Archives: Washington Policy Watch

‘A Christmas Carol’: Sending the Poor to Prison

Illustration of the Gosht of Christmas Present by John Leech from the 1800s.

Matthew Caruchet | December 22, 2017

When he was 12 years old in 1824, Charles Dickens worked 10-hour days in a rat-infested shoe-polish factory for six shillings a week. That’s the equivalent of £30.68 or $41.06 in 2017 currency. It was all the money he had to get by. His father, mother, and five siblings aged 2-11 were in prison because the fa

Seattle’s Income Tax on the Affluent: Why We Will Prevail


John Burbank | November 24, 2017

The King County Superior Court ruled this week in favor of the wealthy plaintiffs regarding Seattle’s Income Tax. That was not unexpected. This case involves a challenge to an 80-year-old interpretation of the state constitution, and lower courts generally do not overturn state Supreme Court precedent. But th

Winter Has Come to Seattle, But We Can Fight It

A Pygmy fights a crane, Attic red-figure chous, 430–420 BC, National Archaeological Museum of Spain.

Matthew Caruchet | November 10, 2017

In old mythology, during the reign of Zeus and Hera, there lived a large tribe of tiny people called the Pygmies. Only two and a half feet tall, they were industrious craftspeople, creating the finest silver, cotton and silk wares in the ancient world. But every winter, flocks of cranes would darken the sky.

First Court Hearing on Seattle Income Tax


Economic Opportunity Institute | October 21, 2017

The King County Superior Court will hear arguments about Seattle’s income tax. Please join us at the courthouse for a rally. Together we will get the latest news and take the next step forward in our movement for tax equity! We know we have a long legal pathway ahead of us. The court may rule against the inco

What If WA Leveraged Our Aerospace Advantages?


John Burbank | October 18, 2017

Boeing woke up to a rude surprise on Tuesday. The Chicago-based corporation thought they had gotten the Trump Administration to stymie their competition from Quebec-based airplane manufacturer Bombardier through a monumental 300 percent tariff. But instead, the French Canadians tossed the ball to Toulose, Fra

Dear Seattle: Having a Rich Neighbor Won’t Make You Rich


Matthew Caruchet | September 29, 2017

Cheerleaders of “prosperity” have treated the economic boom in Seattle like sports fans. When the Seahawks won the Super Bowl in 2014, crowds filled the streets chanting, “We did it!” While the people in the street didn’t literally touch the ball or score a touchdown, they felt like they had accomplished some

Let Amazon Hike Up Rents Somewhere Else


John Burbank | September 8, 2017

Amazon is planning to open a second headquarters (in Amazon speak, HQ2), in another city – not in Seattle. I worry for the city that next falls victim to Amazon, but this is a good thing for Seattle. We as a city are struggling to catch up to Amazon’s expansion and the influx of many other high tech companies

A city of riches? EOI analysis shows most Seattle filers make less than 50K


Economic Opportunity Institute | August 30, 2017

Via the Seattle Times: For all Seattle’s newfound affluence, there are still a whole lot of folks living paycheck to paycheck. That’s no surprise, of course — but here’s some new data that bring this economic reality into sharp focus. Of the roughly 419,000 tax returns filed in 2014 by city residents, 214,000

Instead of Funding Boeing Layoffs, Let’s Fund Higher Education


John Burbank | August 24, 2017

Our state leaders have said they understand the importance of higher education for Washington’s citizens, yet disinvest in public education at the same time. When the state decreases funding for schools, tuition rises, making higher education increasingly out of reach for many, unless they take out gargantuan

Don’t Fall for Millionaire Victimhood

A sign welcoming new residents to Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood. Source: Joe Wolf / Flickr

Matthew Caruchet | August 4, 2017

As ballots are counted across King County, it looks like Prop 1 has failed. It had a worthy purpose – making art more accessible to low-income residents – but it was paid for with yet another sales tax in a city that feels that it’s been taxed enough. But it feels that way because some residents are paying mo

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