Monday, January 26, 2009

Washington on the Rise

It's my day off, and I think I'm ready to start posting again. Actually, it will be good for me.

Joel Kotkin, social critic and futurist, writes in the WaPo about the ascendency of Washington as the key metropolis of America, something that is familiar to the rest of the world but not here:

In today's crisis, the Washington area remains somewhat aloof, with the second-lowest unemployment rate among major metropolitan areas of more than 1 million. (Only Oklahoma City, largely insulated from both the financial and housing bubbles, is doing better, although collapsing energy prices could threaten its prosperity.) The rate of job growth, although slower, is still among the highest in the country, and unemployment is below the national average.

This disparity will grow in the coming years, as rival regions reel from the recession. Many once-powerful places are already losing their independence and allure. Wall Street, formerly the seat of privatized power, has been reduced to supplicant status. The fate of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's "luxury city" will be determined not in deals with London, Dubai or Shanghai but by the U.S. Treasury. Similarly, the vast auto economy of the upper Midwest will take direction from congressional appropriations and whoever is named the new "car czar."

My own daughter is thinking about trying to find a job in one of the federal agency, so I know of what Kotkin speaks.

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