Washington, D.C., is among the richest and poorest cities in the country. The difference lies in which set of data is being used.
Median household income in the nation’s capital is more than $61,000 a year, about 17 percent above the national income level. Yet more than 18 percent of people living in the there have incomes below the poverty level, a poverty rate more than 27 percent above the national average.
Data on food stamp usage also places D.C. among the poorest places in the country. In the most recent data, the percentage of D.C. residents receiving food stamps was the highest in the nation, at 23.8 percent.
Among the states, Mississippi has the highest percentage of its population on food stamps, with 22.3 percent of residents in the state, which is known as one of the poorest in the nation, receiving these benefits.
Washington, D.C., is truly two cities in one. Some neighborhoods are wealthy enclaves populated by government workers and lobbyists surrounded by poor neighborhoods where food stamps are commonly used.
This is the only economy a big government can provide, not much different than the one found in North Korea or China. In Washington, government has replaced the private sector, and the only real growth is seen among contractors supporting the expansion of government.
Without an entrepreneurial private sector, there is no middle class. The government becomes the upper class and the lower class is pushed to the side so the upper class can go about their business.
As government continues to expand, the economic model of D.C. will spread. There will be some who benefit from making the rules, while many receive only what the government gives them.
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