Seven out of ten is bad. Really bad. Outstandingly bad. When seven out of the ten richest counties in America are proximate to Washington, DC, this is a statistical harbinger of national decline. Our current president not only didn’t change Washington from the inside, he quickly concluded he had no particular reason to want to.
Russ Douthat exaggerates some when he compares Washington, DC to the national capital in the novel The Hunger Games. he describes in the concentration of power and wealth below.
Last week, new census data revealed that 7 of the 10 richest American counties in 2011 were in the Washington, D.C., region. Fairfax, Loudoun and Arlington Counties, all in Northern Virginia, have higher median incomes than every other county in the United States.
Whence comes this wealth? Mostly from Washington’s one major industry: the federal government. Not from direct federal employment, which has risen only modestly of late, but from the growing armies of lobbyists and lawyers, contractors and consultants, who make their living advising and influencing and facilitating the public sector’s work.
And why would anyone change Washington? It’s going great guns. It’s on a freaking tear. It’s dominant, it’s fabulous, it’s wealth-a-palooza!
The median household income in the metro area in 2010 was $84,523, according to calculations by Bloomberg News, nearly 70% over the national median household income of $50,046. Nine of the 15 richest counties in the country surround Washington, including Nos. 1, 3, 4 and 5. Per capita income in D.C. is more than twice that in Maine. All this explains why Gallup’s Well-Being Index rates D.C. as the most satisfied large metropolitan area in the U.S.
All of this is subsidized. Mostly by people who are held in utter contempt by the fine and dazzling DC socialites. Meanwhile, beyond the glitter and the glory, a nation is far less prosperous. The UK Daily Mail again tells us what CBS/ABC/NBC doesn’t.
Suicide is the cause of more deaths than car crashes, according to an alarming new study. The number of people who commit suicide in the U.S. has drastically increased while deaths from car accidents have dropped, making suicide the leading cause of injury death. Suicides via falls or poisoning have risen significantly and experts fear that there could be many more unaccounted for, particularly in cases of overdose.
This will eventually crash. Economic policy can no longer paper over what is an increasing vortex of failure. The US Federal Reserve has now opted for open-ended, results-based Quantitative Easing. They will stimulate until unemployment reaches an acceptable threshold or inflation goes to the moon. The Washington Post examines this policy below.
Bernanke is also studying the idea of declaring that the Fed will boost the economy until unemployment reaches a specific target or until inflation takes off. Some Fed officials have suggested that the central bank keep on stimulating until unemployment reaches 7 percent or inflation rises to 3 percent; others have proposed Fed action until unemployment reaches 5.5 percent or inflation rises to 2.25 percent. The Fed’s legal mandate is to minimize unemployment and keep prices stable; the Fed has set a long-term inflation target of 2 percent per year.
What becomes increasingly obvious is that the Federal Reserve, The Stimulus and everything else supposedly being done to promote the economy is not ever making it outside the Capital Beltway. Most of the money stays right near Capitol Hill and The White House. The people are consulted as infrequently as possible and written off dismissively when they don’t concur.
Obama Uber-Donor Paul Holland describes the fun and games we all kill ourselves to keep up with what our Federal Reserve has done to the prices of basic staples like food and fuel. Oh, it’s just hilarious out there on the K-Street Cocktail Circuit!
“He came in to do his talk and opened his talk with, ‘I’m Matt Rogers I am the Special Assistant to the Secretary of Energy and I have $134 billion that I have to disperse between now and the end of December,’” Holland told the audience. “So upon hearing that I sent an email to my partners that said Matt Rogers is about to get treated like a hooker dropped into a prison exercise yard.”
Holland continued: “And I had the lack of judgment to go up and share that with him and the other people who were all standing around him…Fortunately for me they all laughed and thought it was funny.”
I’m glad it’s fun and games in at least one of the 57 states. But there will one day be an end. It will be an ugly one that could turn violent. That is, of course, unless we can start changing the orientation of our runaway government. This is an election to vote against anyone who claims they can’t change our fiasco of a capital city from the inside. These people are killing us one Sloe-Gin Fizz at a time.
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