What's the best business to be in these days? Steel? Automobiles? Maybe not any more. Maybe these days it's software, or finance. Maybe. But judging from this lead story in this morning's Washington Post --
The three most prosperous large counties in the United States are in the Washington suburbs, according to census figures released yesterday, which show that the region has the second-highest income and the least poverty of any major metropolitan area in the country.
Rapidly growing Loudoun County has emerged as the wealthiest jurisdiction in the nation, with its households last year having a median income of more than $98,000. It is followed by Fairfax and Howard counties, with Montgomery County not far behind.
-- it would seem that government is the boom industry of the early 21st century. That's the point Chris Edwards made in a Tax & Budget Bulletin (pdf) three months ago: that compensation of federal employees was almost twice compensation in the private sector. Then three months later, things changed, as things have a way of doing. Chris was forced to admit that the government's latest figures showed that federal compensation was no longer almost twice private-sector compensation: it was exactly twice as much. "Average compensation for the 1.8 million federal civilian workers in 2005 was $106,579 -- exactly twice the average compensation paid in the U.S. private sector: $53,289."
Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys,
Don't let 'em make software and sell people trucks,
Make 'em be bureaucrats and fed'rals and such.