commented on Thomas Piketty and the Zombie of Trickle Down Economics
My takeaway from John Kenneth Galbraith's The Affluent Society was that the rich and the leaders who are in the rich folk's pockets always scream that as a society we cannot afford this and we cannot afford that. It would bankrupt the country. Of course, it's all bullshit. The arc of wealth almost always ends up bending towards greed. CEOs don't want just three mansions anymore. They want twenty-four. It's a macho thing to them. To suggest that they could get by with, say, sixteen infuriates them.
Within reason of course, there's all kinds of money for many worthy social programs. It's just that the rich don't want to help pay for them. Billionaires worry into the deep of the night that some woman has had ten children by eight different men, and they are financing it! Meanwhile, schools crumble, infrastructure rots, children go hungry, hopelessness prevails.
Since this is Elvis Week. let's take a look at him. Back in the 50s, the government took 90-cents of every dollar he made. Did he ever go without? Did he ever have to skip dinner? Well if he did, it was because he was flying back to Memphis on his own jet to buy Cadillacs for his entourage.
So I snicker now instead of getting mad when I hear a successful small businessman rail against a decent minimum wage. I'm not so sure $15/hr is all that decent. That's still a pretty challenging living wage. It's just that $7-and- whatever/hr was criminal, really, and being that for so long while at the same time there were more and more billionaires created. Something very wrong there.
And I know the arguments of rewarding hard work and creativity and free markets must prevail. Fine. But you must know that so many of those billionaires simply had the right name at the right place at the right time. Additionally, the middle-class (what's left of it) has to pay its fair share, too. We all do. It's the price of living in a civilized nation. Ultimately, my question is this: What kind of society, what kind of country do you want to live in?
commented on Seattle's Neighborhood Councils Are Exclusionary, Self-Interested "Cartels," and the City Wants to Cut Ties with Them
I'm all for density, and I am certainly for more affordable rents. I had to leave Seattle, my home, when I became disabled because my income became fixed in a rising rent scenario - a most unhappy combination. I'm still not over it, and it has been several years now. I know now I should have purchased a house or condo at the start of the boom. (My Belltown apartment went condo and was offered to me for $94K in 1996. It's now valued at $210K. I didn't think I could afford the ~$800/mo. mortgage payments back then, so I rented other apartments for several more years - eventually paying way more than $800/mo.)
But you see that pretty little neighborhood with all the trees in the picture that accompanies this article? I sure would hate to see pretty little neighborhoods like that one in Seattle destroyed by chopping down those trees and supplanting them with big, ugly high-rises. I have seen that happen in other cities, and it's a drag. Seattle is so uniquely gorgeous that whatever is done about the housing crisis (and crisis is the right word), I hope the planners and developers are very careful to keep Seattle Seattle.
commented on Blue Angel Crashes In Tennessee
I wouldn't miss the Blue Angels at all, but you're never going to remove them from Seafair.Too many aircraft-making people and buck-toothed planes nerds not to mention the military gung-hos. They would rise up and storm ever beer mart in Seattle.
It's a lost cause. If you hate it or can't stand it, just get out of town while the BA's are in town (Pride Week in Vancouver, for instance).
commented on The Great Black Actor Don Cheadle Makes Miles Davis Look Like a Fool in Miles Ahead
Gosh, that's too bad, Cholly. Biopics of jazz musicians don't come along very often, and it's upsetting that they wouldn't get the one about Miles Davis right. Of course there's precedent. Lady Sings the Blues was Barry Gordy's star wehicle for Diana Ross more than it was an intentional examination of the marvelously unique talent and the heartbreaking epoch of Lady Day.
You are so correct about jazz musicians. They are the best of their kind. One has to know his instrument so completely as for it to be an extension, and to know the music so well - backward and forward - in order to improvise and boldly, courageously variate.
I'll still probably see the film.
commented on Tim Eyman Declares War on Sound Transit—Again
Here he comes again - that box-headed little creep. Too bad there isn't some way of suing Eyman for all the expense he has caused the state with all of these silly-assed initiatives. Frankly, he's the reason why I think the initiative option should be removed from the political process. Seems to hurt more than it helps. If that little bastard has a bee in his underwear about something, let him take the issue down to Olympia and find a sponsor for it and bring it to a vote in the state house. That would perhaps shut him up or at least remove his name from the elections.