While the rest of American is going through the motions of hardship and struggle of the Great Recession, Washington’s elite residents are living a rather cushy life. Within the past few months, the unemployment rate has not significantly improved and cuts from the fiscal budget are putting thousands out of work. There is a glaring social distance between the policy-makers, pundits, and politicians seen in Washington DC and those who are still coping with the recession.
The official unemployment rate of the labor force is at 9% while the unemployment rate for the Washington/Arlington/Alexandria metro area is at the lowest among all large metropolitan areas in the entire county at 5.7%. In 2010, the DC metro area added 57,000 jobs, more than any in the nation. DC is currently the hub of a massive amount of spending, and jobs are being created to facilitate that spending. The problem, however, is that our system is only responsive to the elitists at the top of the social pyramid, and, unfortunately, these are not the people experiencing the depredations of our current economic state. This social distance creates for distrust and complete imbalance between the rich and poor. There were already Two Americans before the Great Recession, but in the wake of the financial crisis and economic slump, those two continents have only moved further apart.
Title: Washington’s Elite Residents Have It Too Cushing to Notice the Collapse of the Middle Class
Source: alternet.org, 3/11/11
Student Researcher: Karen Kniel, Sonoma State University
Faculty Evaluator: Robert Eyler, Sonoma State University