Guest Rant Jan 19, 2023 at 9:00 am

It’s Time to Change That with a Wealth Tax

The women of the wealth tax. (L-R) Juliet Williams, Hannah Stockton, Gabriela Quintana, Nicole Gomez, Rep. My-Linh Thai, Senator Noel Frame, Summer Stinson, Jazmine Smith, Lyndea Kelleher. Aaron Barna



How about adding a sales tax cut along with any new wealth tax?


Wrong again... this simply won't work. You have an estate tax, you can nail them when they die... isn't this enough?

Finally, a wealth tax will drive the "wealth out of the city and state".... now maybe that is the end goal here. Drive out anybody with wealth, who succeeds or is ambitious. and get everybody down to one level... all equally poor.

Which is what socialism is all about .... or better yet communism. ... which of course ...didn't work.


@3, would driving the wealthy out of the state be so bad? The housing problems, school divestment, inflation etc are a direct result of having too many high wage earners throwing our systems out of whack. I think passing a law is a win, even if the billionaires don’t stick around.


4 -- Hmm... how many wrong assumptions can you possibly make in one sentence.... three it would seem.

The housing problem is the result of poor administrative planning... just try and get a building permit and see how long and costly that process takes, coupled with zoning- city planning which appears to have created by Bozo the Clown... and to that add massive interest rates flux ..... (I believe the Fed sets interest they not?) and none I repeat ...none of which have squat to to with say Bill Gates living here. Do you really think he is out bidding you for your post war bungalow in Wallingford?

Inflation... last i saw that was our brilliant representatives and the current octogenarian president pumping $3.5 trillion into the economy while half the populations took a year off and became terribly unproductive.... again nothing to do with high wager earners... who were actually working at home and being productive...hmmm.

School divestment... seems we've been dumping more and more into schools and they are performing worse... and turning out dumber and dumber children.... Again, how would a high wager earner, who pays more and more real estate taxes which go to fund education be the villain here..

I really think the basic problem is "pig ignorant folks" who know little of economics nor do any real thinking about how these problems arise. Sound vaguely familiar toto? -- like looking in a mirror isn't it.


@5, um, no. If you think housing affordability is a supply problem, check out the ProPublica investigation on real estate price fixing (tldr, private landlords won’t build cheap housing; they’ll collude to extract max rent). Our schools are shrinking because families who can afford to go to private school, do (that’s divestment for you). And inflation has been spiking in Seattle since forever because the cost of real estate permeates all things - cost of rent for businesses, cost of living for worker, creating a wage/inflation spiral that long predated any COVID spending. The common denominator is a professional class of wage earners that bid up the cost of everything, making it crazy expensive for everyone else. Let’s spread the love around to other states, it’s causing all kinds of problems here.


I'm all for the extremely wealthy to pay more in taxes and don't think many billionaires will decamp for other states.....but also doubt this initiative will survive. The laundry list of utopia wants is interesting.....but if this does make it through the legislature and courts in tact..... before we start spending like drunken sailors....the first thing our "leaders" should do is rescind many of the regressive taxes in place today.


From the article

“In 1990, twelve countries in Europe had a wealth tax. Today, there are only three: Norway, Spain, and Switzerland. According to reports by the OECD and others, there were some clear themes with the policy: it was expensive to administer, it was hard on people with lots of assets but little cash, it distorted saving and investment decisions, it pushed the rich and their money out of the taxing countries—and, perhaps worst of all, it didn't raise much revenue.“


@6 - Well again, your lack of economic understanding seems to be getting in the way... yet again.

Housing affordability is a supply problem... (unless you live under a rock). If you bothered to read, observe a new cast, listen to a radio or pod cast you might have absorbed this. The very, very poor administrative planning made building, permit process and zoning a complete nightmare...thus restricting supply. Then very, very low interest rates created a huge demand. When supply drops and demand increase...wait for it...wait the price goes up.

That by the by isn't inflation, it is a supply - demand price increase. Inflation is a monetary phenomena ...wherein the money supply increases faster than productivity... such as when the Gov't dumps $3.5 trillion into the economy and nobody is working.... Did you catch that inflation increased drastically when this happened.... while before we had low interest rates, same housing issue, ergo decreased supply.... (housing prices and rents increased) and yet strangely inflation was low and remained low... so much for your theory huh? DOH!

