The New Robber Barons: Guess which housing market performed the best in the country? 

The news is good if you're a local looking to sell a home or refinance, and it's bad if you're looking to buy a home -- or if you're a taxpayer: D.C. has the strongest housing market in the country:

The Washington region is expected to end the year as the top-performing housing market in the country, a new report says.

The projections released Friday by the real estate tracking firm Clear Capital builds on the region's status as the nation's No. 1 market during the first half of the year.

Over the next six months, home prices in the D.C. area are expected to rise 2.8 percent, the report said. It's one of just five markets in the country the firm predicts will see home-price increases over the remainder of the year.

My Examiner colleague Liz Farmer swims in data on the local economy, and her analysis Friday on home values was just the latest bit of evidence that the Nation's Capital is sucking the nation's wealth into itself. We're creating a new ruling class, of well-paid "public servants" who then cash out as lobbyists and consultants. The common theme is that connections to power and knowledge of government become more valuable the entrepreneur's skills of building a better mousetrap, and providing things of value which people willingly buy with their own money.

An excellent book on the state of our ruling class hit book shelves today: Iain Murray's Stealing You Blind. I knew Iain from my time as journalism fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, plus I edited his first book. For Stealing You Blind, I happily wrote a blurb.

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Timothy P. Carney

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