The three most prosperous large counties in the United States are in the Washington suburbs, according to census figures released yesterday, which show that the region has the second-highest income and the least poverty of any major metropolitan area in the country.
Rapidly growing Loudoun County has emerged as the wealthiest jurisdiction in the nation, with its households last year having a median income of more than $98,000. It is followed by Fairfax and Howard counties, with Montgomery County not far behind.
That accumulation of suburban wealth, local economists said, is a side effect of the enormous flow of federal money into the region through contracts for defense and homeland security work in the five years since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, coming after the local technology boom of the 1990s. "When you put that together . . . you have a recipe for heightened prosperity," said Anirban Basu, an economist at a Baltimore consulting firm.
Make no mistake about who lives in these counties. They are pretty much all living on your dime through the repeating cycle of money flowing from contractors to lobbyists to Congress critters campaign accounts, and sometimes their personal accounts, followed by a raid on the federal treasury though earmarks to send even larger sums back to the contractors.
I think these last few paragraphs sum up the situation pretty well. Again from the Post:
The suburban prosperity has been brought about by people such as Tony Dawood, 46, of Leesburg, who moved to Loudoun County from Pennsylvania to take a job as a civil engineer. He is paid about $130,000 a year and augments his income with business investments.
"The affluence is overwhelming," Dawood said. His 17-year-old son has developed an interest in golf, an expensive hobby given the cost of $50 to $100 to play on a public course, and drives a new Mitsubishi Montero. It would be considered a nice car for a teenager, except that one of his friends has a brand-new Hummer and another drives a new Cadillac.
"They pull up in my driveway and my jaw drops," Dawood said.
What do the kids in your neighborhood drive?
Oh, and I should also tell you the report that generated this story noted that a record number of American now live without access to health insurance. Hope you don't have a doctor's office appointment scheduled.