Reason Writers Around Town: Radley Balko on Washington's Wealth Boom for FoxNews.com

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America's three richest counties are now in the Washington suburbs, as are nine of the richest 20. In his FoxNews.com column this week, Radley Balko explains why it's problematic when the wealthiest (and only growing wealthier) region of the country is one where the only major industry is government.

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  1. This pattern is also seen in European countries, where the capital is usually wealthier (by per-capita income) than the US, but the rest is far poorer than Mississippi.

  2. See how well Progressivism works? If the rest of the country and FOX front groups like Reason would quit resisting the inevitible the rest of the country would not be in such misery.

  3. I wonder why the last of the Trotskyites have not jumped on this yet?

  4. You should have heard Rep. Tom Davis on cspan defending earmarks for Northern VA infrastructure. I was sick for days.

  5. There’s a reason the legions demanded land in Italy…

  6. There are two different ways to interpret the blog post title, one of which is quite amusing and apropos, or perhaps prescient.

  7. Sometimes I can be such a retard! I saw that headline and thought it was going to be an article about how the incoming Obama administration in Washington was going to be a wealth boom to fox news.

  8. ChuckG and Innominate, the title is about FOX corporate overlords growing rich.

  9. LurkerBold is a LoneWacko straw-man sockpuppet.

  10. Bingo, stop being such a hater and I am not Lonewacko.

  11. LurkerBold:

    There are only a handful of people here that post as often as you do and are as consistently boring and unfunny as you are.

  12. Bingo are you looking at the man in the nirror?

  13. If Wall Street hadn’t blown itself up and come running to DC for a handout, there wouldn’t be any bailout.

    As intellectual property becomes more and more important, companies fight over the definitions of what “intellectual property” is, questions only the government can resolve, because government defines property.

    As business becomes increasingly international, only the U.S. government can negotiate agreements that allow U.S. concerns to profit in foreign countries.

    Nothing did more for the DC real estate market than the War on Terror. Not all roads lead to DC, but a lot of them do.

    And tell me, why are there so many libertarians in DC? Wouldn’t they want to stay as far away as possible? Or do they want to be where the action is?

  14. Bingo! Dear God, man! DO NOT LOOK INTO THE NIRROR! It will be your doom!

  15. Can you say rent seeking scum? Reasonoids, IMHO, do not hammer the defense industry lobbyists and parasites hard enough and often enough as they are the scum that seek and get the biggest part of the ongoing bolzshevik bonanza.

    Note: I did not write that Reasonoids never or rarely hit this pocket of rent seeking scum. If the leviathan is to be slain, its military industrial complex has to be hit and hit hard.

  16. Rent-seeking scum indeed. This is a very disturbing trend. Another disturbing trend is that 30-50% of all posts on any given thread belong to the most tedious and lame troll I have ever witnessed. This article is a testament to the leeching powers of bureacracy. The troll a testament to the omnipresent powers of stupidity and immaturity.

  17. Libertymike, Reason is never going to attack the Right Wing War Machine in any serious manner, like Abbey Hoffman did when he was alive. They make too much money pretending to pay attention to it.

  18. Alan-

    I do not think that we see eye to eye on many things, but the last 2 questions of your post are damn good ones. I often wonder about that myself. In 1998, at the Libertarian National Convention, I asked many delegates why should the party hold its convention in D.C.(it was held in Disgrace of Columbia that year).

  19. And tell me, why are there so many libertarians in DC? Wouldn’t they want to stay as far away as possible? Or do they want to be where the action is?

    teh COSMOTARIAN!!!!!!!!

  20. Bingo! Dear God, man! DO NOT LOOK INTO THE NIRROR! It will be your doom!

    And if you do look into the nirror, do not, I repeat, do not, say “candynan” three times. DOM’T DO IT!

  21. Camdynam!
    Camdynam!
    Camdynam!

    Oh, shit! Somebody give Tony Todd a Zagnut!

  22. *looks in nirror*
    *realizes doesn’t have nirror or even know what a nirror is*
    well, whatever
    URKOBOLD
    URKOBOLD
    URKOBOLD

    How do you make a lame troll go away?
    Scantily clad female figures aren’t really an option.

  23. Phalkor, must you always be so genderidentificationist?

  24. teh COSMOTARIAN!!!!!!!!

    *Runs away screaming*

  25. LURKERBOLD! THE URKOBOLD HAS PERCEIVED YOUR TOFU SUSHI AND PRONOUNCES IT TO BE AN ABOMINATION. YOU ARE ANATHEMA AND UNCLEAN!

