Skip to comments.While Much of America Suffers with Stagnation,....
Posted on 12/25/2012 9:09:31 AM PST by Kaslin
In large part because of an excessive burden of government, the American economy is suffering European-style stagnation, with even the Washington Post now confessing that growth far below the long-run trend.
This helps explain why job creation has been so dismal in recent years, with more than twenty million Americans out of work, underemployed, or dropped out of the workforce.
But there is one pocket of enormous prosperity in America. It will warm your heart to know that our overlords in Washington are living the life of Riley.
Here are some of the highlights of a remarkable Reuters expose about the fat cats of big government, starting with the huge gap between the insider elite and the poor.
In the town that launched the War on Poverty 48 years ago, the poor are getting poorer despite the governments help. And the rich are getting richer because of it. The top 5 percent of households in Washington, D.C., made more than $500,000 on average last year, while the bottom 20 percent earned less than $9,500 a ratio of 54 to 1. That gap is up from 39 to 1 two decades ago. Its wider than in any of the 50 states and all but two major cities.
One small but important correction in the previous excerpt. As I have noted many times, the poor are getting poorer because of the governments help.
The article then explains that a lot of the redistribution in Washington is from taxpayers to a pampered elite.
in the years since President Lyndon Johnson took aim at poverty in his first State of the Union address, there has been an increasingly strong crosscurrent: The government is redistributing wealth up, too especially in the nations capital. Two decades of record federal spending and expanding regulation have fostered a growing upper class of federal contractors, lobbyists and lawyers in the District of Columbia area. Direct spending by the federal government accounts for 40 percent of the areas $425 billion-a-year economy. Roughly 15 cents of every dollar from the entire federal procurement budget stays in or around the governments hometown, said Stephen S. Fuller, director of the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University. Last year, that was about $80 billion out of $536 billion in procurement spending, he said. The 15 percent share is far greater than the regions 2 percent portion of the U.S. population. Were seeing an enormous transfer of wealth from taxpayers to the Washington economy, said Fuller.
And all this spending leads to an elitist class of cronyists, politicians, contractors, bureaucrats, and lobbyists.
No wonder the DC area is home to some of the richest counties in America.
But unlike other well-to-do areas, the wealth in DC is rarely accumulated by honest means.
Instead, its the result of perverse form of redistribution to big-government insiders. Check out these horrifying details.
Washington-area workers with incomes above $100,000 rose to 22 percent of the workforce, up from 14 percent in 1990, adjusted for inflation, a Reuters analysis of Census data found. there are 320,000 federal jobs in the Washington area. Within the District of Columbia, 55 percent pay $100,000 or more. Nearly 13,000 lobbyists registered with the government last year and reported $3.3 billion in fees, or about $260,000 per lobbyist. Thats 22 percent more lobbyists and 37 percent more inflation-adjusted revenue per lobbyist than in 1998 Times are flush for Washington lawyers as well. The number of attorneys in the area has risen 44 percent, twice the national rate, to 41,000 since 1999. Their average income, adjusted for inflation, rose 35 percent to $156,000.
I guess we know whos having a merry Christmas.
All these rich bureaucrats, lobbyists, politicians, cronyists, and contractors certainly are living the good life, as revealed in a Washington Post story on the Regions Rising Wealth. Here are some sordid excerpts.
the D.C. region already has a reputation as one of the most affluent in the country. But the area is fast emerging as a home to the truly rich as well. High-end luxury retailers are responding. Brands such as Aston Martin are expanding their operations into the area betting, for instance, that there will be plenty of customers who can afford the $280,000 sports car James Bond drives in the movies. Already there are 500 Aston Martin owners in the area with the potential for more.
Ive already shared an interview with Andrew Ferguson by Reason TV that should make all taxpayers upset. Why should ordinary taxpayers be coerced to subsidize Washingtons high-flying parasite economy?
Redistribution is a bad thing in most circumstances. But when you redistribute from poor to rich, thats utterly perverse.
Well, thanks to profligacy by Bush and Obama, thats exactly whats happened.
The regions top one percent of households make more than a half million dollars yearly far more than the national average for the one percent, according to a study of Census data by Sentier Research, an Annapolis-based data analysis firm. And these top earners many of whom are from dual-income households and benefit from federal contracting weathered the recession better than their counterparts in some other metropolitan areas and the nation. More are moving beyond comfortable affluence to a much higher standard of living. What is unique to D.C. is that there has been a change in the complexion of wealth here. There didnt used to be much of this ultra-high-net-worth business here and now there is, said Susan Traver, the regional president of BNY Mellon Wealth Management.
