Friday, August 19, 2011
D.C. Has A Different Economy From The Rest of America
Jason Linkins reports that D.C. is the only place where people think the economy is just dandy, since that's where the politicos, lobbyists, and people looking for big handouts live:
A less remarked-upon bit of polling from Gallup is this bit here, in which they set out to gauge the nation's "economic confidence." What they found was remarkably consistent -- state by state, there are more people lacking in confidence than there are people who feel the economy has turned around.
So once again, the real story is, "Terrible Economy Presents Problems For Ordinary Americans." But if you don't see those stories, there's a reason why, and it has everything to do with the one outlier in Gallup's findings. If you want a hint as to where that outlier is, consider this: every single one of this poll's respondents said they were currently employed. In every state, Gallup spoke to people who are at least fortunate enough to have a job ("87,634 employed adults, aged 18 and older, conducted from January-June 2011").
So with that in mind, what part of America do you imagine has the highest concentration of employed people who don't have personal relationships with people who are unemployed?
Yes, it seems that the one and only place in America where anyone has any confidence in the economy also happens to be Washington, D.C., home to political elites, the media that covers them, the people who win the relevant contracts and the people who feather their nests lobbying for the laws that impact the other United (in their lack of economic confidence) States Of America.
Here's Catherine Rampell, from The New York Times' Economix blog:The biggest gap between the District of Columbia and the rest of the country is created by the second question used to create the Economic Confidence Index, on whether the economy is getting better or worse.
In every state, a majority of residents think the economy is getting worse. In the nation’s capital, however, a full 60 percent of people think the economy is getting better.
D.C. Residents Haven't Done Anything to Help the American People
The folks in D.C. have done nothing to fix America's economic problems. See this and this. They have paid lip service to fighting unemployment, but their policies have only made it worse. They have thrown trillions at the giant banks - many of them overseas - but said no to helping Main street. Their policies have led to greater inequality than we've had since years before the Great Depression - higher than in Egypt, Tunisia, or Yemen or third world banana republics. And they have helped Wall Street cover up its massive, economy-killing fraud.
They Have, However, Been Helping Themselves
Indeed, D.C. politicians make big money by selling out the American people. While they are good at acting like they care about the little guy, they actually couldn't care less about the average American, and have no problem picking his pocket at the first opportunity.
And see this must-read list; and this one.
Like A Separate Country ... Which Doesn't Care About AmericansD.C. is like a separate country ... one which really doesn't care about the American people.
Postscript: Some of the biggest fat cats live in wealthy suburbs in Virginia and Maryland, and - as Linkins notes - many D.C. residents are not as well off as the politicos and lobbyists.
But the general principle still holds.