Who says there’s a recession? Business is booming in the nation’s capital. The unemployment rate is a mere 5.5%. Construction jobs grew by 14% last year alone. The average home is worth more than twice the national average. And the median household income is $86,680 — the highest in the nation.
Welcome to Washington. No city in America has held up so well over the last four years. Clearly, the city that makes the nation’s economic policy is itself the model of economic success. But what’s holding the rest of America back?
There’s no need to leave the District to find the answer. Once you get beyond the usual suspects — the billionaires and millionaires who so selfishly owned successful companies and greedily created tens of thousands of jobs in their insatiable quest for riches — you get to a different demographic: the D.C. bureaucrats.
The “who’s who” of D.C.’s wealthy contains a suspicious number of wealthy bureaucrats. At the top, the thousand best-paid federal employees make between $216,000 and $350,000. Not too shabby, eh?
What about those people who don’t work for the federal government, but receive federal subsidies anyway? These people — the Big Birds among us — work for places like PBS, where at least 17 people make over $300,000 per year. The 1% has never been so varied.
Don’t stop there, though. The number of federal employees making over $100,000 clocks in at an astounding 459,000 individuals. This accounts for over 22% of the total federal workforce — an incredible jump from the 12% who made the cut six years ago.
These federal employees live a plush life. Their average salaries start an average 21% higher than the private sector. The 72% difference in benefits is nothing to sniff at, either — although their health plans cover the sniffles, just in case.
Then there’s job security. You’re six times more likely to get fired in private sector. In fact, the number one threat in some federal agencies is actually death itself. Thankfully, the federal government is free of redundancy, waste, and corruption — right?
This is the same administrative regulatory state that’s killing jobs across America. Moreover, these high-earning bureaucrats are the people who are doing their best — unintentionally, too — to stifle the growth of the American economy. Washington may now be the nation’s wealthiest city, but its newfound riches looks more like monarchy than democracy — Versailles, perhaps.
It’s worth remembering that all of these nameless and faceless bureaucrats actually work for us. “We the People” is more than just a rhetorical flourish. If we don’t like what they’re doing — or how much they’re making — we can change things at the ballot box. Remember that the next time a federal employee puts you on hold for half an hour. That should be just enough time to consider the meaning of “civil servant.”