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The Washington Bubble

Washington's Georgetown neighborhood. Washington's Georgetown neighborhood. Thinkstock

The nation’s capital has long been known as recession-proof. But conservative writer Andrew Ferguson goes a bit further with the charge that Washingtonians live in a “bubble" in a piece in the May 28 issue of Time magazine (subscription required).

“The new affluence flooding the nation’s capital sets it a world apart from the country it governs,” he writes, pointing to flourishing new limousine services and thriving restaurants.

Ferguson is particularly tough on federal contractors. "It’s estimated that, thanks to massive outsourcing over the past 20 years by the Clinton and Bush administrations, there are two government contractors for every worker directly employed by the government," he writes. "Federal contracting is the region’s great growth industry. A government contractor can even hire contractors for help in getting more government contracts. You could call those guys ­government-contract contractors."

Charles S. Clark joined Government Executive in the fall of 2009. He has been on staff at The Washington Post, Congressional Quarterly, National Journal, Time-Life Books, Tax Analysts, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, and the National Center on Education and the Economy. He has written or edited online news, daily news stories, long features, wire copy, magazines, books and organizational media strategies.

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