"Absent clarity about how to use decentralization to solve some of America's problems, conservative policymakers often find themselves a bit lost. When progressive legislators offer ideas, conservatives either join the centralizing bandwagon in the name of compassion, or demur and appear cold-hearted. When given the chance to advance proposals of their own, they often come up empty, appearing indolent or indifferent. Conservatives need a small-government agenda that consists of more than the promise to roll back federal initiatives and regulations, coupled with the hope that local authorities will step up.
Bringing an energetic, productive form of decentralization to life will entail combining lessons from two extraordinary resources: the scholarship of Nobel laureate Friedrich Hayek and the concept of subsidiarity. Though the former emanates from the classical and Austrian schools of economics and the latter from a branch of communitarian Catholic social thought, both speak to the distribution of authority. Their complementarity is unexpected but illuminating."