I Wonder Why these Virginia ‘Burbs are the Richest Counties in U.S. ?

Yesterday I mentioned the report that federal employees make more than private employees in most occupations. Now we learn that 6 out of the 10 wealthiest counties ( and 11 of the top 25!) are suburbs of Washington, D.C.

Rank County Population Median household income
1 Loudoun County 277,433 $110,643
2 Fairfax County 1,005,980 $106,785
3 Howard County 272,412 $101,710
4 Hunterdon County, N.J. 129,000 $100,947
5 Somerset County, N.J. 321,589 $100,207
6 Fairfax City 23,281 $98,133
7 Morris County, N.J. 486,459 $97,565
8 Douglas County, Colo. 270,286 $97,480
9 Arlington County 204,889 $96,390
10 Montgomery County 942,747 $93,999

There hasn’t been a recession in D.C. John Derbyshire has been saying for a few years now that the only way to guarantee not only all-around security but also a pretty nice, upper-middle class living for your family is to get a government job. Looks like he’s right.

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John
John
11 years ago

Those aren’t the government workers (unless its a two income household of government workers. THose wages are earned by the employees of the private companies with government contracts! That’s who live in the big houses in those counties.

Marc
11 years ago

John, You’re partially correct, but gov’t workers also live and work there and make a good living at a good wage. Both groups are making a lot of dough because of a growing gov’t.

Jeff
Jeff
11 years ago

Whenever the subject of overpaid public employees, and their excessive employee benifits, is discussed here, Anchor Rising’s resident Retired Public Employee, Joe Bernstein is strangely silent
Just Saying, No insult intended
Be Well All

Jeff
Jeff
11 years ago

Whenever the subject of overpaid public employees, and their excessive employee benifits, is discussed here, Anchor Rising’s resident Retired Public Employee, Joe Bernstein is strangely silent
Just Saying, No insult intended
Be Well All

Dan
Dan
11 years ago

I’ve been looking at legal and pseudo-legal management jobs recently. The states are cutting jobs and not hiring. The private sector is cutting jobs and not hiring.
Took some civil service test and scored well on it, posted my resume up on the website. Over the last few days I’ve been getting e-mails and calls from federal agencies, unsolicited, telling me that they have lots of new positions to fill and that I should come in for interviews. Many of these agencies and sub-agencies I had never even heard of before, and each one has thousands of federal employees in it. Most people have no idea. It’s like the federal government is in its own boom economy and the rest of the country is in a severe recession.

slappy ducharme
slappy ducharme
11 years ago

DEFENSE CONTRACTORS and lobbyists.

Marc
11 years ago

Slappy….yeah, it’s not like we’re at war or anything….

Dan
Dan
11 years ago

This right here is the problem:
– Republicans keep creating new anti-terrorism/defense/intelligence agencies
– Democrats keep creating new welfare/urban/environmental agencies
They rub backs, everybody gets theirs at the expense of the taxpayer, and NONE of these agencies are ever dismantled or scaled back. Both parties are equally to blame for the massive fiscal irresponsibility, but each just points at the other.
It’s like two bacteria strains multiplying exponentially in a jar. Eventually the entire system will collapse – it has to.

rhody
rhody
11 years ago

Corporate lawyers and lobbyists.

