Although Washington in the past wash't really a money city, certainly not in the way New York always has been, it is currently awash in money. Drive anywhere and you'll see new construction for posh residences, fancy stores, and mindbogglingly expensive restaurants (Shaw Bijou, not far from where I am writing this, will run you $1,000 for dinner for two).

What happened? It's the government. Kevin Williamson explains in a piece on NRO headlined "Splendid Washington:"   

One thing that drives the capital and its environs is those very large federal paychecks, which now amount to about $90,000 a year in money wages and just under $125,000 a year in total compensation. Washington pay has long been above the national average, but it is pulling away. In 2000, the median compensation for an American worker at large was about 74 percent of the median compensation for a federal employee; today, the average working taxpayer makes only 55 percent of what the average federal tax-eater makes. Our would-be class warriors talk about “transfers of wealth” and “transfers of income” when they mean mere changes in those metrics, but in this case, there is a literal transfer, with the most fearsome agency of the federal government — our corrupt and politicized IRS — raiding our households and businesses to support $1,000-a-night La Tur habits in Washington.

. . .

The problem is that if you add up everything legitimate Washington does in the way of keeping the peace, securing property, and enforcing contracts, you can account for — if you’re really generous – maybe 20 percent of federal spending, which is the real measure of federal activity. The rest is straight-up transfer of income and wealth from one political constituency to another and a whole lot of Harry Reid cowboy-poetry festivals and research involving getting monkeys high on cocaine. All that money sloshing through the pipes creates conditions where it is easy — and irresistible — to siphon a little off, legally and or otherwise. And that is why you see Hill staffers who put in ten years at modestly-paid jobs and then go to work at lobby shops that pay them enough to drive a Bentley and live in one of those horrifying weird $3 million suburban piles in Arlington.

I have a friend who grew up in Washington, still remembers it as a sleepy Southern city, where there were a few fancy restaurants and old ladies in Georgetown dominated socially. She keeps marveling at the new rich Washington. I try to explain that, if Washington performed the limited functions the Founders assigned to the federal government, Washington would be a small, sleepy city.

Of course, now the city is invested in all these pricey restaurants and, if government were streamlined, the city would shrink–unless it could find a way to produce something real or be a finance center like New York. It's interesting that of the two people who will be on the presidential ballot for the major parties tomorrow, one represents Washington rich to a T and the other represents a different kind of rich (how long since a poor person ran for president? Even Bernie wasn't poor.)  Williamson writes:

Trump got his money the respectable way: from his daddy. Mrs. Clinton got hers the Washington way: by renting access to political power. Talk that “drain the swamp” talk all you like, that isn’t changing without deep and wide-ranging reform that will require both presidential and, especially, congressional cojones of the sort not often enough found in Washington, where life is lived splendidly, for the moment.

Rich Washington is so different from the rest of the country, so cushioned against the hardships experienced by those governed from here (and governed more minutely with every new regulation) that one wonders how well the people are represented.

Some would say they aren't represented well at all and that is the source of the populist anger that has made 2016 a year like no other.

Maybe the revolt was against Washington and the people who can drop $1,000 for dinner and not feel it–people who, for the most part, got their starts because of positions to which we elected them, or perhaps derive their money from solicitng favors from a bloated and too rich government that we support with our tax dollars.