Casualty of Capitalism

Exiled into Wilmington, Delaware by virtue of corporate layoffs. (Note: Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this blog are Copyright 2005, Michael Collins, and cannot be used without permission.)

Location: Wilmington, Delaware, United States

Graduate of University of Maryland School of Law; University of Maryland, College Park (Economics/Political Science).

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Linda "I Ruined DC Baseball" Cropp's Ghost Constituency

Here's more news -

DC workers who live in the suburbs have no say regarding DC baseball, according to Linda Cropp:

"There's been a lot of negative comment [today] from people who don't live in the District," she says. "It's hard for people who don't live in the District and have no vested interest in it except to enjoy the game, to feel the same as residents do. It's [District residents'] taxes, their businesses that will be impacted. The people from the suburbs just view it as something joyful and fun."

She adds, "For the most part, I believe I am representing the wishes of the people of the District. I'm getting a very positive response from my actual constituency, and that's extremely good."

Is that right? What would Linda Cropp think if all the suburban workers who spend more than 8 hours of each day, creating wealth and pumping spending money and taxes into the coffers of the DC government, just decided one day to boycott spending in the District? Or moving their businesses into the surrounding suburbs? Would DC survive if her "actual constituency," which appears to be only the poor African American residents in the city, was left as the sole source of the city's income?

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the "personal income" of the District of Columbia in 2003 was $26,651,113,000. The near suburbs of DC, (excluding DC and Baltimore) had a personal income in 2002 of $187,789,553,000 (7 times the DC total). Including the Baltimore area (and still excluding DC), it balloons to $285,917,819,000 (nearly 11 times the DC total). Any smart politician would resist offending these sources of funds.

Further, this 2003 Department of Transportation Planning of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments report shows that in 2000, more than twice as many DC workers are commuters from the suburbs (480,800) than residents of the District (190,600). The surrounding suburbs of DC are some of the most educated in the country, so these commuters are not working at trivial jobs.

A politician's constituency isn't just the people laying their heads within his/her political boundaries, it also includes the people who work and play there. DC is a commuter and tourist city. If Linda Cropp doesn't believe DC workers who live in the suburbs have a voice in the city's affairs, perhaps they should express themselves by speaking with their wallets and refusing to spend money in the District. We'll see then who her "actual constituency" is.


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