Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Sweet Smell of DC (Loot)

From a Washington Post article last November by Greg Jaffe and Jim Tankersley, we learned that the Washington DC region “added 21,000 households in the nation’s top 1%,” while “no other metro area came close.” The authors wrote about the importance recycled taxpayer money plays in generating DC wealth (see charts):
[military] service contracts nearly tripled in value. At the peak in 2010, companies based in Rep. James P. Moran’s congressional district in Northern Virginia reaped $43 billion in federal contracts — roughly as much as the state of Texas. At the same time, big companies realized that a few million spent shaping legislation could produce windfall profits. They nearly doubled the cash they poured into the capital.
You sense Jaffe’s and Tankersley’s regional pride as they tell us:
The signs of the new Washington are everywhere — from the Tiffany & Co. store that Fairfax County development officials boast is the most profitable in the country to the new Tesla dealership in Tysons Corner. Tens of thousands of the nation’s best-educated workers have flocked here, some for contracting jobs, some simply to be part of the newly energized business climate. The money and brainpower have supercharged the region.
Life imitates art. Washington is becoming the “Capitol” one sees in “The Hunger Games”:
Washington has been the beneficiary of a ­decade-long, taxpayer-funded stimulus package. “We could have been a dodo bird,” said Mark Muro, policy director at the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program. “Instead we are the center of the universe.”

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