It's been a great two months -- in many ways -- and I've learned a lot about our nation's capitol:
- Nobody would live here in summer without air conditioning. That may explain why politicians don't want to raise energy prices -- they don't want to pay even more to live in this swamp.
- The quality of life is pretty good for white collar workers -- many government and lobbyist-subsidized activities. There is a distinct separation between them and the (non)working classes.
- It's probable that bad service in the area is because so many people work in government. Bureaucrats with job security don't have to work hard; when they go to lunch or shopping, they don't expect much service from others. This is a big contrast to the go-go West Coast.
- OTOH, networking and socializing are BIG activities, because it's who you know that matters.
- Many people here have a vested interest in more government -- either because they work for the government, sell stuff to the government (you should see the defense contractor ads at the Pentagon metro station), or criticize the government. (This must be what people mean when they discuss "Inside the Beltway" dynamics.) It's no wonder that those who advocate smaller government tend to be concentrated where government is not.
- That doesn't mean that DC isn't crawling with people who want to make a difference, get into the power structure, change things, etc. It's full of motivated, ideological people. The trouble is that they often see themselves as the ones with the solution. They also, often, end up as part of the problem. (Who's Your Daddy?)