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Richer and Poorer: The Washington Economy

10:05 AM, Sep 20, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
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It is no secret that Washington generally prospers even as the rest of the country struggles. In a rough fashion, prosperity in the capital and economic hardship in the rest of the country are inversely related. An economic crisis means lots of new government pump priming--remember the stimulus?--which means new departments and programs in Washington. More opportunities for the tribe of lawyers and lobbyists. 

But times are never really bad in Washington. Unless you are one of the unfortunates living in what is called "deep poverty." As Neil Shah of the Wall Street Journal reports, "The income of the typical D.C. household rose 23.3% between 2000 and 2012 to an inflation-adjusted $66,583," and "median household incomes for the nation as a whole dropped 6.6%—from $55,030 to $51,371."

And yet:

The share of people in D.C. experiencing what’s called “deep poverty” — incomes that are 50% below the poverty line — actually rose between 2000 and 2012 from 9.4% to 10.4%. 

Making D.C.’s rate "the highest in the country, beating out Mississippi."

Washington: Where all the smart people go to do good, and wind up doing well.

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