The government ruling class by the numbers

The ruling class continues to live high on the hog at the expense of the rest of the country -- staggering national debt, 10th Amendment and Great Recession be damned. The figures that follow are more consistent with an aristocracy, monarchy or plutocracy than our constitutional republic.

Home prices

According to the Washington Post, the Washington DC area experienced "the highest year-over-year home price gains in the nation this fall, as real estate values slumped in nearly every other metropolitan area." The article cited Standard & Poor's latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices released last week. From October 2009 to October 2010, home prices dropped in 16 of the 20 metro areas studied. Of the four cities with increases, home prices in the DC area rose most: 3.7%.

From September 2010 to October 2010, home prices declined in all of the 20 markets tracked. Still, the nation's capital region enjoyed a relative advantage, tying Las Vegas for the lowest month-over-month decline, -0.2%.

Unemployment rates

In late November 2010, Forbes reported that the DC area "boasts a better than average unemployment rate of 5.9%, far below the September's 9.2% national average." That's a 44% difference. The Washington area unemployment rate, according to the Post, "has consistently remained roughly three percentage points below the national average throughout the downturn in the economy."


According to Forbes, the Washington DC area was "the place with the highest median family income" in 2009. Residents there realized a 0.7% increase, on average, in household income in 2009, despite the fact that "median family incomes across the country decreased dramatically from 2008 to 2009."

According to another Forbes ranking, three of the top five, six of the top ten, and 11 of the top 25 "richest" counties in U.S. are in the Washington DC area. The top three counties on the list -- Loudoun, Fairfax, and Howard -- are all in the DC area. The rankings are based on 2008 median household income data from the Census Bureau.

The Cato Institute analyzed data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and concluded that "in 2009, the average wage for 1.95 million federal civilian workers was $81,258, which compared to an average $50,462 for the nation's 101 million private sector workers (measured in full-time equivalents)." The disparity is even greater when benefits are considered. According to Cato, "federal worker compensation averaged a whopping $123,049, which was more than double the private sector average of $61,051" in 2009.

Until the beast that is the federal government is starved or at least put on a crash diet, the swine will continue to dine finely at our expense.