How the Other Half Lives – Washington, DC’s One Percent


I was perusing Bad Blue this evening and came across this Washington Post story on Washington, DC’s one percent, via Cato. David Boaz noted:

Sounds like the Capitol in The Hunger Games. Washington’s citizens are less frivolous, though — despite recent news stories. The one percent in Washington are lawyers, lobbyists, government contractors, and the doctors and entrepreneurs who serve them. But unlike regions where actual wealth is created — software, automobiles, financial services, capital allocation, movies and television, medicine — Washington’s economy is based on the confiscation and transfer of wealth produced elsewhere. As such, Washington’s wealth is a net loss for economic growth in the country.

When he talks about Washington’s wealth, well, he means it. Back to WaPo:

At the Collection at Chevy Chase, a $1,100 purple python pump gleams in the window of the Gucci store. Across Wisconsin Avenue at TTR Sotheby’s, sales agents prepare to sell a $32 million riverview home near Annapolis — one of the most expensive properties ever listed in the D.C. area. And at a nearby Whole Foods, BMWs idle in the circular drive as shoppers dash in for $19.99-a-pound Dijon-crusted rack of lamb.

Long before “the 1 percent” became part of the political lexicon, a growing number of highly educated, dual-income families were driving the region’s top income levels into the stratosphere.

To be considered part of the 1 percent in this area, it takes a household income far above the national average of $387,000. The gateway for the region is $527,000. In the District, the top 1 percent of households bring in at least $617,000; in Montgomery County, more than $606,000; and in Fairfax County, $532,000, according to an analysis of census statistics by The Washington Post and Sentier Research, a firm that specializes in income data. (Read More)

One of the wealthy one percenters interviewed for the article, who works in the private sector, said that thanks to President Obama’s rhetoric against people like himself (he was recently attacked with glitter by the Occupy crowd) he will not be voting for Obama this time around. This, despite contributing $30K to Obama and Democrats in 2008. I’m sure that’s the reason Obama has lost so many of his big bucks donors.

Back to the point of this post. Isn’t it bothersome knowing that as the economy limps along in cities and towns all across the republic, it’s booming in DC?

Oh, and isn’t it ironic that despite all of this wealth they can’t fix their escalators?