Let's have some fun. I am especially happy because rarely do the Empire's Decline and geography coincide so neatly as they do in today's story. Newsweek listed the 10 richest counties in the United States according to the latest census data.
The U.S. may be still struggling with the Great Recession’s effects, but that doesn’t mean that every part of the country is struggling.
In fact, many Americans are living well above the poverty line. But where exactly are they?
Good question! Let's take a guess, based on an apocryphal quote attributed to bank robber Willie Sutton—
Because that's where the money is
—upon being asked why he robbed banks
Banks are still where they money is—in and around New York city—but the Power Of The Purse and the money printer are in Washington, D.C. Here's the Newsweek list.
The Richest Counties in America
- #10 Charles County, Maryland
- #9 Calvert County, Maryland
- #8 Somerset County, New Jersey
- #7 Nassau County, New York
- #6 Montgomery County, Maryland
- #5 Arlington County, Virgina
- #4 Morris County, New Jersey
- #3 Howard County, Maryland
- #2 Fairfax County, Virgina
- Richest County: Loudoun County, Virginia
And hare are the maps. Listed counties are located with a red dot.
Perhaps you're concerned that some of the Maryland and Virginia counties around Our Nation's Capital are not in the top 10, but there's no need for worry. Most of them are in the Forbes Top 25, like Alexandria City (#23) or Prince William (#14). Just like Willie Sutton, Yahoo Finance explains the obvious—
Wealth Radiates From The Capital
It's not surprising that workers in Loudoun County, Virginia do well. The federal government generates a wealth of jobs, keeping unemployment in the D.C. metro area at a low 6.2% (the national average is still near 10%). The best-paid workers from D.C. take their money home to Loudoun, where jobs have grown 4% between the second quarter of 2007 and the second quarter of 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
But a big chunk of that healthy income goes toward maintaining the good life. Loudoun homeowners pay a median $4,844 per year in property taxes. Tax burdens are similarly high in a lot of well-off counties.
Like Loudoun, a number of the country's wealthiest households are tightly concentrated in counties around the nation's capital. Six of the richest counties lie on the outskirts of Washington: Fairfax County, Va., Arlington County, Va., Stafford County, Va., Prince William County, Va., Charles County, Md., and Alexandria City, Va.
Not far from D.C. lies another cluster of wealthy counties. Howard County, Md., a suburb of Baltimore, has a standout school system with standardized test scores that consistently beat out the national average, and median household incomes of $101,710. In nearby Montgomery County, where 59% of residents over 25 have an advanced degree, households bring in a median $93,999. Historic Calvert County, Md., has profited from its roots as a tobacco-rich farmland as well as its proximity to Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, and claims a median income of $89,049.
I hope that the next time you think of this Great Country Of Ours, you will also think about where the richest counties in America are. Although there are 2.1 million federal workers slaving away running the Empire's day-to-day affairs, you might also be tempted to think about Imperial sycophants, influence peddlers, courtiers, log rollers, puppeteers, brown-nosers, grifters, wire-pullers, toadies, fixers, and ass-kissers. Or perhaps you'll use a barnyard analogy, something like Pigs Feeding At A Trough.