Having spent the past four days wandering the neighborhoods of Washington DC, it is clear that this city is a prosperous, booming area. Wonder what business enterprises are sparking this growth? Big government.
Years ago, when I was a newbie intern for the US Treasury, walking a couple of blocks from One Washington Circle (where I lived back when it was an apartment complex) was a dangerous undertaking. No More. For miles around, there are now leafy suburbs with casually dressed joggers and dog walkers. The homes are well maintained and coiffed and the comfortable residents seems at ease with their plush surroundings.
Who lives here? The new "protected" class.
These are the people that work for the federal government or the numerous so-called private businesses that devote their endeavors to providing services to government or lobbying to gain a share of government largesse. These are the folks that view people outside the beltway as moronic environment-destroyers and homophobes. They are comfortable in the knowledge that they are doing God's work, protecting the environment and defending the minorities and the poor from the caprices of the evil private sector. These are the regulators, the tax collectors and the righteous -- living high on the taxpayer.
Out in the hinterland, struggling Americans are laboring with massive unemployment and stagnant economies and providing the tax revenues to support this ruling class that lives in modern luxury in much of Washington DC. No real products are produced here. Indeed, the primary function for most of these Washington upper income folks is to find ways to restrict the private sector and to increase the flow of resources into their own pockets. This is the new "European prosperity" for the ruling classes.
You wonder how much longer this can continue. A dwindling private sector carries this elite group on its backs. Meanwhile the poor in DC are shunted off into ghettoes with some of the worst public schools in America. But, those folks are out of the view of this elite. This elite lives in safe neighborhoods with protected jobs. Even folks who take the fifth amendment before Congress, when they are asked about what they are doing, continue to prosper at full pay with zero work responsibilities. This is the liberal dream, right here in Washington DC.