Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Technocratic Affluence in Greene County

This graph from the earlier posts on the Defense Welfare State is a good illustration of the growth in "technocratic" employment possibly due to defense spending and the proximity to Wright-Patterson AFB: the scientists, programmers, analysts, technicians, and engineers associated with a technologically advanced military activity:

Mapping out the numbers, from the 2000 census. One can see the obvious cluster in Beavercreek and along I-675, but also concentrations in Yellow Springs and Sugar Creek township.

Some of the other census tracts adjacent to these also have concnetrations over 7% . Wright Patterson and adjacent office park clusters are also shown.

What's mapped are old numbers, from the 2000 census. For income in Greene County since 2000 this graph of the number of tax returns in the four highest categories (adjusted gross income over $50,000) there is a remarkable rise in the number of returns over $75,000, espcially over $100,000.

Most of those $100K and up returns are in Beavercreek, nearly 40% of the county total. Which demonstrates a concentration of affluence, possibly deriving from the concentration of technical professionals in the area.

Location choice is driven, perhaps, by employment at the base and in the office clusters, also maybe by Beavercreek not having a local income tax.

Mapping out the retail centers like Fairfield Commons and vicintiy and The Greene one could see how getting leads to spending, as technocratic affluence would support a robust retail and food/drink sector in Greene County.

But one can also see how this could be a culture that probably has very little to do with Dayton or elsewhere in the metro area, except perhaps for additional location choices "south" or across the county line in exurban Miami and Clark County.


"TheDonald" said...

I've said this before - the prosperity created by WPAFB is largely "side by side" with and independent of the depressed, formerly manufacturing based Dayton economy.

There are some "vectors" by which base money infuses the local economy - construction, restaurants and services - IE, McJobs of different levels - but the base does little to energize the region with value added economic activity. Anything that the base "needs" in a high tech sense is highly specific to DoD procurement.

I've socialized with "base technocrats" - engineers and managers whose jobs or companies are grafted onto the side of the base. By and large these people are vapidly oblivious in your usual middle class way to the economic challenges faced by a non-anointed non clearance holder in the local economy.

Consider also that many of the highest paid people who are attached to the base are not locals - they came here in the service, were detached and stayed. So they don't have much of a local connection beyond considering that this is yet another relocation of many in their careers. They may as well be anywhere, not just Dayton.

Jefferey said...

Yeah, there is a dual economy perhaps, but I have some anecdotal evidence the non-defense IT people do migrate to defense contractors.

This is going to be interesting when BRAC hits...the 2K plus new defesne workers + the contractor support.

Jefferey said...

I should also say, its interesting to see Yellow Springs show up here in both the government worker and techie maps. You wouldnt think of the place as hipper Beavercreek, but it looks like defense money is helping out there too, huh?

"TheDonald" said...

Yellow Springs is favored by some base personnel for its trendiness and cool factor. Don't get me started on the abject hypocrisy of someone wired into sucking down easy DoD income posturing like they're living a "Mother Earth News" lifestyle. YS is basically a Dayton suburb with a unique flavor. The exorbitant real estate values there point to yuppification.

>> I have some anecdotal evidence the non-defense IT people do migrate to defense contractors.

I have tried this in the past - I had a clearance in the 80s but it lapsed when I changed jobs. I never got anywhere. I have found out that defense contractors up there stage "cattle calls" where the priority is on hiring people with current clearances - it costs $$$ for a contractor to fund a clearance investigation. It's possible that occasionally new people enter that system, but Dayton is so glutted with desperate IT people that all that hiring parties need to do is wait it out and they can find someone with perfect credentials, cheap.

Greg Hunter said...

Thanks Jefffery and thanks to thedonald - nice analysis.