What the heck happens in Delaware?

I consider myself pretty knowlegable about the US. Name any of 49 states and i can at least get an image of my head, and while it may be overly simplified it’s at least something.

But i got nothing on Delaware.

I’ve never been through it. I’ve never met anyone from there. I think i might have seen a license plate from there once or twice, which is the only indication to me that people actually live there and the entire state isn’t just a huge hall of automated PO boxes for national banks and corporations looking for tax breaks.

So, really, what goes on there? Are there any Delaware Dopers? Can anyone tell me something about the place?

BTW, this is by no means intended as an insult to the state of Delaware or its people. I’m just genuinely curious.

I’ve known several people from Delaware. They aren’t exactly normal (not in a good way), and they eat Scrapple. This is enough of a reason for me to avoid the place.

I dunno, Alaska. :smiley:

Okay, in all seriousness, it’s more Suburbia. Think of New Jersey, but less cool.

Well, it’s like this.

What happens in Delaware stays…

No, I can’t do it.

Take a look at the return address on the next credit card (Visa or Mastercard) offer you get in the mail. Wilmington DE seems to be the “credit card offer” capital of the world. Seems a good 9 out of 10 of the offers come from there.

(hint: if the envelope doesn’t reveal that it is a credit card offer, if, usually on the back, you see the “Wilmington DE” address, it’s a good way to know it is yet another cc offer without bothering to open it).

The only thing I know about Delaware is that they have some weirdness in their laws that make it a really good place to incorporate businesses. I don’t know what that weirdness is, but I do know that just about every company I’ve ever worked for that was incorporated was “a Delaware corporation.”

Anybody know what it is?

Well, first of all, while it’s true that Delaware serves as a convenient location for many companies due to its friendly corporate regulation and taxation laws, many of those companies keep more than just a post office box for receiving mail. Many banks have quite a substantial workforce there.

There are also some big chemical companies with a significant presence in Delaware, most notably Du Pont. Hell, if the state had been named in the late nineteenth century, it would probably be called Dupont; you can hardly turn around in the Wilmington area without running into something with the Du Pont name on it. I think there are also some big drug companies in Delaware.

Of course, much of this stuff occurs in places like Wilmington. If you move beyond the larger towns and cities, Delaware sometimes becomes almost indistinguishable from similar regions in neighboring states. A significant part of Delaware’s real estate is located on the so-called Delmarva peninsula, a large peninsula that inexplicably has been divided between Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia (hence the name, Delmarva). Whichever state they happen to live in, the people on this peninsula often do similar things—farming, fishing, etc.—and they have more in common with one another due to their geographic proximity than they do to the capital cities of the states they happen to belong to.

Another thing Delaware has is tax-free shopping. The large outlet malls along the interstate attract cars and even tour buses full of people from New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and even further afield to shop.

Delaware also makes considerable revenue through highway robbery. Almost literally. The Delaware section of the interstate linking DC and New York/Boston is the most expensive part of the trip. While you pay around 4-5c per mile to drive on the New Jersey turnpike or I-95 in Maryland, it costs about 18c per mile in Delaware (these stats are from an article that is a few years old; not sure if it’s changed since then). Delaware politicians can get away with this because the vast majority of people using the interstate come from out of state, and are just passing through on to way to or from New York or Boston or Washington. Thus, there is no political downside to overcharging, and these out-of-state drivers pay a substantial amount into Delware’s coffers each year.

There was a great article in the New Republic a few years ago called “Delaware: The Worst State.” Unfortunately, i can’t find it online anywhere.

Edited to add:

Here is a Salon article that makes some similar points about the way that Delaware’s tax policy’s have effects well beyond the state’s borders. Also, you’re a New Rebpublic subscriber, you can read the article i referred to above here.

According to The Atlas of the DC Universe, Metropolis is in Delaware. Which means Superman is a Delawarian. Make of that what you will, but I’m suspicious of a state whose most famous resident is a fictional character.

Hee. Mom’s from eastern PA and she loves her some scrapple. She’s not normal either.

Actually, only a small part of Delaware is suburban (generally around Wilmington). A lot of the state is very rural.

As mentioned above, Delaware has a lot of credit card companies and it also has Du Pont. The southern part of the the state has a few beaches. Its tax-free shopping is a draw for many in the DC metro area.

I live pretty close to Delaware and there are quite a few furniture stores located right over the border, so that’s mainly what I think of when I think of the state.

All I know about Delaware comes from the wonderful Perry Como:

“What did Delaware, boys? What did Delaware?
She wore a brand new Jersey!”

So I assume Delaware is the centre of the garment industry. :eek:

The first rule of Delaware club is you dont talk about Delaware club.

What exactly is Delaware Punch? What is its history?

Well if the run of US State Quarters has anything to teach us, it’s that (a) Delaware was the first state to ratify the Constitution, and (b) the iconic image of the state is of a guy riding a horse, but not Paul Revere or a Pony Express rider either.

Semi-serious: One other thing going on in Delaware is figure-skating: there’s a training center at the University of Delaware where a lot of nationally- and internationally-ranked skaters are based.

Delaware: Where you end up if you’re driving from New York to Philadelphia at night, and you’re from Illinois, and your wife is ‘reading’ the map and is supposed to remember where you get off to get to Philadelphia, but 'forgets", and you go too far.

Yeah, I did, so what about it?

Heh. The state doesn’t even get a break there:

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delaware_Punch

The only significant thing they seem to have done historically is manage to be first in line to ratify the Constitution.

The kid’s page list of “Famous Delawareans” is not terribly impressive:

They DO have a cool border with PA.

Where’s Awareness Del when you need him?

He’s Awareness Del
Making people aware, aware of Delaware…

Sorry, that old bit from Late Night with Conan O’Brien is what I think of when I think of Delaware.

You call Valerie Bertinelli “Not terribly impressive”?

This is exactly how I feel about Idaho - when I remember that it’s there.