How To Get Out Of Seattle During Turkey Week Without Waiting and Suffering Forever? In the dead of the night. This is what the WSDOT recommends. Indeed, it's almost like sneaking out of a prison. The guard, Mr. Big Bad Traffic, is dozing on a chair by the cell. You extract the keys from his pocket. You wake up the kids and your partner. You ever so slowly turn the key in the lock, and once the door is open, one by one, tiptoe out of the cell, tiptoe by the snoring guard, tiptoe out of the city. This is the only sure way to leave Seattle sanely and smoothly during the brutal turkey days. AAA warns that 89% of holiday travelers will be in cars—ain't that America. SDOT predicts that interstate 405 South and 167 will be fucked, fucked, fucked. Q13 Fox says "expect commute times to double on Tuesday and Wednesday."
Market Urbanists Claim That Seattle Needs to Give Every Opportunity to Developers to Increase the Housing Supply: But there is no evidence that simply building at market rates will solve the problem. None. The idea is based on the old neoclassical law of supply and demand and nothing more. Yes, we need to build. Yes, we need density. But no, the market will not come anywhere near ending the crisis of escalating home values. Proof of this can be found in Sydney, Australia, which is one of the most expensive cities in the world. Again, its urbanists and politicians want to solve its affordability crisis by simply building more and more market-rate houses. But a study by two economists revealed that the city already has an oversupply of houses in many of its neighborhoods. Yet, this oversupply has had little to no downward pressure on property values. Why? Because houses are more than just houses. Coupled with their use value is an investment value (or financial/placement value). If you don't factor this (global, national, and local finance) into their prices, then you will keep looking for answers in the tired and old laws of supply and demand.
Sydney Morning Herald:
But the ANU report's co-author, economist Ben Phillips, said often the behaviour of property prices at the regional level "has nothing to do" with underlying fundamentals for housing demand, including population growth. "Housing is an asset and assets don't always reflect the fundamental underlying value–it's not like the demand for ice cream or bananas," he said.The only solution? Government intervention.
If Amazon Filled the Office Space that Nordstrom Is Shedding in the Russell Investments Center: What psychological effect would it have? The same as the one that Amazon's drilling and hammering into Macy's, as it prepares to move into the six floors the retailer recently shed in downtown Seattle. Nordstrom, however, told Puget Sound Business Journal's real estate reporter Marc Stiles that its shedding has nothing to do with the current retail apocalypse that's transforming many malls and some downtown areas into zombies. Stiles was told that the downsizing was "about bringing [Nordstrom's] teams closer together so that [they] can better collaborate, innovate and work together more efficiently. This isn't about reducing employee numbers."
Washington Is Too Cheap to Prepare for The Big One: In fact, Washington is so cheap it will not pay $500,000 to complete a tsunami study. For this and other reasons, all of which can be tied to austerity, Washington, whose senate was run by the GOP until the election on Nov 7, is, according to K5 News, the least prepared for earthquakes on the west coast.
Search Suspended For Missing Elk Hunter: The authorities, who have been searching for the man in Gifford Pinchot National Forest for four days, did find his pickup. The missing hunter is 37 and from Vancouver, Washington. Also, the search for two young snowboarders who went missing a week ago in the Mt. Baker Ski Area has been suspended due to bad weather. The families of the missing men, however, are still searching, still hoping to find them alive.
He Did Not Live Forever: Charles Manson.
He Wants to Be President of Zimbabwe Forever: Robert Mugabe. If you want to read an excellent summary about the coup that's dethroning the "dozing dictator," go to this post by Andrew Malone. Rumor has it that Mugabe fainted upon being informed that the army was removing him from power. Fainted! As in, he lost consciousnesses and fell. His mind could not handle the surprise. It is a scene that must be filmed some day in Hollywood. The dictator fainting and falling on a couch (the couch is my addition).
Money, Money, Money
This image, which made such a sensation last week, really goes well with this passage in Rudolf Hilferding's 1910 masterpeice of Marxist economics, Finance Capital. A Study of the Latest Phase of Capitalist Development:
Just as, according to Ernst Mach, the ego is merely a focal point for an infinite variety of sensations, from the interplay of which it forms a picture of the world, so money is a knot in the skein of social relationships in a commodity producing society, a skein woven from the innumerable threads of individual exchanges. In money, the social relationships among human beings have been reduced to a thing, a mysterious, glittering thing the dazzling radiance of which has blinded the vision of so many economists when they have not taken the precaution of shielding their eyes against it.