Sunday, November 16, 2008

Washington Never Goes Into Recession

In “Only Booming Washington Defies the Gloom,” The Times informs us that no matter what is happening to Shanghai, Palo Alto, Singapore, London and the other places where people actually create value, Washington DC, the capital of the rent-seeking empire is in fine fettle:

Then to Washington, a city that is heavily Democratic and where blacks are in the majority. Euphoria reigns. Construction cranes are everywhere, and although the property market is softer than in the past, commercial space is being readied to house the growth in government that is inevitable when the president-elect and his activist team take over. And that means jobs for the private-sector lobbyists, lawyers and hangers-on who inevitably attach themselves to a new administration in the manner of the sandpipers who feed on the backs of hippopotamuses in the Serengeti National Park.

Lobbyists are particularly frantic. All save $60 billion of the $350 billion initial authorisation under the emergency economic stabilisation act has been spent and, as The New York Times described the “mad scramble”, “the Treasury department is under siege by an army of hired guns for banks . . . and insurers — as well as from improbable candidates like a Hispanic business group representing plumbing and home-heating specialists.” Then there is the “fix housing first” group that wants mortgage rates lowered to 2.99% and a $22,000 tax credit for new buyers.

Biologists know. Special-interest groups, whose rolls go on for page after page in the DC phone book, are the parasites, and the producers are the hosts. But unlike parasites in the wild, economic parasites can grow in harmony with, rather than opposed to, their delivery vehicles. The malaria virus damages the mosquito, and the human; only the parasite is a winner. But economic parasites, be they eager “to harass our people and eat out their substance” from the left or from the right, government wins, always. People plead on behalf of prescription drugs yesterday, banks today, autos tomorrow. No matter who wins the election.


Post a Comment

<< Home