DC Is Recession-proof, and Washingtonians Know It

I moved to Washington, DC two years ago for graduate school — apparently, as a freshly-credentialed MPP entering the job market, my timing was impeccable. But I can’t say I’m really happy about what it means more broadly for the direction in which the country is heading.

Catherine Rampell at the New York Times Economix blog reports (emphasis mine):

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.

Cato’s David Boaz examined the reasons behind this dynamic here and here.

Reader’s Digest version: the Bush-Obama spending binge has spurred more growth in Washington, DC than anywhere else in the country. That’s because new federal agencies with new missions (or new missions at existing agencies) need new personnel. But beyond a simple expansion of the government itself came an expansion of the special interest class, eager to get its mitts on new waves of federal spending.

As if we didn’t have enough to worry about with millions unemployed across the country and new levels of uncertainty abounding, this doesn’t bode well for friends of the free market.

What can we do about it? Get involved.

Update

Per his correspondence in the comments below, David Boaz offers more comments on the subject today over at [email protected] I saw Boaz’s new post come through Google Reader only moments after I published this piece, but I’m at the office today and haven’t had time to update until now.

Thanks for reading, David!


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