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More District woes

An op-ed printed today in the Post ("Damned for what we aren't") kind of hit the spot when it comes to my understanding of the District. We should all despair. The capital district has, once
again, ranked 51st in the list of "Best states to raise a child."

Now, those of you with keen eyesight will see the problem immediately.

The District of Columbia is not a state. It does not enjoy the rights of a state, such as full voting representation in Congress. It does not have the size of a state, nor does its economy function in the same fashion. Or, as Geneva Overholser put it in her column:

We flunk spectacularly in sorghum production, steel manufacturing, national forest land, meat-packing plants, foreign trade, farm employment, gravel pits, wildlife preserves. On and on it goes, Washington ranking last, everyone tutting, all of us pledging to do better.

Maybe this state-ranking thing is inexorable. Okay. Then let's see them compile state rankings the District would win: miles of subway tracks per capita, monuments or tourists per square mile, percentage of state land covered by street lights, parking meters per resident, national protests per year, diplomatic visits per month, number of computers per resident. Just think how the governors of Wyoming or Alabama -- and people all over the country -- would be forced to grovel at our supremacy, how they'd pledge to do better. Think of the headlines, and of how we could pat ourselves on the back: the District, number one among the states.

And all this takes us to my new instrument, the Saddle Sores Index of Comparative
Citizenship (SSICC):

  • Voting members in Congress: 0.0

  • Maximum number of DC residents that could pin a rider on Bob Barr's ass : ~543,000
    (projected)
  • Voting members in Congress for Wyoming: 3
  • Population of Wyoming ~480,000 (est.)
  • Relative electoral worth of a District resident: (480,000/3) /(543,000/0) = undefined

Math is so easy when denominators are zero.