    LURKERBOLD, YOU’RE NOTHING TO THE URKOBOLD NOW. YOU’RE NOT A BROTHER, YOU’RE NOT A FRIEND. THE URKOBOLD DOESN’T WANT TO KNOW YOU OR WHAT YOU DO. THE URKOBOLD DOESN’T WANT TO SEE YOU AT THE HOTELS, THE URKOBOLD DOESN’T WANT YOU NEAR HIS HOUSE. WHEN YOU SEE YOUR MOTHER, THE URKOBOLD WANTS TO KNOW A DAY IN ADVANCE, SO HE WON’T BE THERE. YOU UNDERSTAND?

  26. This is an example of the destructive feedback loop in which government begets more government. As more people benefit from government they begin to support more and more government.

    The great danger here is that as government destroys economic creativity, those whose interest lay with government will block any reform driving the economy down and down. They have an economic version of “better to rule in hell than serve in heaven”. They would rather be wealthy and powerful in a poorer American than ordinary people in wealthy America.

    This type of thinking destroyed the Great Lake states, once the industrial power house of the entire planet now known as the “rustbelt”. The same dynamic is currently destroying California. Unless reversed, we will see the last pockets of small government in the west and midwest disappear as well.

  27. On another note, I agree with Urkerbold that tofu-sushi is affront to God, Buddha and Nature. Frankly, I can’t take anyone with such poor culinary judgement seriously.

    Well, that and the Marxist drivel.

  28. Urkobold is a destructive feedback loop.

  29. If Wall Street hadn’t blown itself up and come running to DC for a handout, there wouldn’t be any bailout.

    Uh, right. The government was forced to do it. Because they don’t run the country or anything.

  30. Rents are high, in Washington.

  31. Jordan, the corporations run the country. Every body knows this but some refuse to state it.

  32. America’s three richest counties are now in the Washington suburbs, as are nine of the richest 20.

    Wow! Who’d a thunk it? It wopld appear that our political overlords, their minions, corporate and labor lobbyists and other associated rent seekers get paid a boatload of money because the federal government looms so large in the economic and day to day affairs of American life.

    According to both major political parties, the obvious solution to this vexing state of affairs is to increase the involvement of the federal government in the regulation of economic and lifestyle choices of the citizenry.

    Fortunately the RIGHT PEOPLE? are now in charge and our new and improved overlords, Now With Extra Altruism and Wisdom! will be calling the shots with bold new initiatives that reject the demonstrated failures of the past and chart a new course for freedom and prosperity.*

    * If y’all will excuse me, I now have to go sing to the porcelain receptacle after typing that paragraph.

  33. This article would be more convincing if it had numbers showing the percentage of people in DC and surrounding counties who are government employees and contractors now and a few years ago, and what their average salaries. The numbers it does give, although interesting, really aren’t too useful in determining whether the ‘wealth boom’ around DC is due to the government. It cites growing numbers of contractors, but a huge number of government contractors live in other places, like where airplanes, ships, and construction projects get built. Not DC. I live in DC and anecdotally, know plenty of people who make high salaries from jobs that have nothing to do with the federal government. Sure, I also know federal employees and contractors. But the article doesn’t show where the rise in incomes in DC is coming from.

  34. government defines property

    No, it doesn’t. Government protects property. If it’s a government’s prerogative to define property, then it can change the terms at any time and take it away from you. The concept of property (and property rights) derives from natural law. Rights are not the government’s to issue or rescind, only to protect and enforce.

  35. When I hear the word culture, I quietly slip back the safety on my pistol.

  36. Adam-
    I grew up in the DC area and my parents still live there. With the exception of the Dulles tech cooridor (which itself is not quite the dynamo that it was a decade ago – the most famous example being AOL), and possibly the example of discovery networks in Bethesda (silver spring?), every other bit of properity in the DC metro area is directly or indirectly built on the foundation of the federal government. No links handy, but every single regional economic forecast reflects this fact. If the government decided to pull chocks and move to wichita, DC would look like a rust belt metro area in short order.

  37. This article would be more convincing if it had numbers showing the percentage of people in DC and surrounding counties who are government employees and contractors now and a few years ago, and what their average salaries.

    The answers you seek are here grasshopper.

  38. If the government decided to pull chocks and move to wichita,

    Hmm. I may need to add a new Constitutional amendment to my wish list, requiring the federal government to move its situs every, oh, five years, to a randomly selected state. That would probably do wonders all by itself to cut down on the sheer volume of the government and its hangers-on.

    Similar to my idea that if we had located the UN in Kansas from day one, it would be a very different institution than it is today. Put a giant diplomatic enclave in an attractive location like New York, and you get a collection of kleptocrats and an obese bureaucracy. Put it smack in the middle of the Great Plains, not so much.

  39. Similar to my idea that if we had located the UN in Kansas from day one, it would be a very different institution than it is today. Put a giant diplomatic enclave in an attractive location like New York, and you get a collection of kleptocrats and an obese bureaucracy. Put it smack in the middle of the Great Plains, not so much.

    What do you have against the Sunflower State? Was your mother frightened by a Kansan when she was carrying you?

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