw a short story about snow that required prior knowledge of snow to apply to the story to be able to answer the A,B,C,D questions. Where was the test? In Tucson.

JLeslie's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe The ag example seems like it was a lack of understanding of ag. It was trying to use labor rules across industries. But, ag rules in one state might be able to be used in all states? What do you think?

JLeslie's avatar

@linguaphile If it is test requiring comprehension of the passage just read, I don’t see why it would matter. If the test required the students to know information not in the ssay, then it was a bad test, but not because of the subject matter.

As far as the language. I like to think our students can go anywhere in the US and pass a test in standard English.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@JLeslie I’d have to think that over. Ag is pretty unstandard across the different types and even different sized operations.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Public display of Bible quotes. They seem to be fine and well accepted it the South -coincidentally the states with the lowest math and science scores in the country, excluding Hawaii. But up here, they just look silly. People who have them displayed on their front lawns are thought to be a little “off” and are usually given a wide berth.

linguaphile's avatar

@JLeslie There’s a huge ‘science’ of test design to make tests fair, impartial and unbiased.

Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s realistic—humans are just too diverse. Borg us, and tests will be perfect. :D

wundayatta's avatar

How about gun control legislation. In New York City or Philadelphia, people love it. In Arizona, they hate it. In Arizona, there are rattle snakes to kill every other footstep (or so one would believe based on their stories). In Arizona, there are illegal immigrants clambering through the desert, just waiting for the chance to rob you blind. Or so they make it sound.

Of course, NYC and Philly are not their respective states, and the rest of the state has something to say about gun control legislation as well. But we say that we don’t want guns in the hands of criminals. We don’t want guns, period. We know they kill a lot of people; mostly their owners. We know you can’t have a gun accident if you don’t have a gun. So by eliminating guns, you’d eliminate all gun accidents. Not that gun control legislation eliminates all guns, but it might make a dent in the number that are around.

JLeslie's avatar

@linguaphile When it comes to language and basics in education for our children I am borg oriented for core subjects and skills. Not on other things, but education I do lean that way.

JLeslie's avatar

@wundayatta What I wonder with the gun example is if there was a federal law that allowed for people to attain a gun, just more stringent approval process, would it be ok for every state? I am completely fine with people owning and carrying a gun in the wilds of Alaska in case a bear attacks, or someone in MI going deer hunting. I don’t know the NYC law, but my guess is people who live there and go upstate to hunt are able to attain firearms for hunting. I know New Yorkers can even buy handguns. I don’t think the US will go the direction of outlawing guns, but reasonable gun laws seem to me they would work for every municipality.

Edit: But, what I do like about communities being able to make their own laws is if a city wanted to outlaw guns, they could try it.

wundayatta's avatar

@JLeslie The NRA opposes any kind of restriction on gun ownership. They think that it’s fine to own assault weapons. I don’t even know if they oppose howitzers or tanks or other items used pretty much by the armed services. I suspect they would approve of a personal arms race and God knows. Maybe they think personal nukes are just fine. It seems like they have no limits, but I’m sure some gun lover will set me straight.

JLeslie's avatar

@wundayatta Yeah, I know. I think they are off the deep end too.

bkcunningham's avatar

There are federal statutes pertaining to firearms.

mowens's avatar

This isnt really a policy… but every once and a while someone in the west coast brings up that they are running out of fresh water.. they want to take water from the great lakes and move it out there.

To this I say to you west coast people… “No.” We have to put up with the cold weather, we get to keep our water. You are the ones that moved to a desert.

JLeslie's avatar

@mowens Do you think if there were centralized or federal laws that it would be likely the north would be forced to share their water? What about the fed possibly better restricting growth in areas that have water limitations?

CWOTUS's avatar

Actually, @mowens touched on a huge issue.

“Water rights” are very different in Eastern vs. Western states. In the East, we typically have “riparian rights” to bodies of water (including flowing water) that we live on. That is, you own “down to the water line” and you have general rights to use whatever water is available. In the West, which generally has less water available, water rights are specifically owned by people who may be upstream or downstream from a nearby resident.

If you’re a new landowner in the West without deeded water rights you may not be able to use the water you live on. In fact, you can be sued for taking any water if you don’t have a specific right to it.

JLeslie's avatar

@CWOTUS In the desert or very dry climate there is not much water around to be taking from. I think @mowens might be alluding to wanting to take from the great lakes, or other large bodies of water very north in other states. You seem to be talking about water rights that might be within a specific county or state.

JLeslie's avatar

@bkcunningham There are a lot of federal laws for many things, and then additional laws in states that are either stricter or help get around the federal law it seems.

mowens's avatar

@JLeslie Correct. It’s my water. You westies cant have it!!!! If you want fresh water live where it gets cold like a normal person!!!

Michigan really is a beatiful state… no one gives it credit.

mowens's avatar

Please note I live in Ohio, and I like Michigan. Ohio isn’t much for scenery.

JLeslie's avatar

@mowens My MI friends all feel as strongly as you on that topic.

Jaxk's avatar

What you’re arguing is local vs central control. The uniform building code. is a national code (not a law) that most communities adopt with local alterations. Slope of the roof, height of the building, stuff like that. Local control will enable rules that are more applicable to the local community. Taxes are a good example of differing rules. State sales taxes, state income taxes, property taxes, are all configured to the local economy. What works in California (or more accurately what doesn’t work), may not work in other states with differing economies.

Minimum wage requirements in NY may have little applicability in Nebraska. Water rights are another good example but anything that may be plentiful in one area but scarce in another would be better regulated locally.

I would agree that Michigan is a beautiful state. Unfortunately their economy became too closely linked with the auto industry and has suffered as a result. Too bad there’s a lot more to Michigan than autos.

JLeslie's avatar

@Jaxk Pretty much I am arguing that but, I was looking for examples say of welfare programs that worked will in Utah, reduced welfare depency maybe, put more people in the work force, then when tried in Alabama and Connectcut failed miserably (all made up completely in my head). Another might be trying a program to reduce teenage pregnancy in one state, and then when tried in others results were different. How about I think they have started trying to pay kids to do well in school, I wonder if that would work everywhere?

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