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WORKING WASHINGTON

Companies Not Offering At Least $15 An Hour Are Finding It Hard to Fill Open Positions: This is not surprising. What one must understand is that a capitalist economy cannot grow rapidly and make the leap into an advanced state of things without high wages. The history of the world has never seen a country escape underdevelopment with low wages. It's all there in the history books. It's not there, sadly, in many econ courses, programs, and journals, which since the 1980s have been dominated by the idea that shareholders, low wages, tax cuts, and weak government spending are good for the economy.

But as Kansas's big experiment with tax cuts goes up in smoke, Seattle's experiment with high wages is adding fuel to its booming job market. Seattle Times:

The higher wages in Seattle may also be making it harder to fill positions for businesses there and nearby cities that don’t pay as much. Under Seattle’s 2014 minimum-wage law, the current minimum ranges from $11 to $15 an hour, depending on the employer’s size and whether it pays medical benefits.

“The companies that are struggling the most—their wages are not up to $15 an hour,” said Aleni Mang, a DSHS caseworker who works with both employers and DSHS clients seeking jobs.

“Those starting at $11.50 an hour—they’re having more problems finding and keeping staff.”

Seattle Times also writes that the owner/chef of Seattle’s Terra Plata restaurant, Tamara Murphy, posted this on Facebook: “I’d give my right pinkie up for an awesome dishwasher. Where did they all go?” Certainly not to Kansas.


Seattle Police Officers Fatally Shot a 30-year-old Black Mother at a Housing Complex near Magnuson Park: Her name is Charleena Lyles, a mother of four, including a toddler with down syndrome. She called the police about a burglary. The police claim she threatened them with a knife, so they shot her in front of her kids. Steven Hsieh is covering this story.

Steve Thornton (AKA Fnarf) posted this on Facebook:

The woman who was killed by the police today lived in a building I know well. I've been in it many times. I've walked past every door in the building, including hers. Charleena Lyles was her name. Three kids, 11, 4 and 1. The four-year-old has Down Syndrome. They were in the room when their mother was shot and killed. I know SPD has people who are capable of dealing with mental illness without immediately opening fire, but they weren't there. I think I know why. I'm just sick about it.

No One Knows Who Was In the Racist Puppet That Participated in Fremont's Solstice Parade: The organizers of the parade, Fremont Arts Council, claim in a Facebook post that the racist puppeteer slipped into the procession and acted as if he was a part of the show. They also claim they confronted the person and told them to go away. But several of commenters on this post are not buying this explanation; they say nothing was really done about the racist puppet. One comment even makes this disturbing point:

Is this a "bad apple" theory you are proposing? If so, then why is the mammy costume so similar in style and design to the equally offensive Asian(?) puppet featured in this photo? Were both of these racist caricatures just random alt-right trolls who joined the parade?

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PICTURE COURTESY JILL KILLEN.

I Was Born A Few Hours Drive From Where the Richest Man of the 19th Century, Cecil Rhodes, Is Buried: That was in a Rhodesia (which is now Zimababwe). When I finally became a young man (my childhood was slow), and moved to the US, I found myself living in the same metropolis as the richest man of the 20th century, Bill Gates. Was this just a coincidence? Or was the course of my life forming a secret or cosmic pattern that, when completed, revealed something about capitalism? Before I could figure it out, time began to pick up speed. My years zipped by me like a landscape viewed from the window of a bullet train. I entered the 21st century, crossed its first decade, and rushed to this point in time: June 19, 2017. Today, I find that I'm only a 20-minute walk from the building, Doppler (or Amazon Tower I), whose top floors are occupied by the CEO who is set to become the richest man of the 21st century, Jeff Bezos. After his corporation, Amazon, bought Whole Foods, the value of his fictitious capital rose to $84.6 billion. He needs only $5 billion to beat Bill, the master of the 20th century. What does all of this reveal?

Rich Seattle Neighborhood That's Stuck In Time Is Upset that It's Losing Its Only Market to a SDOT Project: It's nothing but sad that a small and friendly business, Montlake Boulevard Market, should be destroyed by an SDOT project that, when completed, will likely contribute to rather deflate our transportation crisis. But still, why does this neighborhood, which is wealthy, only have one market in the first place? As Seattle Times' transportation reporter, Mike Lindblom, points out: "Without the market, people who walk, bike, or briefly park to grab fresh produce, milk or beer might drive more frequently to University Village or Capitol Hill supermarkets." If this market goes, basically this neighborhood is isolated and pretty much unwalkable. And nor is it coincidental that the only market in this area is not at the center of the community but at its edge. It's as if the rich residents pushed anything to do with business to this final point—if they pushed just a little more, the market would be in the canal. SDOT looked at it. Saw its situation, and thought it would be no problem to get rid of it and store construction equipment in its place. The business looked unloved.

My Mind Can Imagine Few Things That Are Worse Than Finding Some My Fingers Caught in the Teeth of a Raccoon: And this is exactly what happened to a woman in Hope, Maine. She was jogging, she was happy, she was attacked by a rabid raccoon, she had to kill it with her bare hands. And the amazing thing is she not only survived the attack, but she kept her raccoon-bitten fingers. If it had been me, I would have chopped the things off with the kind of cleaver Chinese cooks use on roasted ducks. Once you have been in the mouth of a raccoon, I want nothing to do with you. You are no longer a member of my family. After a shot of whisky, it would been one chop, a bandage for the hand, and the food bin for the disgraced fingers. I would not shed a tear as I watched the waste management truck arrive and take those fingers away.

No Tweets From Trump About the Suspected White Terrorist Who Drove A Van Into Muslims Near a Mosque in London: He drove into a crowed that had gathered outside of mosque. He injured 10 people and killed one. He was captured by three men, and his life was saved from an angry crowd by an Imam.