The New Economy’s New Key Indicators: Lobbying, DC Luxury Hotel Occupancy Up

An article in today’s Wall Street Journal, “Federal Intervention Pits ‘Gets’ vs. ‘Get-Nots'” provides two new key indicators of just what drives the new, new economy: government largesse.

Government spending as a share of the economy has climbed to levels not seen since World War II. The geyser of money has turned Washington into an essential destination for more and more businesses. Spending on lobbying is up, as are luxury hotel bookings in the capital.

The article goes on to say that 2008 spending on lobbying was up 80% (to $3.3 billion) from the previous high of 2002, when businesses geared up to fight the passage of Sarbanes-Oxley.

While the article doesn’t specify by how much luxury hotel bookings are up in Washington, here in San Francisco, previously among the top destinations for private travelers, luxury hotel rates have fallen nearly 20%.

Mary L. G. Theroux is Senior Vice President of the Independent Institute.
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