Ken
Ken
11 years ago

Marc, Montgomery County is in MD with Howard County, MD abutting it. Montgomery County is the 8th richest county per capita in the USA. I don’t think it’s all because of Government growth and spending as you suggest. I copied the following from Wikipedia: “Montgomery County is an important business and research center. It is the epicenter for biotechnology in the Mid-Atlantic region. Montgomery County is the third largest biotechnology cluster in the nation, holding the principal cluster and companies of large corporate size in the state. Biomedical research is done in the county through institutions like Johns Hopkins University’s Montgomery County Campus (JHU MCC), Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the University of Maryland. Federal government agencies engaged in related work include the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Institutes of Health, and the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. Many large firms are based in the county. Discovery Communications, Lockheed Martin, Marriott International, Host Hotels & Resorts, Travel Channel, Ritz-Carlton, Robert Louis Johnson Companies (RLJ Cos), Choice Hotels, MedImmune, Chevy Chase Bank, TV One, BAE Systems Inc, Hughes Network Systems, and GEICO are just a few of the large firms headquartered in Montgomery County. Other U.S. federal government agencies based in the county include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), U.S. Department of Energy, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Downtown Bethesda and Silver Spring are the largest urban business hubs in the county; combined, they rival many major city cores.” Loudoun County, VA has the highest median household income in the United States and has been sparring with adjacent Fairfax County for that title. This is horse and wine country! Traditionally a rural county, Loudoun’s population has grown dramatically since the 1980s. Having undergone heavy suburbanization since 1990, Loudoun… Read more »

Slappy d [AR codenamed: Assigned Pest]
Slappy d [AR codenamed: Assigned Pest]
11 years ago

Yes Marc we are at war.so what. You are clearly trying to make some vague point about the overpaid government workers living the high life along the Potomac. Clearly that is not the case at least not for the most part. Those homes and those incomes are going to many private citizens who are not directly employed by the government.

Stuart
Stuart
11 years ago

As other said, lobbying firms, the military industrial complex and think tanks have a lot to do with income.
N. Virginia is also a BIG high tech alley.
So, you have problems with Pentagon officers making an average of 100K?
As usual, the righties will look at the sun coming up in the morning and blame it on the government or the union. Then, after complaining about how much the military (N. Virgina is the hub) makes, they shout “support the troops” and vote for trillions more!
Oh, thou hypocrites.
Seems like the only good and expensive government is when there is a GOP Majority. Then all the right wingers are strangely silent. I wonder why?

Bill
Bill
11 years ago

As some have suggested here, I wonder how much the federal and state governments and their salaries are expanding and increasing and how much expansion there is at the federal and state consultant/contractor level. By way of example, we’ve all heard about how much of the RIDOT is being run by consultants — indeed the feds have criticized RIDOT for having such an inadequate base of knowledgeable, non-consultant regular employees. Put another way, if numbers and salaries are increasing in some government areas, just think what must be happening in the government consultant/contractor area — which I suspect is largely off the radar.

Marc
11 years ago

Thanks for all of the commentary: My point was simple – the recession doesn’t seem to have hit Washington, D.C. and the surrounding burbs.

Ken
Ken
11 years ago

Marc,
You base your assertion that; “the recession doesn’t seem to have hit Washington, D.C. and the surrounding burbs.” on the fact that 3 of the most wealthiest counties in VA and 2 in MD with the highest concentration of Corporate America, Biotechnology, Research, Communications, equine industry, wine country and one of the largest shopping complexes in the USA drawing 55,000 shoppers every weekday abuts Washington, DC.
You neglect to take into account how the recession has impacted the following, Washington, DC its self, 10 additional abutting counties in VA, 7 additional abutting counties in MD and 1 abutting county in WV.
I think when you add up the impact from the additional 18 abutting counties plus Washington, DC you just might have made a wrong assertion because 1 county in MD does not abut Washington, DC making a total of 4 counties in your syntheses of abutting counties out of a total of 22 counties plus Washington, DC itself.

Monique
Editor
11 years ago

“I Wonder Why these Virginia ‘Burbs are the Richest Counties in U.S. ?”
Because they live near and benefit from the national treasury and the body which dispenses it, whether their gov’t paycheck is made out directly or indirectly (for example, a lobbyist – wasn’t President Obama going to ban them all, by the way? – getting paid by a company for which he secures a gov’t contract or a beneficial law).

