One More Way the Nation’s Capital Is Disconnected From the Rest of the Country

One of the challenges for journalists in Washington is how not to be disconnected from the rest of the country. The rift was evident in 2016 when 4 percent of the voters in the nation’s capital voted Republican.

One way to look at the DC disconnect is what you pay to live in the nation’s capital.

One of my best friends in Washington came here in 1972 and bought a house for $38,000. Three years later he sold it and bought a nicer three-bedroom house for $72,000. Five years later, in 1980, he sold that three-bedroom DC house for $156,000 and bought a four-bedroom house in Bethesda, just a few blocks from the DC line. It cost $250,000.

That $250,000 house in 1980 would sell for $1.5 million today. He said two houses in his block recently sold for more than $1.6 million, one to a lawyer, the other to a lobbyist.

The $1.5 million house my Washington friend lives in looks a lot like the house in Appleton, Wisconsin, I grew up in. That house would sell for about $200,000 today.

$1.5 million to live in Washington, $200,000 to live in Wisconsin.

Such differences make it a challenge for journalists in Washington—and also New York City—to connect with the rest of America.


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