Edge of the Night
The United States is pretty much a nation in name only. Of its three branches, the Executive Branch is the only effective part of the Federal Government it controls the military. The Executive Branch is governed by a host of advisors and appointed agency heads; for the last three Administrations, the President has been chosen in a backroom. It doesn’t matter, only 12.6% of the U.S. population bothers to vote any more, and that’s only in the states that are still part of the Union. Both of the Califomias, Texas, Utah,Alaska and Nevada have become what are called Free States; they pretty much set their own rules and write their own laws while giving lip service to the idea of a United States (as long as the honchos in Washington don’t try to tell them what to do).
The Supreme Court has absolutely no effect on the laws of the United States; with the resurgence of state’s rights, local law supersedes Federal law in all but the Uniform CIVilian Justice Code. Congress isn’t much better off. Most states don’t even bother to send Representatives to the House; there hasn’t been a census in fifteen years, and no one can determine congressional districts anymore. There’s still a Senate, made up of senators from each state in the remaining Union. Some places elect theirs, others simply keep the same guys in office year after year. Congress’ real power comes in its ability to legislate U.S. business and trade law—rules for
international corporations operating in the U.S., banking law, communications and transportation law, trade laws and international tarriffs. lt’sa lucrative position, with the international megacorps trading cash and favors for legal advantages.
Although the U.S. Government doesn’t control what happens in the States, it still controls the boders of the U.S. A powerful volunteer military (left over from the Gang of Four days) makes sure of this. The Federal Government has a loose taxation structure to maintain the Washington infrastructure and the military. In practice, each state collects its own taxes, then sends a proportion of its state revenues to Washington. How much varies by the state and its dout in Washington; for example, the powerful Pacific Northwestern states pay high taxes in exchange for nearly complete autonomy, while the economically devastated Eastern Seaboard pays low
taxes, but is constantly toeing the Federal line.