I’m going to let you in on a little secret. To work on Capitol Hill, for the most part, one must intern on Capitol Hill unpaid. Then after a year or two one might get a job as a legislative aide in a Congressional office somehow. The job is paid, but just barely. Yet nearly every young person fresh out of college who works on the Hill lives on Capitol Hill in a smart townhouse with easy access to bars. At worst, one might live in Alexandria right off the metro, but most folks are in the District.
The thing is, the District of Columbia is very expensive. How can a staffer making $25,000 per year live there?
The answer; They are subsidized by parents.
Though there are exceptions, they are few, very few.
It’s how the political class regenerates itself. Dad is a prominent mucky muck in some congressional district somewhere and dad sends son or daughter to Capitol Hill to work for the local congressman or someone who knows the local congressman well. There the son or daughter learns the ways of Washington while being paid very little in terms of money, but quite a lot in terms opportunity. Dad, with eyes to the future, pays the balance, rent, car, drinks, etc.
Those with college debt (most of the poor and middle class) might want to consider a route to success other than through the ranks of staffer Washington. (Though if you REALLY want to do Capitol Hill with no money it can be done, but be prepared to hustle a good bit more than your coworkers. But one should expect to do that anyway.) It is expensive to work in DC and that is on purpose.
So as Matthew Continetti at the National Review points out, when one hears official Washington lefties wax on about poverty and opportunity and meritocracy, and how the “rich” take advantage of connections, and have ready access to power, know that these lefties know what they are talking about. The vast majority of them have benefited from coming from “families of means.”
The thing is they think that because they talk about “inequality” and social stratification and yammer on about how government should “even the playing field” and so on means that they have inoculated themselves from their own criticism. They, are good people. Enlightened people. Not crass bourgeois neanderthals only concerned with themselves. No, they are in Washington for “the people.”
In the attached article Mr. Continetti gives us a glimpse into this “inoculated class.” It is vomit inducing so be warned.
(From The National Review)
The first time he saw her from a distance. She was a reporter, observing his workplace from the outside. He was struck by her good looks, her energy. He mentioned her to a friend, who told him she was out of his league. But he persisted. His friend brought him to a party where he found an opportunity to strike up a conversation with her. One thing led to another. He took her to drinks. She mentioned she liked baseball, rooted for the Washington Nationals. They had that in common. So for their next date he took her to play catch. In Nationals Park. When it was closed to the public.
Not an ordinary love story. But then these are not ordinary lovers. He is Sam Kass, executive director of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move health initiative, senior policy adviser for nutrition policy, and food-initiative coordinator in Barack Obama’s White House. She is Alex Wagner, host ofNow with Alex Wagner on MSNBC, weekdays at 4 p.m. Kass’s friend is Richard Wolffe, the executive editor of MSNBC.com, a political analyst for MSNBC, and the author of Renegade: The Making of the President, Revival: The Struggle for Survival Inside the Obama White House, and The Message: The Reselling of President Obama. The shindig where the couple started talking was MSNBC’s annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner after-party, the invitation-only event where Rachel Maddow mixes cocktails to demonstrate her working girl credentials. The bar where Kass and Wagner had drinks was Monkey Bar, in midtown Manhattan, where you can pair a $17 glass of Sauvignon Blanc with a $26 organic chicken paillard. They are planning a summer wedding.