Crisis? What Crisis?

June 25th, 2011 at 8:51 am David Frum | 10 Comments |

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Why Washington focuses on deficits and ignores the economic crisis, in one sentence. From today’s Washington Post real estate section:

“I have had a hard time convincing out-of-state buyers who want to purchase foreclosures that there are only so many to choose from,” [real estate broker Valerie] Blake said. “They want to find the ones in Georgetown — of which there are none, of course.”

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10 Comments so far ↓

  • valkayec

    The fact that the DC area is prospering hides from politics the fact that the rest of America is not doing well. Politicos need to get out of DC and travel around the rest of the country. They need to learn what it’s like for the rest of us. To live with declining wages, minimum wages or unemployment, reduced services, and increased health care & education costs.

    Politicians live in a bubble among people who themselves are wealthy and powerful. They’ve no longer any clue what its like for the rest of Americans.

  • Rabiner

    Nothing different than saying there aren’t foreclosures really in West Los Angeles, parts of San Francisco or any other wealthy neighborhood.

  • sinz54

    Washington D.C. has been more prosperous than the rest of the nation for quite some time. (As a tourist there, I would gawk at an endless vista of concrete buildings of bureaucrats, from Crystal City inward.)

    But that hasn’t stopped Washington from recognizing the need to take action on economic problems before.

    Look at all that was done since 2008: TARP, the $780 billion stimulus package, “quantitative easing” 1.0 and 2.0, the bailout of the auto industry, the extensions of unemployment benefits. That’s a lot for a government that Frum claims is “ignoring the unemployment crisis.”

    But the fact that the U.S. economy has stopped getting worse but is not getting better on a per capita basis has led to a sharp disagreement on what to do going forward. If the above medicine isn’t curing the patient, then do we increase the dose, as the liberals demand–or switch to a different medicine, as the conservatives demand?

    That disagreement isn’t just in Washington, but nationwide. Where do we go from here?

    We won’t see progress till the 2012 campaign and election, when Americans are going to have to choose the way forward. I’m looking forward to it.

    • armstp


      “Washington D.C. has been more prosperous than the rest of the nation for quite some time.”

      Really? Which Washington DC? There are many many parts of Washington D.C. which ain’t so prosperous.

      This article is a bit of a joke. So there are no foreclosures in the very prosperous neighborhood of Georgetown. Quelle suprise! How about some of the other less prosperous neighborhoods of Washington D.C. or in any overbuilt suburbs?

  • pnumi2

    With these bottom-up economic ‘events’, the pockets of prosperity are the last to go. Whether or not communities like Holmby Hills builds an Israeli-style Wall around it to keep away the “Evil Day” remains to be seen.

    The Boom Times Cavalry may yet appear coming over the crest of the hill.


    Are you of the opinion that we have all the time in the world to fix things? And if we don’t, how do you know the train hasn’t already left the station?

  • Rabiner


    You should start from the year 2001 if you’re going to talk about ‘per capita basis’ and throw in all those tax cuts as ‘not working’.

  • PracticalGirl

    It took me 12 seconds to perform a Google search and find 2 active foreclosures in Georgetown. Can find many short sales as well.

    Doesn’t surprise me that there are isolated bidding wars for certain properties in the area. After a 15% price increase YOY from Jan ’09 to Jan 10, The median sales price for a home in Georgetown in 2011 is down a whopping 30.6% from same-time 2010. So the price depression causes some buyers (with an average of a million bucks to spend)to see value. Every market has pockets of sales growth right now which isn’t reflective of the 30%-50% equity losses.

    Less than this being a Washington insiders’ conspiracy, it’s a function of the function of the real estate community. Realtors are simply sales people in charge of protecting the image of their business and neighborhoods, and what sales person wants to tell the whole truth out loud? Goes on all over the country in every market.

  • pnumi2

    A declining real estate market is like a declining stock market: you sell the crap (overbuilt, marginal areas) and hang on to the blue chips (location, location, etc.).

  • jjack

    Corporate profits are at record highs, taxes at record lows. The elite are living in a different country right now. And these are the same people telling the rest of the country it is time for “hard choices” and an end to “socialism.” The poor need to fight their wars and have what little is left of their retirement/health benefits slashed. Remember “austerity” is only for the rabble. Pointing any of this out is, of course, “class warfare.” The poor should instead just shut up and limit themselves to fighting in wars…sorry “non-hostile liberation operations.” And after they come back from some third-world, oil-rich protectorate, they won’t be able to find jobs, health care, or much of anything else.

  • jerseyboy

    The Washington DC area is surely not a representative market. It is no surprise that there is plenty of cash slushing around the seat of our bloated, money-spewing federal government.