Quote of the Day

“When government towns become boom towns, that’s the beginning of the end for a nation.” – Stephen Green in an exchange on why Virginia is trending purple and my judgment that putting Jim Webb on the ticket would likely give the Commonwealth to the Democrats.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Dantheman says:

    Clearly this explains why London and Paris are nothing but dust after 1,000 years or so of being the center of their countries’ govenrments.

  2. James Joyner says:

    But nobody would suggest that London or Paris are “government towns.” National capitals, to be sure, but not cities whose primary business is government.

    By contrast, Alexandria and Arlington, Virginia and Bethesda and Silver Springs, Maryland would be sloppy hollows but for defense contracting, lobbying, and other government-spawned income.

  3. Triumph says:

    By contrast, Alexandria and Arlington, Virginia and Bethesda and Silver Springs, Maryland would be sloppy hollows but for defense contracting, lobbying, and other government-spawned income.

    Another good example of a total government urban cesspool is Ottawa. That place is a pit. Same with Yamoussoukro–what a dump!

  4. Wyatt Earp says:

    Cleary, Virginia is more purple than the worst Nicole Brown Simpson bruise.

  5. Hey, I’m the Quote of the Day!

    Triumph – there may be no uglier town in America than Sacramento, CA.

    Wyatt — that was completely tasteless, and sometime later tonight I may stop laughing.

  6. Dave Schuler says:

    Webb on the ticket or SecDef in an announced cabinet would be a shrewd move.

  7. Triumph says:

    Triumph – there may be no uglier town in America than Sacramento, CA.

    Greenie, you open up a whole can of worms there: crappy state capitals. Aside from the ones that fit into the more-than-just-government cities category mentioned by James, state capitals are usually amongst the most dismal:

    Springfield, IL
    Des Moines, IA
    Tallahassee, FL
    Montgomery AL
    Baton Rouge, LA
    Frankfort, KY
    Albany, NY
    Hartford, CT
    Topeka, KS
    Lansing, MI
    Jackson, MS
    Jefferson City, MO
    Helena, MT
    Cheyenne, WY

    Jesus, I need to stop. State capitals suck!

    The only decent state capitals I can think of are Boston, Madison, Annapolis, Santa Fe.

    I hate both Atlanta and Phoenix, but they certainly aren’t government towns.

  8. Tlaloc says:

    I guess it depends on how you define government town.

    I would call Tokyo a government town, but that doesn’t mean all, or even most of the population work on government projects. The town was essentially founded as a Shogun’s castle, and later expanded to become the defacto and later official capital of Japan. Today it houses not only the Japanese government but also the Imperial Palace. That seems pretty governmental.

  9. Tlaloc says:

    The only decent state capitals I can think of are Boston, Madison, Annapolis, Santa Fe.

    Salem, OR, isn’t horrible. It’s just kind of overshadowed by Portland.

  10. Paul says:

    I have been to about 40 of them. Honolulu, I could use a week there right now. Austin and Denver have a lot of good points. There are a lot worse places to live than Olympia in the summer (or Phoenix in the winter) if you like the outdoors. Same for Carson City (think Tahoe) if you don’t need big. Raleigh is a good place for cosmopoliatan professionals to raise kids and a heck of a lot warmer than Madison or Boston; same for Richmond or Nashville if you want similar but more conservative. SLC is a very underrated place to live if you don’t mind the social climate of Utah.

  11. Dave Schuler says:

    The issue isn’t state capitals, the issue is “government towns”, presumably a subset of state capitals. Boston, for example, while it’s a state capital isn’t a government town.

    I think that “government towns”, the analog to company towns, are dreary for much the same reason that company towns tend to be—neglect. Maintaining Jefferson City, Missouri doesn’t get any state legislators re-elected so they don’t do it.

  12. just me says:

    The only decent state capitals I can think of are Boston, Madison, Annapolis, Santa Fe.

    I don’t think Concord, NH is a bad state capital, but then the whole state of NH’s population is smaller than those of most of the other state capitals, so it probably doesn’t count much.

    But I do think government towns suck, just look at the towns in and around large military installations.