The Antiplanner used to think that a sure sign of a centrally planned economy is when the capital is the wealthiest city in the country. So what does it say about the United States when Washington DC has the highest median income of any metropolitan area in the country?
I learned this little tidbit from a rather disturbing story about Great Falls, Virginia, where owning a “$2.8 million home with its own elevator, wine cellar and Swarovski crystal chandeliers” is a sure sign of being a government contractor. A few other interesting points:
- More than half the residents of Great Falls earn more than a quarter million dollars a year (what do you suppose they think of Obama’s soak-the-rich tax proposals?).
- The District of Columbia has the second-highest disparity between the pay of high- and low-wage workers–while New Jersey is number 1, Virginia is number 3 and Maryland number 7.
- Federal contracting dollars to the DC area have increased from $4 billion in 1980 to more than $80 billion in 2011.
- “When asked if her neighbors had felt the impact of the recession, [the owner of the $2.8 million home] smiled quietly and said she didnâ€™t think so.”
When government gets big, a few people get rich, and the gap between the rich and the poor widens. Do you suppose that’ll convince some Democrats to support federal budget cuts? Not too likely.