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
11 years ago

Jeff-I have not been silent-you just haven’t read any of my comments on public employees,their responsibilities to the public,and their unions. I don’t take an extreme position on unions at all.Public and private sector unions are different.Private secror unions are justified in striking for higher wages,better conditions,etc,because they produce goods or services for someone else’s profit-they work for a corporation or private owner and fair’s fair. Public employees work for the public,who has no say in hiring them,so some humility is in order-like strikes being a non-starter for one. Public employee unions are mainly there to prevent unfair labor practices and unjustified adverse actions by management.Contracts are also negotiated,but public employee unions have to remember who pays them-their “boss” doesn’t make a profit on their labor. Okay,now if you think I have a sweetheart deal like some state and municipal employees,you’re wrong.Federal employees don’t get free medical,nor do retirees.I have to carry a family policy which only my wife uses,because I am on VA healthcare.I think it would be better if I could carry just an individual plan for her because it’s about 1/3 the price.We have a wide choice pf plans,but the good ones are exorbitant,so I carry Blue Cross Basic mainly because my wife has no chronic conditions.It’s okay for major stuff,but the copays are still pretty stiff. We have a COLA equivalent to the Social Security which means none this year and probably next year either. I’m not a whiner,just saying. I should tell you I retired under CSRS,for which you had to be hired prior to 1/1/84-I started in 1976 with the Federal government. Let’s see-have I been specific enough,Jeff? What line of work are you in?I think I know,but then I may be mistaken. I haven’t had much to say on the teachers’ situation in… Read more »

Ken
Ken
11 years ago

Monique, Obviously you are blind or can’t read basic words written so everyone of some comprehension level beyond the 8th grade can understand. Let me repeat myself in my last post to Marc; “You base your assertion that; “the recession doesn’t seem to have hit Washington, D.C. and the surrounding burbs.” on the fact that 3 of the most wealthiest counties in VA and 2 in MD with the highest concentration of Corporate America, Biotechnology, Research, Communications, equine industry, wine country and one of the largest shopping complexes in the USA drawing 55,000 shoppers every weekday abuts Washington, DC. I think when you add up the impact from the additional 18 abutting counties plus Washington, DC you just might have made a wrong assertion because 1 county in MD does not abut Washington, DC making a total of 4 counties in your syntheses of abutting counties out of a total of 22 counties plus Washington, DC itself.” I traveled to and worked in this area for over 10 years from Newport, RI and I can tell you from firsthand experience, Federal Government, state, municipal and county employees comprise about 30% and the beltway bandits about 15% the rest 55% are legitimate corporate American business headquartered in this area due to tax advantages and experienced workforce. Fairfax County, VA has a higher concentration of high-tech workers than the Silicon Valley and Tysons Corner, VA contains a quarter of county’s total office space inventory plus Montgomery County is the epicenter for biotechnology in the Mid-Atlantic region. Joe Bernstein, As a former Viet Nam Viet and short time Federal Government employee till BRAC those people who have probably never worked for the government (or could qualify) don’t have the knowledge but feed on general gossip, falsehoods and Internet created myths should not have… Read more »

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
11 years ago

Ken-thanks.I didn’t feel put out to answer Jeff.He always says I insult people.I never insulted him until it began to wear on me and I called him a name.
But far be it from me to be challenged and not respond on point.
BTW,I don’t know how close you and I are on politics,but you’re the one guy I can share some things with here that the others aren’t part of-most by being too young;OTL by being too old(hah!);and a few by just who they are.
OTL-I appreciate your honorable service before my time.

Ken
Ken
11 years ago

joe bernstein,
Joe I am a open book on politics because I’ve been privleged to be in the backrooms of both Republican and Democratic parties back to Gov. John Chaffee as a free lance photographer and “son of my father” giving me access. I also in later years use to fly the same weekend shuttle of the RI elected working in Washington, DC while being on temporary government assignment in VA. My photo negatives are in a locked vault which only I have access.
I have a unique position in life with my family and departed wife’s family that touch federal government, state government, municipal government, education, United Nations, law enforcement, national security, US State Department, military, and foreign governments as USA advisors.
Among the males I am only the third one to serve in the military and participate in combat. My uncle fought in WW-II in France and my departed wife’s uncle also fought in WW-II and was part of NATO.
Both my father and uncle are highly decorated for their service as well as my departed wife’s uncle.
Just to let you know I understand where you are coming from and where I am coming from.
We have a lot in common by military and occupation.

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