Majors: Hunger Games in D.C.

This morning I woke up and turned on the lights. But not too many since I live in D.C., where the local government created power monopoly, PEPCO, is raising rates. It has no competition, though Maryland and Virginia have other power companies and some localities, like Lubbock, Texas, do have competitive markets.

I poured some water for coffee and hoped it wouldn’t have high lead or bacteria levels today. In 2004 it came out that the government water authority threatened to fire its own scientist when she wanted to go public with the dangerously high lead levels fed to kids and pregnant women for years.

I turned on my cable TV, which I can barely afford, as it has also been a government sponsored monopoly or oligopoly for decades. I see on the news that the EPA has poisoned rivers in several Western states, and prevented water reservoirs in other states, and I count myself lucky that since I live among the minions of the political class I at least have water.

I make my coffee and toast. My breakfast is more expensive than it should be thanks to government agriculture price supports and tariffs, especially if I have dairy products or anything sweet.

I bike to work. The government imposes taxes on gasoline and the local government tickets and tows cars and doesn’t permit many new garages and parking lots. I avoid the government subway which constantly breaks down, and is plagued by groping and stabbings. Recently there have been regular fires in the subway, with one person dying from smoke inhalation. 

Though the DC subway is one of a half dozen around the country paid for in part by gas taxes looted from people all over the country, leaving infrastructure everywhere else underfunded, DC’s subway (Metro) also has significant deferred maintenance. 

The money has been spent to buy the votes of the Metro employees with high salaries and pensions, one of whom recently mocked riders on twitter.  The local governments contemplate raising fares to $5 each way to keep the system from collapsing.

At my office I look for a new job with more consistent hours. Every job has hundreds of applicants. I am told most jobs have many applicants with graduate degrees and years of experience not needed for the job, but the applicants cannot find other work.

In one section of the city, Anacostia, many people have no job and have never had one since graduating from government schools illiterate and unable to do basic arithmetic, though the city spent $29,000 per child on layers of bureaucracy, buying the votes and donations of the edu-cartel.

In many other states without the spigot of federal tax money jobs are scarcer. Here many college graduates drive cars for Uber, but the leading Democratic candidate suggest she will end that. Fast food chains and sundry stores begin to replace cashiers and sales people with self-check out kiosks rather than pay both a mandated minimum $12-15 an hour and for government healthcare.

At lunch I see my friend Susan. She has skin cancer. She was unable to buy the effective sunscreens Europeans have had for two decades, because the FDA has not approved them. Tragically, her brother Sam died in the 80s because the FDA delayed approval of HIV medications.

After work I look at new housing options to save money. Rents and prices are high. DC does not allow builders to build up above 10 floors, lest someone rise above our overlords and their seats of power.

Rent control laws and taxes have led many landlords to sell their buildings to real estate developers, who tear them down and build luxury lofts sold to lobbyists including former government officials.

Senator Claire McCaskill just bought one for $2.7 million and former Attorney General Eric Holder (who was coincidentally in 2004 the Covington and Burling lawyer hired to spin the lead water crisis for the DC government) bought one for $1.5 million.

Of course, in some parts of the country that only pay tributes into the imperial city, there is no new construction to even look at.  Which is why so many people now are looking at new kinds of candidates, from Donald Trump to Carly Fiorina, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul.

Bruce Majors is a former major donor to the Human Rights Campaign, Al Gore, and other candidates he is ashamed to mention.


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