In size, the stupidity of Jenny Durkan's proposed "city-wide" budget cuts cannot be captured even by the word elephantine. And her call for the cuts to be city-wide is to give them the appearance of fairness. But we have yet to live in a society where budget cuts hurt the rich. When you say cuts, you mean nothing but the extraction of wealth from those who are not rich. You mean robbing the poor and working classes. You mean class war.
And this bullshit nonsense about managing the city's affairs in a "very responsible way.” Good heavens! That kind of preaching is always directed at everyone but the rich. This is the old, old sermon of austerity. I knew Durkan only had a few good ideas, but I did not know they were so overwhelmed by so many bad ones. There is not one bit of reality in her economic reasoning. None. Zip.
She even tries to make it sound as if the cuts have the rational nobility of being a countercyclical fiscal policy—meaning, because Seattle's economy is "booming" it is logical for the government to spend less. But this again is not science. This is just religion talking. This is a sermon even I would say amen to if only government spending spiked during downturns. But the opposite is almost always true. Municipal budgets are forced shrink even during recessions.
Recall that Mayor McGinn was a deficit hawk. The city's government did not grow but shrank after the bankers crashed the US economy in 2008 and plunged the world into the Great Recession. (This fact is indeed mentioned in the Seattle Times' piece. "Mike McGinn ordered significant reductions as mayor.") But now that we are "booming," we are doing the same thing again: budget cuts, austerity, being very responsible.
See how this works? And also keep in mind that most who live in Seattle are not benefiting from this "boom." Most of the wealth is going to a few people. Recall Gene Balk's finding from 2014 tax returns: "214,000 — 51 percent [of all filers] — showed an adjusted gross income of less than $50,000." This is in a city that has a huge rent-burned population. Are you feeling me? Many of us are not feeling this boom. It is nothing but an insult for Durkan to see the Amazonization of the economy as a huge wave that's so wonderfully lifting all boats. This is clearly a rich person's perspective.
And how in the fucking world do you Trump-proof Seattle with budget cuts? How?
Durkan is supposed to be progressive. But she is not. Her economic ideas are rotten to the core. The great British economist John Maynard Keynes ended his 1936 book The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money with these words:
Practical men who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back.Durkan is a woman who sees her self as practical ("...these boom times won’t last and our current spending isn’t sustainable"); but she is speaking the gibberish of defunct economists, the same economists echoed by professors who concluded in their UW report that wage-led growth is much worse than that directed by profit. This is madness. The crash of 2008 exposed the ideas of many of those economist defunct. There is even a book the calls them "zombie economics." No wonder Durkan could find nothing wrong in one of the biggest bank failures (WaMu's) in the history of capitalism.