In the "Dictionary of Military Terms" put out by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, one aspect of dispersion is "the spreading or separating of troops, material, establishments, or activities which are usually concentrated together to reduce a vulnerability." However, the military uses of these concepts are relatively modern, while the political and economic uses of dispersion in the United States to some extent predate military usage.
In the political context, the separation of equal powers between the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government in the Constitution is designed to prevent the concentration of power in one branch of government. In the economic sphere, the Sherman Anti-Trust Act was designed to keep one company from controlling a particular type of industry or a segment of the market by a force sale of parts of that company.
Tariffs, as conceived by Alexander Hamilton, were designed to prevent the control of the infant American economy by foreign governments or business interests, and grow American industries supported by American farmers. Tariffs are a form of dispersion, that encourages national economies that are controlled by their own people.
With an interdependent global economy, failure of one national economy may effect all economies. Dispersed national economies limit economic failures to one nation. Business interests that cross borders and control the global economy pose a similar threat. A failure in one country 's economy effects the whole world. Too big to fail is too big to exist!
Pervis James Casey
Nov 9 2009 - 4:24pm