Get sick, get well
Hang around a ink well
Ring bell, hard to tell
If anything is goin' to sell
-- Bob Dylan

Saturday, June 1, 2013

While public ed suffers, private D.C. contractors ask, 'What sequester?'

Life in the Ownership Society

Public education and the public sector in general is being devastated by sequester's budget ax.

But today's WSJ reveals how private sector federal contracting has created a new "gilded age" and  a new class of super-rich in and around the nation's capital. Journal writer Elizabeth Williamson describes an incredible mansion built in the suburbs of D.C. by technology billionaire Frank Islam who shrugs at the word sequester.
The sprawling compound is a product of Washington's Gilded Age—a time of lush business profits initially fueled by government outsourcing and war. Some demographers predicted the boom here would ebb as federal spending shrank amid troop withdrawals from the Middle East and efforts to trim the deficit...The explosion in government outsourcing has shoveled federal dollars from Capitol Hill to mirrored high-rises dotting the Beltway.
 Seven of the nation's 10 wealthiest counties are now in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan region, compared with only two in the New York metropolitan area, and none in Silicon Valley. Census data from 2010 show median household income was $84,523 in the D.C. area, compared with $83,944 for Silicon Valley's wealthy San Jose region. D.C.'s inner city is being whitenized as public housing is leveled, public schools closed and privatization replaces public sector jobs.

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