220.127.116.11 Allocation of Power
Despite the attractiveness of local or regional control, it isn’t possible for each part of a country to have political autonomy and also to have economic equality of services and entitlements between regions (3.4.5). Regional politicians could only be held accountable if they were responsible for the level of taxation and the corresponding level of public services in their area, but poorer parts of the country would then have inferior public services.
Redistribution of tax revenues from wealthy areas to poorer ones can reduce inequality, despite the imperfections in the allocation formulae and the cost of administration, but this lacks political legitimacy if people don’t feel that they belong to the same community – which is a problem that gets worse for bigger countries, and for the EU as a political grouping.
Multinational negotiation is complicated by misunderstandings of the nature of pooled sovereignty. Britain was never ‘run by Brussels’, as some politicians alleged (18.104.22.168); it had agreed to take some decisions in concert with other countries, on issues such as trade and security where they have mutual interests. It is, though, possible to present subsidiarity issues clearly – though politicians rarely try to do so.
The allocation of power in Israel-Palestine is a very complex question, which is greatly affected by the history of how Israel came into being, so it is described separately (22.214.171.124). It offers a method of analysis of such problems.
This is a current page, updated since publication of Patterns of Power Edition 3a. An archived copy of it is held at https://www.patternsofpower.org/edition03/6671b.htm