It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. As poverty and unemployment numbers are revised upwards and the nation’s income gap widens, DC is having boom times as the Dow crosses 16,000. Truly a tale of two economies with a 9.9 out of 10 chance that you aren’t in the one that is having a great time.
A state by state breakdown of income shows the middle class is all but dead, their wealth ripped from their hands and funneled through the government and corporate sector into the hands of the already wealthy.
The new data suggest that despite modest recoveries in many states, the middle class has been shrinking while households have been added in the lowest and highest income brackets. In many states and nationally, the highest income brackets saw more growth than the lowest, but households in the middle brackets continued to decline. The state-by-state data compare incomes from a pair of three-year periods: 2007 through 2009, a span that included the Great Recession, and 2010 through 2012, a period that included the ongoing and modest recovery.
For years, the wealthiest 1 percent have amassed income more quickly than the rest.
But some areas of the country are doing quite well, particularly those that house and service the fleecing class. Besides Manhattan, DC is seeing a new gold rush as money pours into lobbyists, defense contractors, and other government parasites. In fact, so much money is pouring in that another ring of commerce is congealing around the beltway mafia to provide them with goods and services. Now an economy built on graft is expanding to serve the grifters.
Apparently trickle down economics does work, at least for the DC elite.
The winners in the new Washington are not just the former senators, party consiglieri and four-star generals who have always profited from their connections. Now they are also the former bureaucrats, accountants and staff officers for whom unimagined riches are suddenly possible. They are the entrepreneurs attracted to the capital by its aura of prosperity and its super-educated workforce. They are the lawyers, lobbyists and executives who work for companies that barely had a presence in Washington before the boom.
During the past decade, the region added 21,000 households in the nation’s top 1 percent. No other metro area came close.
The last place in the world that should be having a boom is Washington DC. Like Wall Street it produces nothing, it adds no value. It is, in its best manifestation, useful in helping the rest of the country prosper. The fact that the nation’s capital city, located on a swamp, has become one of the wealthiest places in America is proof positive that our economy has been run into the ground by fraudulent middle men using taxpayer money to line their own pockets.
That this corrupt wealth has become so massive as to spur another tier on the pyramid to service the top should give us all pause about how far we want to let this greed and thievery continue unabated. Things are only getting worse.
Photo by Library of Congress under public domain.