Okay, we may not be sending our children to the Capitol as tributes to fight to their deaths, but the similarities between the United States of today and the fictional Panem of The Hunger Games are kind of striking when you think about it. An all-powerful central government where the elites don’t create anything but live like lavish kings as the people of the country go hungry while supporting them – sound familiar?
Glenn Reynolds noted the similarity as well, and it was the subject of his latest USA Today column.
We don’t live in The Hunger Games yet, but I’m not the first to notice that Washington, D.C., is doing a lot better than the rest of the country. Even in upscale parts of L.A. or New York, you see boarded up storefronts and other signs that the economy isn’t what it used to be. But not so much in the Washington area, where housing prices are going up, fancy restaurants advertise $92 Wagyu steaks, and the Tyson’s Corner mall outshines — as I can attest from firsthand experience — even Beverly Hills’ famed Rodeo Drive.
Meanwhile, elsewhere, the contrast is even starker. As Adam Davidson recently wrote in The New York Times, riding the Amtrak between New York and D.C. exposes stark contrasts between the “haves” of the capital and the have-nots outside the Beltway. And he correctly assigns this to the importance of power.
Washington is rich not because it makes valuable things, but because it is powerful. With virtually everything subject to regulation, it pays to spend money influencing the regulators.
Read the whole thing. Unfortunately, it looks like the way things are headed things are going to become more like The Hunger Games over the next four years. Oh, and no, the odds will not be in our favor.
If you haven’t read the books, you can buy the trilogy by clicking on the image below. I read all three books and couldn’t put them down until I was finished.
Update: In case you were wondering, the images are screenshots from the movie trailer.