It appears that 2013 is starting off as the year that we simply must ‘do something’, whether that doing takes the form of something useful or not. We must ‘do something’ to control guns after Newtown, Colorado, Gabrielle Giffords; we must ‘do something’ after Hurricane Sandy; we must ‘do something’ about obesity, student loans, underwater mortgages, and one hundred million other things that seem to require some action, regardless of whether that action is warranted, prudent, or useful.
The Democrats call the Republicans the party of scare tactics, but the Dems are doing plenty of their own evoking of boogeymen in the interests of stirring up public requests that they ‘do something’. Do any of the scaremongers have a destination in mind, or is the new run-amok mindset the state of the art method for re-election? Heaven forfend that we should actually have an over-arching game plan in mind before jumping into more deficit spending and more regulation with both feet.
I recently saw a report that Washington, D.C. is the metropolitan area with the largest projected growth rate. I went to the Bureau of Labor Statistics to attempt to verify this information, but admit to being stymied by their vast array of data. I am therefore relying on a secondary source, truliablog.com, to be accurate in their assessment. According to Jed Kolko, their chief economist, the piece I saw did not give the whole story. Number one on the “BLS’ list of the top 10 metro areas…for projected job growth” was Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV. Number two was Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick, MD. I’m no geography whiz, but I think I see a connection between those two. Now I’m twice as scared.
And why is this the trend? Because the top up-and-coming occupations will be “[p]rofessional services, health care, and education”, with professional services such as “management/scientific/technical consulting services” providing the uplift for the metro D.C. area. Mr. Kolko is quick to say that “this analysis considers only private-sector employment predictions”. Really? All of those consultants are heading to the east coast because there are so many businesses that will require their expertise in that particular area of the country in the coming years?
Hmmm. I think I may have an alternative view of who will be receiving the benefit from those “consulting” services. While it’s true that private industry will most likely be the end recipient of all that consulting, in the form of subsidies that it will be necessary and urgent to implement for one important reason or another, that consulting must then be provided directly to selected governmental officials, don’tcha think?
What this all means is that the era of hurry up and do something ain’t over yet. It seems as though many of the politicians took their elections, or re-elections, as a mandate for ever-increasing federal intervention into our everyday lives. “I was elected to do something,” they seem to be saying to themselves. “All year long I’ve heard about the do-nothing Congress, well, I’ll not be a party to that type of inactivity. If nothing else, I’ll be known for standing up and doing something.”
And them’s the scariest words of all.