But everyone in the rest of America at least can go to sleep tonight with a warm and fuzzy feeling of joy, knowing that our money has created such comfortable lives for the political elite.
Milton Pedraza, the CEO of the Luxury Institute, a research and consulting firm, said that purveyors of luxury goods are drawn to the area because it has a stable economy bolstered by the federal government. Government contracting, where some local entrepreneurs and business owners amassed their fortunes, has been a key driver of the regions economy for three decades. A third of the regions gross regional product still comes from federal spending Lets face it .?.?. the only place with money during the recession was Washington, D.C., Pedraza said.
Perhaps we should make a slight correction in the previous excerpt. After all, shouldnt it read America suffered a recession because the only place with money was Washington, DC.
Lets wrap this up. A few years ago, I issued this video about overpaid bureaucrats.
But I now realize my mini-documentary only scratches the surface. Yes, there are too many paper-pushers on the government payroll, and of course they get far too much compensation.
But what about unofficial government workforce of over-paid contractors? And all the lobbyists, consultants, and cronyists that exist only because we have a bloated federal government?
Our nation is being seriously damaged by this corrupt system, and I fear that the outcome will be Argentinian-style decline.
Washinton DC is a degenerate city, an Imperial city extracting tribute from the provinces. All freepers should read this
DC is a non stop party at our expense. Dc and its suburbs
It’s like the “Hunger Games”.
My favorite flick is the coming remake of “Seven Days in May”. You know, the one with the HAPPY ENDING!!
I consider myself lucky, just got a new job that pays twice a much as I earned at the auto parts store. It is a contract to hire position and it last 9 months and hope they hire me. It is in the mortgage/loan industry. I hope to get hired and I’ll do the best I can to achieve that. The Pittsburgh area took it’s share of hits but we are generally not as bad off as the rest of the country but it is still tough out there. I plan on saving money for a “rainy day” in case along with getting as many debt monkeys off of us as we can, I think that is the best thing to do with an uncertain future.
Yeah, the original one had a sad ending.
Yeah! With Nancy, Harry, Eric, Chuckie, Diane, et al as the Tributes.
Who needs real jobs when Obama creep borrows Trillion$ from China and prints trillions more dollars to give to welfare creeps, more people on disability, more unemployment checks, government workers ( who do nothing but cripple the private sector as in the EPA), non-profits( who do nothing useful nor any real work) , EBT cards etc.
Given the topic, perhaps you won't mind my posting the following observations again:
"To preserve [the] independence [of the people,] we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debts as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our callings and our creeds, as the people of England are, our people, like them, must come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four, give the earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily expenses, and the sixteenth being insufficient to afford us bread, we must live, as they now do, on oatmeal and potatoes, have no time to think, no means of calling the mismanagers to account, but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers." --Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Kercheval, 1816. ME 15:39
Note Jefferson's very last thought here. He declares that when government taxing and debt have reached certain levels, in order for individuals to survive, then their chosen "employment" becomes "hiring ourselves to rivet their (the government's) chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers."
Consider: As we approach 2013, as pointed out in this article, where are America's levels of employment highest? Is it in the once-thriving private sector, or in the ever-increasing government sector?
Have we reached that final phase of what Jefferson described as a logical end to what begins as letting "our rulers load us with perpetual debt"--a state where we actually become participants by "hiring ourselves" to make slaves of our fellow citizens?
"[With the decline of society] begins, indeed, the bellum omnium in omnia [war of all against all], which some philosophers observing to be so general in this world, have mistaken it for the natural, instead of the abusive state of man. And the fore horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression." --Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Kercheval, 1816. ME 15:40
"Is it now high time for the people of this country to explicitly declare whether they will be free men or slaves. It is an important question which ought to be decided. It concerns more than anything in this life. The salvation of our souls is interested in this event. For wherever tyranny is established, immorality of every kind comes in like a torrent, it is in the interest of tyrants to reduce the people to ignorance and vice. - Samuel Adams
The utopian schemes of leveling and a community of goods, are as visionary and impractical as those which vest all property in the crown. These ideas are arbitrary, despotic, and, in our government unconstitutional. - Samuel Adams
Those who call themselves "conservatives" need to "conserve" these ideas on behalf of future generations.
Their spokesmen need to have studied history enough to be able to use the clear messages of America's Founders intelligently against the "chief redistributionist" and "leveler" of today.
