Based on where the top 1 percent lives, the Occupy crowd should be protesting against big government

America has 3,033 counties, and of 15 richest jurisdictions from that list (the top half of one percent), 10 are in the Washington metropolitan area

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You're in the wrong city folks...
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Daniel J. Mitchell
On 23 February 2012 11:38

I’ve written before about how big government is enriching people in the Washington metropolitan area. This is for two reasons.

First, bureaucrats are paid too much, getting twice as much compensation, on average, as people in the productive sector of the economy.

Second, lobbyists, contractors, and interest groups have figured out how to get lucrative positions at the federal trough.

A new report from MSN Money illustrates how the political elite is getting very rich by plundering honest Americans. America has 3,033 counties, and they identified the 15 richest jurisdictions from that list.

Of those 15 super-elite counties (the top half of one percent), 10 are in the Washington metropolitan area. I’ve identified them with stars in the map.

You may be wondering, by the way, about the location of the other counties in the top 15. Well, four of them are suburbs of New York City, meaning that they are home to rich Wall Street people who mooched from the taxpayers thanks to TARP bailouts and other subsidies.

So if you really want to be cynical, you could count them as auxiliary counties of Washington, DC. That’s probably an unfair conclusion, but TARP was unfair to honest and hard-working people, so I don’t feel too guilty.

As far as I can tell, the only untarnished jurisdiction in the top 15 is Douglas County, Colorado. And given that these are the folks who are implementing a good school choice plan, it seems that we have a group of productive people who also believe in doing the right thing.

For more information about the overcompensation of bureaucrats, this video is loaded.

Most important of all, remember that any proposals to increase government spending will further widen the income gulf between the political elite and regular Americans. And any initiative to boost the tax burden would lead to the same result.

Daniel J. Mitchell is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, the free-market, Washington D.C. think tank. His articles are cross-posted on his blog by agreement

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