random memes }

Get out of Washington - use the Internet

Was thinking this morning about how a Congressman had to maintain two residences - one in their home district and one in Washington DC. Seems that long-term congress-critters get to be more of DC than of the region they nominally represent. The culture of DC is much centered around political power, lobbying, and hangers-on of various sort.

I have long thought that keeping the majority of the national government all in one place was a mistake. On the one side, a single small nuke could wipe out Congress, the White House, and a fair number of federal agencies. On the other hand, email and video conferencing largely obviates the old need to physically meet.

The Internet was originally created by the military as a communications network that could potentially withstand a nuclear attack. The network was hoped to survive the destruction many nodes - and certainly the loss of any one node. The same principle could be applied to the federal government. Congress does not need to all be in one place. Federal agencies could be distributed across the country.

Aside from protection against attack, there is a second possibly more important benefit. Washington DC is the home to lobbyists of all sort - a source of slight (or great) corruption. By distributing the government across the country, this makes the job of a lobbyist rather harder (at least for under-the-table dealings). Perhaps by breaking up Washington DC we could end up with slightly cleaner government.

Just a speculation ...