Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Changing Face of Western Washington


      "Will the last person to leave Seattle please turn off the lights" This billboard quote is from the original Boeing Crisis of the 60s.  It has resurfaced several times since.  This is the place of my birth, where I lived for 18 years.  My mother and two of my children still do. However, nigh on 50+ years (hell, even just 30 years) ago this became a different state, a different culture, a different demographic altogether.  True, it is a different world we live in today, but has society come so far as to completely abandon any semblance of civility.  First of all it's much more populated now and with that comes the inevitable traffic, higher costs, rudeness, arrogance, and dog eat dog mentality of any big city; it's everywhere.  Modern society was founded on the concept of rules that would provide/ensure safety.  Laws were enacted to protect the majority of us all.  Keynesian Economics also states that in the short run, and especially during recessions, economic output is strongly influenced by aggregate demand (total spending in the economy).  Western Washington and especially the Seattle area has taken this to a whole other level.  Can the average working person still survive?  Where do all the homeless come from?  Is governmental assistance fueled by ever increasing taxes the only answer?  For anyone about to say that the rich need to pay their fair share, double check your fact checker.  The Top 1% of Americans pay 50% and the Top 20% pay 84% of all the ($$$) income taxes today. 
      Things have so very much changed that I find it somewhat uncomfortable to accept what has become acceptable here.  I am awestruck as I listen to my friend's stories of high costs, dwindling jobs, obscene taxes, and the increasingly limited health care debacle.  Compiled from experiences during my recent stay here this is but a sample of unbelievable changes to the now 'so very far left' Pacific Northwest:

>There really isn't any need for Seattle (let alone the entire western half of the state) to be a 'sanctuary city' as no matter what law you disregard you can always claim 'profiling, racism, or non-resident status.  As long as it is a federal issue, the local King County Barney Fifes ain't gonna hassle you. 

>You've heard of water rights, mineral about view rights?  The local TV station reported today that you can now mortgage the view rights from your house in the greater King County area.  That's correct, you can now own the rights to your view which cannot be infringed upon by new construction, trees, etc.  It will cost you anywhere from $10K-several hundred thousand dollars to do this and you can even keep them when and if you sell your house.  What? 

>Seattle wants to pass legislation to provide 'safe spaces' for heroin addicts to shoot up.  Yet, the news reported recently that opioids kill more people in the state each year than traffic accidents.  Unfortunately, they're not spectacular drivers either.  Yeah, opioids are still a controlled substance and heroin is illegal. 

>An Oak Harbor legislator has introduced legislation to prohibit airlines from removing any passengers no matter what (unless for legitimate security concerns), even when they are overbooked. 

>We were checked (for personal ID, script ID, and receipt) a total of 3 times at Wal Mart or COSTCO each time from the moment we picked up our (or Mom's) prescriptions till the moment we walked out the front door.  Here, the professional consult is NOT an option. 

>Good thing we have our own cloth grocery bags......if you don't get ready to pay 5 cents a bag here.

>Seattle has legislation pending for their own county income tax. 

>The average price of a home in Seattle is $638,000.  This isn't even a fabulous home.  Even though Washington's property tax rate ranks 28th lowest in the nation at 1.08%, that house in Seattle will still pay $6872 per year.  In Thurston County (home) it's even higher. 

>My home town of Tumwater can't seem to do anything to sell the Olympia Brewery buildings and property as their zoning conditions and control over the artesian water rights are a stranglehold to any deal.  The property is already an eyesore and very nearly a point of shame.

>It is not unusual to walk downtown Olympia and see wooden power poles with several  hypodermic injection syringes stuck in them.  Apparently there are no safe zones here.  The amount of homeless really saddens me.

>Although a bit further south, the owners of Kooks Burritos in Portland were forced to shut down their shop due to a barrage of criticism and bad reviews due to what is being termed 'Cultural Appropriation'.  They discovered their unique style of cooking when traveling to Mexico and when interviewed commenters accused them of stealing their recipes and techniques from Mexican women.  One publication, the Portland Mercury, even said the women were predatory and colonized this food style. 

>The unions have such a chokehold on industry that even with layoffs Boeing has begun to move a significant amount of their operations out of state. 

>Seattle Commissioner Kshama Sawant (pictured above) is an active member of the American Socialist Movement and Socialist Alternative Party.  Some of her campaigns have been the $15/hr minimum wage, the condemnation of Israel and their survival, the proposed nationalization of Boeing, Microsoft, and Amazon, and promotes airport and freeway disruptions by whatever means necessary.  They even published a Guide to Mayday Protests in Seattle     Recently she came out in favor of the Seahawks acquiring (NOT LOCAL FAVORITE) Colin Kaepernick as a backup QB so she's got that going for her. 

>The Pacific Northwest’s nascent independence movement (secession from the union) – Cascadia – is gaining momentum and actually believes it can survive without federal governmental help.  Of course it can, their astronomical taxes can provide anything that only socialism can fix.

>Evergreen State College professor Bret Weinstein is under fire after refusing to leave his office, as well as criticizing a "White Privilege" demonstration recently as oppression in and of itself.  The protestors rationale?  Racism, of course.  Demonstrators stormed his office, threatened him and stopped campus police from entering the building when they attempted to escort him out.  In the end he was allowed to leave, but then the demonstrators stormed the President's Office demanding Prof. Weinstein's firing.  He relented stating that he would investigate fully and police WERE NOT to react to the demonstrators due to the fact they threatened violence unless the professor was fired. Oh yeah, this is a state taxpayer funded university. 

     This is home and it saddens me to the bone.  I don't like bad mouthing the place where I grew up, where I learned my values, and many of my closest friends and family still live.  Usually I really don't pay much attention to the news or current local events when I visit.  All I ever really noticed before were the skyrocketing real estate costs, which most folks blamed on all the 'transplanted Californians'.  But now the economy is such a juggernaut that when everything rises except the wages for the blue collar working man their hope diminishes.  For those who have lived here, worked here, and raised families here their entire lives they are now finding the cost of living, especially property taxes stifling.   It seems at times that the only hope perceived is government assistance, as long as it doesn't interfere with the 'haves'.  What does the average Democrat think is going to happen when the dream wishbone breaks in their favor to increase the taxes only on the rich?  JENGA!   You want to talk about 'trickle down economics'?  Taxes are already incredible and eventually this 'tower of progress' will topple (remember Keynesian Economics and the short run) and the 'haves' and 'have-nots' will find themselves on the same playing field once and for all, everyone struggling to survive.  There are so many good people still living here, but the change has been perpetual with not much hope of reversing course, but all too often what drives this area affects much of Western Washington, whether they like it or not.  My parents were both hard workers and we were on the lower end of middle class, not anywhere near rich, but wanted for nothing.  I didn't know what a homeless person was. My best memories have always been of the simple beauty of this place and what a great place it was to grow up.  This works for me. 

"So much of left wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don't even know that fire is hot"
George Orwell
WiFi courtesy of Verizon MiFi

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