The beltway. The swamp. The capitol. D.C. is known by a number of names, many of them derogatory. I don't like all of the money in politics. I can hardly countenance the idea that the D.C. metro area is among the country's wealthiest. How can such a result be anything more than successful rent-seeking on a mass scale? Not that I'm innocent of depending on a paycheck that itself is dependent on government decisions that are themselves dependent on influence of those who write the paychecks.
But what better system?
I lived a summer in D.C., doing an internship in international strategy for a big defense contractor. My office was across the river in Virginia, not far from the Pentagon. While I still grapple with the role of money in politics, I came away from that summer with a deep respect for both the military might our country brings to bear, and the hundreds of thousands of employees of the contractors who keep that our military strong.
I've been back to D.C. many times since then, on work trips, and to get a visa for work in the Middle East (it was on that trip that I got this doozy).