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View Diary: Washington, D.C. thinks the economy is doing just fine (107 comments)

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  •  But when the base industry is doing well (0+ / 0-)

    most prosper.  Detroit, for example.  And when it fails, many suffer.  Detroit again, for example.  The base "industry" of DC, the federal government, is not faultering.  And lobbying money is flowing as freely as ever.  It gets spent everywhere, including at grocery stores and hospitals.

    Sunday mornings are more beautiful without Meet the Press.

    by deben on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 02:40:16 PM PDT

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    •  "Most?" Depends on how it's distributed. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Imhotepsings

      The unemployment rate in DC in June was 10.4%.  What was it in your state?

      As we both well know, the fruits of a regional economy can be spread very unevenly, and don't always find their way to the inner city.

      You talk about grocery stores and hospitals; I'm sure the grocery stores and hospitals out in Virginia are doing great.

      Art is the handmaid of human good.

      by joe from Lowell on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 02:43:12 PM PDT

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      •  The lines on the map that divide DC (0+ / 0-)

        from Virginia don't represent an iron curtain.  There is plenty of commuting going on and plenty of money being spent by commuters.  Doesn't the DC subway system run into Virginia?  Alexandria?  Arlington?  Isn't the "Metro" system of trains and buses called that because they run into Virginia and Maryland?

        Florida unemployment:  10.6%

        Sunday mornings are more beautiful without Meet the Press.

        by deben on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 02:50:07 PM PDT

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        •  There's no iron between Detroit and its burbs. So? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Imhotepsings

          Are you seriously making this argument?  That we should just assume that the inner cities get their share of the wealth, and that it doesn't just flow out to the suburbs?

          Look, I'm actually a city planner by training, with years of experience in the field.  I assure you, people who commute into a city at 9 and leave again at 5 and live out in the suburbs do not, in fact, spend a great deal of their money in the inner city neighborhoods where most of the city's residents live and work.

          This is a point that should be pretty well understood by people on the left.

          Art is the handmaid of human good.

          by joe from Lowell on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 02:57:29 PM PDT

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          •  What I'm trying to understand is who in DC voted (0+ / 0-)

            in this poll and thinks things are going great.

            I live in Florida, where the economy is horrible and we know it.  (In the bottom 10 states on the optimism index.)  Let's say, what if, Florida were surrounded by extremely wealthy "suburbs," some of the very wealthiest in the country.  Would some of that money reach me and affect my optimism/pessimism?  I'd say so.

            If there is another explanation for what is happening in Washington, DC, it's not been made clear to me.

            Sunday mornings are more beautiful without Meet the Press.

            by deben on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 03:14:44 PM PDT

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            •  Not 'going great,' but 'getting better.' (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Imhotepsings

              Poor people, and people who live in poor areas, are better than average at picking up on the direction of things in hard times.

              Think of how people who've lived in poor neighborhoods can tell the difference between a poor area that is going down the tubes, and a poor neighborhood that is pretty stable and has turned itself around.  They pick up on little things like new shutters, the rarity of broken glass, whether there are little kids outside...fairly subtle indicators.

              While your typical suburbanite would look at both neighborhoods and not be able to tell them apart.

              Florida is almost entirely suburban.  Even its cities, like Jacksonville, are mostly just large areas of suburb.  There really is a wall between suburbs and inner cities.

              Art is the handmaid of human good.

              by joe from Lowell on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 03:27:01 PM PDT

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              •  So a poll of inner city Detroit should (0+ / 0-)

                say that things are getting better?  Chicago.  Atlanta.  Just like the poll of DC.  Why?  What's gotten better?  What are the encouraging signs that minority, working class residents of DC see that the rest of us are missing?  What are the fewer shutters and less broken glass in their lives that point to a bright future?

                Sunday mornings are more beautiful without Meet the Press.

                by deben on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 03:40:36 PM PDT

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                •  My suspicion... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  deben, Mommyca

                  Is that the Gallup polling in DC was limited to certain neighborhoods in the District, with a lot of input from wealthier suburbs in Northern VA and Montgomery County MD.  I couldn't find any information from the link that laid out exactly the demographics of the poll, but I can tell you from where I sit (and live), people are getting by, some worse than others.  My neighborhood, in NE DC, is predominantly older AA and Latino homeowners, with some gentrification.  Our home values have gone down.  My home is currently underwater (I bought in 2006 - not good timing at all) by about 15%, which while nowhere near what others around the country are experiencing, is making it impossible for me to refinance.  I'm still working, but am in danger of losing my job at the end of this fiscal year.  Had I - and many designers and others in vulnerable professions living in Metro DC - been polled, I bet Gallup would have gotten a very different result.  Anyway, sorry to reply to you so late...

                  "The struggle against power 'is the struggle of memory against forgetting.'" -Milan Kundera via Bill Moyers

                  by Imhotepsings on Tue Aug 16, 2011 at 08:46:49 AM PDT

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                  •  So, a flawed poll (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Imhotepsings

                    Possible.  Gallop has produced flawed results often enough.  Your experience there tells you it is an outlier.

                    I'm still not convinced though.  Nearby to me is the Kennedy Space Center.  As the Shuttle Program has wound down and now ended, it has devastated the economy for miles around.  Not everybody worked for NASA.  Many worked for NASA's contractors.  Some ran restaurants, bars, car repair shops.  Some bagged groceries, mowed lawns.  Point is, when the prime industry was hit, it ruined lives all around.  In DC, though plenty of businesses have been adversely hit by the Bush Recession, the prime industries there, the federal government and the lobbying jackals, have been mostly untouched.  Money continues to flow, unlike at the Space Coast, where for too many life looks bleak.  A big chunk of the best jobs are gone, the NASA-level jobs; and the dominoes have been tumbling all around.

                    Sunday mornings are more beautiful without Meet the Press.

                    by deben on Tue Aug 16, 2011 at 09:51:14 AM PDT

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