We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
China's empty city
(of the day). YouTube. At about 1:20 you will see that a city built
for one million residents remains empty, a' la Austro-Chinese business
cycle theory. "Ordos was a government idea, an infrastructure project
taken to its limits, the motivation was likely gdp..." -- can you
get better than that? After the first minute or so the video
Governments like these build-it-and-they-will-come efforts.
Sometimes it works. Initially creating Washington D.C. outside of any populated area was more an expression of weak government than strong. Braslia was the opposite.
St. Petersberg was a geopolitical move toward Europe and a counter to Sweden. We forget Sweden was a major power at the time. It made sense for Russia to have a presence on the Baltic. Peter the Great went beyond establishing a presence and moved the capitol there. Lenin moved it back to Moscow.
In retrospect Peter might done better to move it to the Black Sea coast. After all, the Russian Czars spent more effort in the next two centuries contending with Turkey and Central Asia.
Right off hand I don't recall any other totally artificial capitol cities of recent times. Turkey moved from Istanbul to Ankara but I Ankara was already a political center.
Ottawa. Existed as a town, but its virtues for being a capital city were that its population was low enough that the citizens would be less able sack the Parliament as they had before, and that it was far enough from the US that reinforcements could arrive as quickly as US troops.
At a design conference we were treated to the vision of an "industrial design city" China was planning. Every skyscraper was to be filled with industrial designers (product designers). As if you could just move all the structural steel detailers in USA to some new town in Nebraska called "structural steel detailers-burg". The idea was scary until you realized the result would be similar to this. Centralization on this scale would create as many inefficiencies as it solves, or more. (how boring? "whaddya do?" "design stuff" "oh? me too..")
Now I am sure it was, or is (I have no idea if they built it) just another GDP project. I bet there is quite a bit of that over there.