The Federal Job Machine

How did America's richest region get that way? Uncle Sam

When the Census Bureau announced last August that northern Virginia's Loudoun County had become the nation's most affluent, with a median household income of $98,483, it was something of a shock to locals. Loudoun is far from exclusive: a third of its 255,000 residents arrived in the past half-decade. The median house sells for $440,000. These Loudounites are not trust-fund babies or Wall Street zillionaires but youngish professionals with kids to raise and mortgages to pay off.

For those who fret that America has lost its way, that all the good jobs are being outsourced to China or India, that regular...

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