Many cities are older than the nations they inhabit. Several cities have survived several changes in national governments. Boston, New York, Boston, Mexico City, London, and Rome are older than the national they reside in today. These cities produce economic wealth, cultural activities, and vital services that enable the countries to prosper.
Cities are continually evolving culturally, new technologically, financially, manufacturing new products, and replacing imported goods and services with locally produced alternatives. Cities create new demands, products, culture, and services. Transportation and trading evolve to meet the needs of cities exchanging goods, services, and cultural. In healthy cities, these cycles of change create wealth and new ideas, technology, concepts, and world views.
Nation-states are the products of cities, not the other way around. Cities are the drivers of wealth and prosperity and nations.1 Cities create the state to aid cities. Unfortunately, the state too often forgets its role is to defend the nation, protect interstate commerce, and aid cities hit with natural and man-made calameties. National government are dysfunctional when they smother cities by drainning their economies, straight -jacket cities with endless rules and regulations and and enforcing conformity that homogenizes. Interestingly, the writers of the United States Constitution recognized the inherent danger of a too-powerful federal government.
When looking for solutions, it is useful to remember that urban studies and planning departments are part of universities. Universities receive from the federal government certification, tax exemptions, loans for students, federally backed loans, research grants. Urban Studies and Planning departments also receive federal funds to finance research urban research programs. It should be of little surprise that urban planners, city politicians, and city bureaucrats seldom see that many problems stem from federal policies in general and policies that interfere in city dynamics. For this reason, solutions proposed by any agency or consultant group paid funded by federal money seldom address national policies as problems or recommend solutions that tackle the failing of the federal government. This lapse in the perception of the perniciousness of federal interference results in programs and solutions that result in urban officials continuing to feed off of the federal tit. This lapse only increases dependence on federal largess and furthers the decline of cities.