Ten Richest Counties in America

The 10 richest counties in America measured by median family income:

  1. Loudoun County, Virginia
  2. Falls Church City, Virginia
  3. Arlington County, Virginia
  4. Fairfax County, Virginia
  5. Los Alamos County, New Mexico
  6. Howard County, Maryland
  7. Hunterdon County, New Jersey
  8. Douglas County, Colorado
  9. Somerset County, New Jersey
  10. Morris Country, New Jersey

The first four richest counties are in or around the Washington DC beltway. The fifth, Los Alamos County, New Mexico, is not near Washington DC but its main source of wealth is Federal government spending. Its largest employer is the Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory.  The Washington DC beltway counties are the richest because government is huge and everything is regulated.  So, if you want to do business in America you will spend a lot of money lobbying the regulators.

P.J. O’Rourke:  “When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.”

It’s not just the lobbyists getting far off the taxpayers.  All pervasive government creates opportunities for highly paid bureaucratic jobs and political appointments.  Power and control over the lives and incomes of others opens all sorts of doors that are closed to the less well connected.  Crony capitalism works very well for you if you’re one of the cronies.

All this wealth is derived not from producing good things that the rest of the country wants and is willing to pay for.  The Beltway counties are rich because they are the center of immense power to force the rest of the country to pay tribute, tribute that is paid in exchange for nothing that anyone wants and paid only because the payors lack the means to resist.  Money for nothing.

Glenn Reynolds’ recent column in USA Today asks if we are living in the Hunger Games?  He concludes that we aren’t…yet.

The way back is by a return to the principles of Federalism and limited government, the type of government the founders created.  That sort of government, a government without enough centralized power to pillage the rest of the country as the Huns would sack a city, has been out of favor with so-called “Progressives” since the rise of Woodrow Wilson and his well known disdain for America’s founding documents.  The current crop of “Progessives”, led by Barack Hussein Obama, is hell bent on a complete transformation of America away from its founding principles and into a “Hunger Games” type of world where they will live in luxury in the “Capitol” and the rest of us will scratch out an existence in the surrounding poor “Districts” under their absolute control.

Oh, it won’t be exactly like that.  But if they get there way we’ll have a hard time telling the difference.


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