I just got a card game called Dominion, where you buy cards with gold, and some cards do useful things, and some cards just give you "victory points". You keep drawing cards and you reshuffle your deck when it's empty, so it's worthwhile to get good cards, because you'll see them again a few times. At the end of the game, the person with the most victory points wins, but in the meantime, they don't do anything, so you don't want to buy them too early. Otherwise, it's possible to get into a state where you can never do anything because all you draw are these victory point cards that don't do anything.
It might be that bureaucracy increases too much when you try to govern 300 million people democratically. It might also be that different parts of the country want different things.
What if we were 50 countries instead? Arranged sort of like the EU, where a few administrative things (currency, passport control) were handled by a big governing body, but otherwise the states are free to go their separate ways?
The potential administrative benefits are huge. Stuff like health care is still tricky, but say, gay marriage? Apparently we as a country keep wasting time on that. Washington could quit messing around with "civil unions" or whatever, go ahead and all-out legalize it, and move on to more difficult questions. Utah could ban it and turn itself into a Mormonocracy. Whatever. (don't get me wrong; this would be terrible for Utah, and whatever gay people live in Utah. But I can't imagine things are all that pleasant for them now, right? And maybe pressure, trade agreements, etc from neighboring countries could convince them to give everyone equal rights, more than a weak bloated federal government...)
Instead of one country with a few mega-media corporations, we'd have more reasonable media focused on local issues. Wal-mart would have a bunch of new problems to deal with. We'd be able to develop our own local cultures more, instead of being one uniform McDonaldized lump. And we'd be a lot more fun to visit.
Also the states should be redistributed like this map because it's neat.
Today, I have more important things to do, like moving, so I should get to that. Point is, Dominion is a pretty sweet game. Also, while I'm here, the Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus is flat-out excellent. It's a crazy hodgepodge, plots and acting going everywhere, but visually stunning and incredibly enjoyable nonetheless, and maybe even the better for it. I like it the way I like Dresden Codak or Blueberry Boat. You'll like it if you like wonder.