The Self-Destruction of an American City

Seattle: Where the American Dream goes to die.

An entrance to Seattle City Hall is shown, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, in downtown Seattle.

By Rob Schwarzwalder Published on September 13, 2017

There’s no place more magnificent than the Pacific Northwest this time of year. Puget Sound sparkles, the national parks are glorious, the mountains loom majestically all around.

Yet Seattle’s political ugliness casts a dark pall over the whole region.

Minimum Wage Hike Didn’t Go as Planned

Ed Murray has helped create Seattle’s economic troubles. He resigned as the city’s mayor a few days ago after allegations he sexually abused five young men and boys.

In 2014 Seattle’s “progressive” City Council voted to increase the city’s minimum wage to $15 per hour over a period of years. The Left rejoiced. Murray had run on a platform calling for the raise. Council member Kshama Sawant and her Socialist Alternative organization sponsored the measure.

Three years later, things haven’t worked out the way the central planners wanted.

“When Seattle officials voted three years ago to incrementally boost the city’s minimum wage up to $15 an hour, they’d hoped to improve the lives of low-income workers,” reported the Washington Post in June. “Yet according to a major new study that could force economists to reassess past research on the issue, the hike has had the opposite effect.” The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Washington.

In fact, said the Post, “Some employers have not been able to afford the increased minimums. They’ve cut their payrolls, putting off new hiring, reducing hours or letting their workers go, the study found.”

Did this give Seattle’s Council members pause? No! These heroes of The People are unstoppable.

“Seattle’s city council voted unanimously to create a new income tax on high-earners,” wrote April Ponnuru in the Washington Examiner. “The measure requires residents making more than $250,000 annually, or couples making over $500,000, to pay an extra 2.25 percent tax on income above those levels.” This despite the fact, as Ponnuru notes, “A 2010 income tax proposal was voted down in 38 of 39 counties, including King County, home of Seattle.”

Amazon Says “See Ya, Seattle!”

Amazon has created 40,000 jobs in Seattle over the past few years. The company is now looking for a second headquarters city. They will keep their current facilities in Seattle. But they will build, expand and create jobs elsewhere.

“It doesn’t take much reading between the lines to see what Amazon is trying to tell our region,” said Republican State Senator Joe Fain of the South King County area. “Amazon, like every other business, needs a stable regulatory environment to feel comfortable making long-term investments.”

It’s kind of simple: If you punish job creators, people lose their jobs.

Of course, Kshama Sawant has a different take: Amazon’s building boom in Seattle has created homelessness! Maybe she should ask Amazon’s employees if they like having homes. Or ask the thousands of construction and infrastructure workers who have built Amazon’s amazing facilities if they like their paychecks.

“A Frustrating Place” for Business

That brings us back to the now (thankfully) former Seattle Mayor, Ed Murray. Earlier this year, he proposed a two cent per ounce soda tax. Why? “To raise $16 million in its first year to fund everything from an additional year of early public education to subsidies for food stamp recipients to shop at farmers’ markets.” Yeah, poor people will want to pay for transportation they can’t afford to schlep to farmer’s markets to buy food they can’t afford, either.

But that’s not all. According to Murray, “upper middle class white people” are the ones most likely to drink diet drinks. Taxing them is “an issue of equity” and a stand against “white privileged institutionalized racism.”

Poor Mr. Murray. I guess there will be no Coke and a smile for him.

And just how do real Seattleites feel about all of this?

Small business entrepreneur Dave Meinert, for one, says that Seattle is “a frustrating place. This city seems to think the business success that happens here is because of the city. I think that’s kind of laughable.”

It’s also kind of simple: If you punish job creators, people lose their jobs.

Dreamless in Seattle

As might be expected, there’s another aspect to this. Many of those who bitterly attack the free enterprise system benefit greatly from it. Take the case of Kshama Sawant.

When she ran for office in 2013, she said she would not accept “corporate money.” According to her, the City Council represented “Paul Allen and the richest 1%, along with Amazon, Starbucks, big property developers, and downtown business interests.”

She called for “employee ownership of the nation’s 500 biggest corporations, including Microsoft.” She asked, “how can we afford to continue giving handouts to corporate behemoths like Boeing and Microsoft when they are sitting on billions in profits?”

Yet a financial disclosure document shows that her husband “makes ‘$100,000 or more’ (potentially a lowball number for his income given that $100,000 is the largest amount that’s possible to report on the form) — as an engineer at Microsoft.” That company was “also the top identified employer of Sawant’s contributors.”

Economic liberty and the promise of prosperity lead to great things. As these things decline, something highly valuable is lost. It’s called the American Dream. Just visit Seattle these days for proof.

Print Friendly
Comments ()
The Stream encourages comments, whether in agreement with the article or not. However, comments that violate our commenting rules or terms of use will be removed. Any commenter who repeatedly violates these rules and terms of use will be blocked from commenting. Comments on The Stream are hosted by Disqus, with logins available through Disqus, Facebook, Twitter or G+ accounts. You must log in to comment. Please flag any comments you see breaking the rules. More detail is available here.
  • Patmos

    Seattle is a truly dreadful city: inept leaders who keep raising taxes yet fix nothing with those taxes, and voters who keep voting in those inept leaders like Sawant.

    It took Murray to get to the fifth allegation to finally resign, and very few called for his resignation before that. To top things off The Seattle Times sat on the story about the first two rounds of allegations, before he became mayor, as Murray was seen as a darling of the left because of his push to pervert marriage (yes, he’s gay).

    If there are such things as gateways to hell, where abominations flow from, there is one in Seattle.

    • Dean Bruckner

      Murray is an evil man who is dragging down a whole city into the abyss he has embraced.

      • NewWest 123

        He’s not the only one! And who’s going to replace him?! Doesn’t matter. Same crap! The idiots who vote, vote for dead people.

  • jgmusgrove

    Nothing like rampant socialism to kill the American Dream. They never learn.

  • Bob Adome

    You won’t see the truth in the msm.

  • Dean Bruckner

    Economic and social darkness flows from spiritual darkness, and in that dimension, Seattle is a dark, demonic place. Progressivism is an idolatry, and, like all idolatries, ultimately ends in disease, poverty, slavery, violence and death.

  • cestusdei

    I went there to visit. Took my kid to a park. To get there we had to navigate homeless drug addicts and broken syringe glass. It was simply dangerous. The addicts are attracted to the city and it’s welfare system. Their desires are apparently more important then the needs of children for safety.

  • NewWest 123

    The place has turned into a hole! That’s what rats do when they infest cities. Once they destroy them, they move on to another then another!

Inspiration
Your Purpose is Revealed in God’s Design and Desire for Creation
Hugh Whelchel
More from The Stream
Connect with Us