Why Hasn't the US Geographically Distributed Its Government Branches?

I can’t believe this didn’t happend during the Cold War, and with the other nuke threads on this forum, I’m wondering why we don’t do it now:

Why not relocate the various branches of government so that we are less vulnerable to nuclear or other WMD attack?

Why not put a new White House in Kansas City or Salt Lake City??
Why not put the Supreme Court in St. Louis, or Dallas?
I figure it’s harder to move Congress, so we can leave them in DC.

For that matter, what about the Pentagon? Maybe that should move it to Omaha or Denver, or Memphis or Des Moine or some such place.

Is it better to have the three branches in one place so that no regionalism develops in the federal government?

It just worries me that all of our eggs are in one basket, from the three branches of government to the Pentagon to everything else in the DC area.

For some precedent, I think South Africa has, or at least used to have, three capitals. Each capital was for a different branch of government.
I don’t know if South Africa (10 or 15 years ago, anyway) would necessarily be the place to go for advice on running a government, but I always thought the three capitals idea was cool. Capital, in fact!

Bolivia has two capitals as well.
[ul]Sucre is the constitutional capital and houses the judicial branch of government.

La Paz is the administrative capital and houses the president and congress.[/ul]

Hmm. I might have gotten that wrong. THe legislative branch is in Sucre according to About.com. A Yahoo site indicated that the legislative arm was in La Paz. Wonder which one is right. I’ll just check their valuation on the exchanges, and go with the best one.

It won’t work. How will people do lunch?

Alessan, I don’t know. How do they manage it in Israel given dual-capitals of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv? :wink:

Since when does the government make operational sense :stuck_out_tongue:

When all of this was built, there was no Overnight delivery across the country, no internet, no FAX, etc. Many documents/files had to be hand, horse and evenually car carried.

Could you imagine what kind of nightmare it would have been to have government agencies waiting on mail from across country to process things. It still happens today for some things but it comes down to, which is more cost effective. Having a decentralized government that is more resilient to potential WMD attack, or having a govt run about 5 times more efficently on a day to day basis. Couriers can make 5-10 min dashes back and forth between various major govt agencies rather than wait for mail to do it.

They’re half an hour apart by the freeway. Some people even commute.

If you want to move Congress to Baltimore, I guess it’ll work. Bar that… well, I watch the West Wing. Those people are constantly having meetings, and it seems to make sense. Systems work much smoother when people meet face to face, either in offices, parks, restaurants or bars (the latter being where I suspect a great deal more policy-making takes place than we know).