This is very much the reason that, on my personal page, I have a requirement that the Congress can neither set their own pay, nor can they set their pay raises. That privilege belongs to their employers - the taxpayers of the state which elected them!!
I also believe that Congress should have NO authority whatsoever over federal programs in which they do not participate. Socialist Security comes to mind. The Congress opted out of SS, but they still control how the money is spent and what age people can retire to collect benefits from this so-called entitlement program that we pay for (which begs the rhetorical question, “how is that an entitlement”?).
The root cause of our problem is based in the philosophical underpinnings of our legal system. The Common Law system.
One reason the Common Law works so very well is the simple principal that “anything not expressly illegal is legal”. This idea is a huge boon to creativity and entrepreneurship.
However, “Old Europe” is dominated by the French Civil Code, which in turn is based on the Napoleonic Code and old Roman Law. It believes the opposite, that “anything not authorized by the law is illegal.” And this tends to smother both creativity and entrepreneurship.
However, many American political leaders are enamored with the European model, as it is based in elitism and nobles running the government. Something they imagine themselves to be.
So they have pushed incessantly to remake our Common Law based legal system into one more like the French Civil Code, by creating the false notion that Americans should only be able to do what the government *permits* them or *orders* them to do. And this means government micromanagement, or “nanny” government.
To do this, they keep piling on more and more government, regulations and laws.
In real terms, compare the constitution of the United States to the phone book thick constitution that Europe tried to create.
Our constitution is very streamlined, with the intent more than anything to limit and restrict what government is *allowed* to do. Anything else not mentioned is reserved to the states or the people. Ours, not theirs.
The European constitution made a serious effort to define everything that Europeans are *allowed* to do. Which is why it is an unwieldy mess and unserviceable. It is just gobbledegook. The People of Europe matter little if at all in their constitution.
Washington DC’s model is Imperial Rome
The rise of imperial Rome was not solely dependent upon emperors and armies, however, but was accompanied by an immense accession of wealth to Italy. The most abundant areas of the Mediterranean world had previously lain in the east, in Egypt, the Levant, and the lands bordering the Aegean (Greece and western Asia Minor). The rise in Rome was attributed to a decisive shift westward in the centripetal force of economic and political power. Although by the later Roman period throughout the Middle Ages, it was the east once again which attained wealth and power. But during the last centuries BC and the first two centuries AD, Italy achieved a new level of prosperity, which was made evident by looking at the cities, villas, and the production of metalwork and jewelry. Furthermore, Italian merchants and entrepreneurs ventured outward beyond the borders of the empire in search of new commercial openings.
Rising property values in the DC area: “rent seekers’ bubble”
Like the Communist Party in the old Soviet Union or today’s PRC
The Federal Reserve (a private bank) buys up most USG debt these days. They are Obama's enablers. We have a dishonest economy with a shrinking private sector with shrinking wages and compensation to the average worker. Meanwhile the Federal Gov't is expanding with more incompetent libs and incompetent affirmative action workers and it is spending more than ever despite the fact that Gov't is not a wealth generator. EPA is 90% full of non-ideological money grubbers who just want that fat Federale paycheck. But they will issue regulations that will screw you if that's what it takes to earn it.
All the above (that you mention) are kept afloat by the funny money (computer blips) the Federal Reserve issues when it buys USG debt. This is how it pays for the USG debt it buys and puts on its ledger (computer hard drive)
In America the honest real world sector (male dominated) is shrinking while the useless eater sectors (such as non-profits and NGOs) are expanding. Amazing how non-profits and NGOs are female, minority and gay oriented. All the "work" they do is done in cities far away from fracking and growing corn, soybean and wheat
My post just above is my crop and weather report for today
Our system has been co-opted by 49% ownership in Chinese growth.
That was good for a while, but now it is financing our downfall.
We need to bring back US companies and jobs here.
100% ownership in American companies.
Hey Wapo, welcome to the party, pal.
There is no conflict between what we both said.
The same politicians who are enamored with the French legal system are also “internationalists”, who see no advantage to jobs and prosperity being kept here, when *they* could make more money elsewhere. Internationalists, almost by definition, have no national loyalty.
As self-imagined elites, they will always direct business to where labor is cheapest, since they equate Americans who are not elites as no different than Chinese peasants.
Let me re-read it then. Cheers.
OK but I don’t see any preference stated in your post as to where jobs should be located.
We are rapidly facing a decision:
Lose our way of life, to continue buying the cheapest things around. Ruining Americans’ living standard. Eventually bankrupting our nation. (perhaps much sooner than eventually)
Or start moving to counteract the global bias against American products.
