To D.C. Homeless – Let Them Eat Brioche

Obama and the left love to travel the country making soap-box speeches bemoaning income inequality; yet, right under their collective noses is a dichotomy of two vastly different economies in the District of Columbia. One is populated by “the connected,” thriving in well-paying information and government jobs. The other is for people scrambling for even low-paying work.

We should be disgusted with that. Every high-paying job in the DC area is attributed directly to government payroll or to servicing our bloated overseers. We all know this, and so do they in the “public sector,” but I’m sure they’ve convinced themselves, or been convinced, that their work is so essential, that they are the best and brightest and therefore should be paid like kings.

According to the analysis by the DC Fiscal Policy Institute, “the top 5 percent of households in the District averaged $473,000 a year…,” and that was 3 years ago. Gee – I wonder if it’s even more now.

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In 2012, the Washington Post reported that the “District has one of the highest levels of income inequality among the nation’s cities, with the top fifth earning on average 29 times the income of the bottom fifth.”

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The city’s top fifth of all households pulled in $259,000 on average. In contrast, the bottom fifth had an average income of $9,100.

In fact census figures released in 2011 prove that the D.C. region has one of the lowest levels of income equality of any metropolitan area in the country.

In stark contrast to the rich and powerful in government is the explosion of homelessness in D.C. Just yesterday, Sky News reported that “homelessness is reaching crisis point – a record 4,000 people are in emergency shelters in Washington DC, many of them children.”

“Rising rents and a lack of affordable housing are changing the profile of those people with nowhere to live. Alongside the chronic homeless with long-term needs, are a rising number of families and people who have previously held down jobs.

Wait…what? I thought the economy was roaring back. I heard reports touting the great jobs numbers. How could people still be losing jobs?

But don’t worry your homeless little head over it because “President Barack Obama has announced he wants to spend an extra $525 million in 2016 to help tackle homelessness, alongside rental assistance for an additional 67,000 families.” Extra huh. I wasn’t aware we had an extra half a billion dollars laying around.

Anyway, isn’t that thoughtful of Barack– tackling homelessness – because we all know that throwing money at a problem always solves it. Maybe he’ll have to hire more government workers to dispense those hundreds of millions of dollars? And they’ll probably demand to be paid a king’s ransom. And they’ll have to be, in that the average cost of a 2 bedroom apartment is now three times the national average. But that’s okay. After all, they’ll surely solve the homeless crisis, so it will be worth it.

Meanwhile, reports Sky News, there is homeless Anthony and his family. He struggles to accept help, saying, “I don’t really look people in the eye anymore, I’m just embarrassed, I look away. I feel hurt on the inside, I don’t feel like a man on the inside. I can’t provide for my family – I’m asking everybody for a hand-out.” 

The DC General Family Shelter – the District’s biggest – is at capacity with 232 families living there.

Throwing money at the problem or even privately making donations is not going to solve this. People like Anthony want a job, not a handout!

But as the government grows, it drives companies out of business through overburdening taxes and regulation. Companies cut back or shut down – people lose their jobs and become homeless – all in the shadow of our capital.

It is a travesty that at the same time and in the same general area that there are so many homeless families,  six of the ten richest counties in America are in Virginia and Maryland, clustered around the Washington, D.C., metro area, and Falls Church City is the number 1 richest county in America.

But just like the Lords and Ladies of medieval Europe, as long as our ruling class does not have to bear direct witness to their suffering, let the homeless “eat brioche.”

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