FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
#OccupyKStreet: It’s Where The 1% Really Are
“Wall Street has moved to K Street,” said Barbara Lang, president and chief executive officer of the DC Chamber of Commerce, referring to the Washington street that’s home to prominent lobbying firms. “Those two industries clearly have grown in our city.”
The misery index sums the unemployment rate and the inflation rate. It is probably economically and mathematically meaningless. However, it carries significant political weight because of its value for generating scary sound bites. In the spirit of Halloween, Reuters offers us up the factoid that the current misery index (at 13.0) is at its worst since 1983.
There is a place where the sun still shines. It’s a place where the streams run sweetly and filled with succulent trout; a place where streets are paved with gold and opportunity. We know all that, of course. The nobly indignant have occupied Wall Street since September 17 to make the 1% cough up a few quatloos for the rest of us suffering 99%. It’s almost a shame to tell these people, after they’ve forgone indoor plumbing for a month and beclowned themselves for eternity by serving as human microphones. They’ve occupied the wrong den of iniquity.
The Beltway is where the Vampire Squids, of Matt Tiabbi fame, really abide. While 403,000 Americans lived the humiliation of filing first time unemployment claims, (a six month low; mirabile dictu!) Federal employees in The District now earn more than $126,000 per year. The Median Income in DC was just a stone’s throw away from $85K. Nationwide, this total was $50k.
Federal employees in DC receive a 25% pay increase to offset urban cost of living. Outside of DC, this adjustment varies but is no smaller than 9.5%. So incorporating that into our analysis brings the typical DC salary down to about $64.5K. Reducing the National Median by about 10% gets that down to about $45K. In cost-deflated dollars, the median worker in DC makes 43% more than the median American. The variance on these stats would have to be quite large for the DC residents not to be at the top of the Upper Quartile. This is where the E-VIL 1% lives!
Yet, perhaps as a consequence of the wrong thoroughfare being occupied, these guys don’t get it. As Front Page Colleague, Jeff Emanuel, reminded us yesterday, Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid uncorked the following rhetorical wild pitch yesterday. ”…and it’s very clear that private sector jobs are doing just fine. It’s the public sector jobs where we’ve lost huge numbers.” Looking back at the 2010 Midterms; I can only regret that more public sector employees were not relieved of their burden of duty.
But then again, all Senator Reid knows about the private sector are the crony-boys ensconced in the DC feudal protectorate. One out of every 12 DC residents is an attorney. The Median salary for a DC attorney is $187K. That vastly outstrips the $123K that lawyers make outside the beltway. Many of these people work as lobbyists.
The Influence-Peddlers raked in $3.51Bn as an industry last year. Perhaps that’s what Harry Reid measures. With that much expended on vote-buying, the private sector is able to bribe Bluff King Harry just fine. They must be doing something right.
Perhaps that was the origin of the infamous sucking sound H. Ross Perot complained about. A nation’s money, a nation’s intellect and ultimately a nation’s soul are all being sucked into an abattoir where decent intentions and honor go to die. The nation’s capital bestrides the earth like a mighty colossus. It can’t last. Therefore it won’t. If the protestors of today had any legitimate IQ or social conscience at all; they would be occupying K Street instead. That, my five or six Constant Readers, is where the oleaginous Vampire Squid has coiled its tentacles of greed and filthy lucre.