A definition of local politics

Governor John H Sununu (source US Navy)

An elegant definition of local politics in an article by P J O’Rourke in the Weekly Standard:

Governor Sununu explained the importance of the “short control loop.” Your shower faucets are a short control loop. You turn on the cold faucet, the shower is cold. You turn on the hot faucet, the shower is hot. You fiddle with both faucets, and you take a shower. Now imagine your second-story bathroom has its shower faucets in the basement. That’s a long control loop. You turn the water on, climb the steps and get in the shower. It’s too cold. You wrap yourself in a towel, go down two flights of stairs dripping water all over the house, go back upstairs. It’s too hot. You go back downstairs, etc. “If your federal taxes go up,” the governor said, “doing something about it is a protracted process. If your local property taxes go up, you walk over to the town tax collector’s house and give him a piece of your mind. So who’s more likely to raise your taxes? People in Washington? Or people next door?”

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