Guest Editorial: We Can’t Afford to Live in the City We Build


Construction companies should charge fees for transporting the workers to the job sites. Hell, all workers should unionize and get their unions to charge "getting the workers to the work site" fees to employers.

The further away workers live, the larger the fees would be.
Working class Joe's falling for the GOP's anti-union propaganda was (and still is) the stupidest (an yet utterly predictable) mistake made in the history of working class interests.
"Let’s tax corporations like Amazon so we can get going on this urgent work of making Seattle affordable for the people who build it and make it run."

Let's also tax Skanska, Turner, Walsh, Clark, and every other giant construction company that has been raking in money hand-over-fist during Seattle's building boom. Unfortunately, that might come back to affect folks like the author of this op-ed, but hey, this is all about taxing big business, right?
While I am wholly in agreement with the sentiment, it is coming from a rather self-interested source.
You don't have a right to live somewhere because you want to. If that were so I'd live in Rome just off the Spanish Steps. There's a place available for just $22 million.

Being able to afford neither I can who e about it or find enjoyment in the place I live. Being Republican and never ever working in the organized crime rings that are unions, I chose to find enjoyment in where I live.

Life is unfair sometimes. Suck it up.
#1 we went over something similar to this somewhat recently.

That incentivizes in-town hires, further raising local rents.

Go tell that to the 5-year-old kids who don't have three square meals a day, you insufferable asshole. What a crime that they're not getting crushed under factory machinery anymore!

I think Chicken Little must be drunk again - that was pretty incomprehensible, even for him.

What are you talking about? 5 year old kids starving and being crushed by factory machines?

Possibly in the early part of the last century unions had a needed role. We have OSHA and L&I and workplace safety regulations and so on encoded in law now. Unions are organized crime and no more now.


Projection. But yeah, written in a hurry and poorly edited.

Point stays the same. I have a right to live where my iliking for the place and my budget allow. Nowhere else.

Yet another non-citizen of Seattle demands we here in Seattle change our policies.


This critic supports our minimum wage; that at least is different.
All those dudes who built the skyscrapers in NY City and Chicago, they were GIVEN their choices of rooms in each of those buildings on PERMANENT LEASE. Which means they OWN the fruits of their labor, so I am not sure how things got so bad for you guys.

If only I could claim ownership on something because I did work on it.
I'm actually impressed it took a whole five comments before we got the first tired "you don't have the right to live wherever you want" trope. Nobody has ever claimed this as some sort of inalienable right, we're simply requesting some relatively simple measures taken to insure people aren't fucked over and displaced from their homes or forced to spend 1/3 of their life sitting in traffic in order to keep a decent job. Is that really so much to ask?
Nicely written!
We feel your pain, Logan.
Cities run by The Left are hell on the working class.
Affordable housing built by union labor? Hahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!

The air must be pretty thin up on that high rise.
Perhaps there is no simple solution to the conjoined problems of housing affordability and homelessness. Perhaps these are intractable problems common to all affluent open societies.
Perhaps the best we can do is plug away with 'band-aid solutions' and nibble away at the problems from different angles.
My father was also a union ironworker- in the '50's and 60's.
He was able to buy large family houses at 19th & Union, then 36th & Howell, then 85th & Latona. But those days are long gone and nothing is going to bring them back- there is a rising tide of humanity in this tired old world and everyone seems to want a slice of the good life in the once and still beautiful city.
It is the nature of construction work that the worker has to travel to where the job is. When the building is finished you move on. Right now there is a lot of construction in Seattle but at some time it will taper off. Sometimes craft workers have to go into small towns for short term jobs such as plant shut downs, typically there is a lot of overtime so long distance commuting is near impossible; again that is the nature of that work. As to cold windy weather, working in pouring rain, and risky conditions, that is also part of the job.
Not a bad idea, really. If you look into union pension funds, you will see plenty of money for the unions to buy some of the businesses they work for.
How is it a trope? It is a verifiable fact that my house would cost 2x or 3x if it were in Seattle. My house is over 3500 square feet with a forest on two sides. Are you claiming that the prices should be equalized, either through rent caps or subsidies, so that my house would cost the same if it were in Ballard or Queen Anne? Can't you see how irrational that is?
If I could buy a house exactly like mine for the same price in Seattle, I'd buy as many as I could get my hands on and make millions in rent. Why? Because the demand would be there for people to pay high rents because they want to be closer to the city. Then, I suppose, you would want to tell me how much rent I should be allowed to charge, again, forcing me to subsidize someone else's wish to live where they want, while I have to pay more to make it happen. When the taxes got too high and the rents were blocked from increasing, I'd sell off the houses and move to a market where I could make more money. Just like the Seattle businesses are going to do when the head tax is imposed.
Without addressing Seattle's current exclusionary zoning, a tax won't make a dent in our housing crisis.
When his job is finished, he will get a clean layoff and work on any number of projects in the Puget Sound area--Eastside, So. King County, Sound Transit, all are in need of workers. Living in a less expensive area is the better economic choice for these kinds of jobs that require travel (and all of these workrs drive cars for this very reason), and are not in one location 24/7/365. The author is disingenuous. Not everyone gets to live wherever they want. Not everyone who wants to can live Downtown, on Capitol Hill, or Queen Anne. Socialism will not change that. Also, Des Moines is pretty high end in some areas. Why not scream at their city council?
OSHA and L&I and workplace safety regulations will do fuck all for you when a pallet full of Pepsi gets dropped on you or your employer just decides they don't want to pay you.