It needs to start now. American products need to be made for America.
There has been a terrible bias worldwide against US production.
We need to stop sending all our jobs elsewhere.
Bring back US jobs.
I visited DC and NoVa in April. It looked like America used to look. You didn’t see “Available” and “For Lease” signs on 40% of the commercial buildings. Prosperity was evident everywhere you went.
My cousin lives in DC. She bought a house for 800 grand that would be about 40 here in Indiana.
I tell young people who are interested in relocating that’s the place to be if they can stomach the congestion. Snag one of those 15,000 new IRS jobs for enforcing Obamacare.
DC is a DeathStar. Its parasite population must be 5 million when you include suburbs and families with children. The first parasites in line are direct Federal “workers”. Then come the contractors. Both are doing great via the taxes (and other payments) they extract from far flung provinces such as Nevada, North Dakota, Alaska. What Alaskan ever want to see a Federal official? They are 4,000 miles from DC. Last dirty deed done to them was the EPA blocking Shell oil from a large project Shell had already spent four billion on. Alaskans would have gotten huge royalties from this in the state treasury. Maybe some of it sent to residents but could have decreased taxes all over
A young woman with two kids. I don't know if they were her kids or not...but she bought two bags of gummy bears or something like them...with Food Stamps.
Then she whipped out the cash to buy a pack of Marlboro's. She was dressed and clean..and so were the kids. The got into a nice SUV...newer than mine.
I wondered why she was on Food Stamps....Probably a reason, I guess.
“I wondered why she was on Food Stamps.”
Probably on disability too,due to a severe work allergy.
What did you expect? The Hamiltonian access-capitalist crowd has always wanted this. Think of Hamilton and his ring of precious-metals arbitrageurs, buying and selling gold and silver by turns, and shipping the annual mint runs of the young, cash-starved American economy off to Europe to be melted down, and pocketing profits on the order of fractions of a penny on the dollar.
Congress finally stopped this ring by depreciating the dollar in the late 1830's. That is why a US silver dollar no longer weighed the same as a Spanish, Mexican, or Polish one (all tied to the old Hapsburg thaler of .77~ oz. of .925 [sterling] silver, on the old Roman purity standard), and why our silver and gold purity was cut to .900 fine simultaneously.
Some of the New World republics followed the U.S.: by 1905, a Peruvian sol and a Panamanian Balboa were exactly the same size and weight as a U.S. silver dollar, and a Venezuelan bolivar stacked precisely with an American quarter-dollar, and was worth exactly 10 Panamanian 2-1/2 centesimo "Panama buttons", so that people all around northern South America could use those currencies interchangeably and with confidence.
Recalcitrant, Yanqui-resisting Mexico, however, stayed on the old Hapsburg standard (never mind that they'd recently had to execute one of them for pretending to the vacant Mexican throne), and issued the old-style "cap-and-ray" dollares pesos well into the 20th century.
On the bright side, Alexander Hamilton was a protectionist and as Secretary of Treasury made sure we had a patrolling fleet of ships (cutters) that made sure that tariffs were collected on inbound goods
Yes, he sure did -- sock those competitors! Fill the Treasury from the pockets of those agrarian yayhoos, and force them to buy Millocracy goods!
But he also taxed on the other side -- American produce. He imposed the tax on whiskey (which is how the trans-Appalachian farmers, who had no roads to market, were moving their crops downriver in "concentrated bulk" and value-added form -- following the example of the sugar-cane planters) that led directly to the Whiskey Rebellion. He imposed it in all good faith </s>: The producers were farmers nobody cared about, who had no participation in American politics worth worrying about, and the consumers were river-town drunks, ditto-ditto and ditto again; and the money would flow into the Treasury to fund "improvements" intended to benefit businessmen in *important* economic centers like, oh, New York City. In other words -- Hamilton's pals, again.
It was, in a word .... "poifeckt!"
Tea Party not allowed.
The Feds had no income tax back then. As you know their main sources of revenue were tariffs, alcohol taxes and tobacco taxes. Two sin taxes inj there.
They had to tax something! And whiskey was a reasonable item
Yeah, 'specially as so little of it was made in New York City ....
"Don't tax you and Don't tax me;
We'll tax that fellow there
Under that tree!"
I'd maybe have given Hamilton a little credit if he'd, say, offered to tax stock transactions on Wall Street, or marline production or other nautical supplies and products. Or brass running-lights for ships and carriages and hacks. You know, urban lanterns.