Now to your half witted analysis of the school.... Let's see the high wage earners still pay the real estate taxes (no revenue loss to schools) yet send their kids to private schools (because they don't want their kids to become dolts) and thus the number of kids in public schools drops. Hmm... more money, less students ...... and still the kids turnout being stupid. (I'd suggest you have a problem with the school and its administration...don't ya think... well I guess you don't)

Finally @ 8 drives home ultimately the stupidity your pathetic post.... golly emphatical evidence from countries that tried this stupid ploy drives away investment capital (that's bad btw), is cumbersome & costly, and doesn't raise much in taxes. DOH!

So in summation, your half ass theory of high wager earner's driving up prices, inflation, public schools theory and this tax is a good well, a steaming pile of baloney.


@9 LOL 1) read the ProPublica investigation, suppliers are essentially manipulating the market, build all you want, they control pricing; 2) splitting rhetorical hairs, Seattle is more expensive for real estate costs, call it whatever you want 3) not even going to entertain bashing public school children who have zero say in the matter. Good morning, sunshine!


@10 Good Morning - Wake UP Little Miss Sunshite

1) ProPublica article simply discussed why rents are increasing in Seattle.... again, its a supply driven price increase.

Little wonder landlords aren't building...we have complex, costly permits, zoning ... and now high interest rates. Thus, landlords are not building...decreasing supply and golly the rents go up.

Add to that the landlord-tenant laws which would ward off and drive any sane landlord out of this city... eviction moratorium, you have to rent to the 1st applicant, the city now pays tenants legal fees... draconian fees... ect.

Do sophisticated landlords use algorithms - you be they do to maximize rents... of course. Who wouldn't? Which you theory was... um... high wager earners were the culprit... you can't even get your story right.

2) You were the one who suggested the real estate prices were the "result of high wager earners"... and clearly its not. So that's not really hair splitting is it... no it just shows you don't know what you are talking about.

3) There isn't much for you to say about the Seattle Schools because everybody already knows, well except you, that they are poorly administrated, wasteful and inhabited by stooges who don't want or know how to change... they just sit and collect their ever increasing pay, medical, dental, vision, paternity, paid sick leave, vacation, retirement and several other benefits I probably missed without oversight. Given the poor state of education, I highly doubt the school children could even compose a sentence to voice their opinion.


@11 you are so busy saying many many many words you are not thinking critically about them. 1) Why build more supply if landlords are colluding to raise prices? New landlords would simply tap into the software and join the price fixing - affordability is not guaranteed 2) Yeah landlords raise prices to match ability of users to pay, yawn 3) Insulting the intelligence of children is not a good look FYI. Way to stand up for the billionaires of WA state! Hero!


@12 In addition to no basic understanding of economics, we can add lack of reading comprehension. Just curious, were you a product of the Seattle School Systems? ... it would tie this whole thing neatly together.

1) Landlords raise rents... and we pointed out the reasons why ... its due to supply and demand and has nothing to do with high wage earners.

2) We pointed out the fallacies of your argument that high wage earners are the source of all the other problems you listed... and now you lost track of your original train of thought and are just rambling aimlessly from topic to topic.

3) We did not insult the intelligence of the children, but rather the adults running the Seattle School System.. Many of which, like you, do not understand economics or logic.

4) Finally we pointed out with empirical evidence that this method of taxation is dim witted and does not achieve the desired results.

Frankly I'm neither for or against billionaires... A good economy and sound economic practices are good for everybody... even the children.


@7: "spending like drunken sailors"

I object to that characterization. As a former drunken sailor, when I ran out of money, I quit drinking.


@8: "it was hard on people with lots of assets but little cash, it distorted saving and investment decisions,"

This is something to keep in mind. Most wealthy people and businesses are keeping their capital reinvested in things that produce jobs and returns. Those that think they can just tap into that without reducing said jobs and capital investment (including housing development) learned their economics by watching Scrooge McDuck counting his money on the Saturday morning cartoons.

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