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Better wages would fill in gaps in economy’s growth

Commentary | August 25, 2016 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

This is the tale of at least two cities: one humming with Amazonian energy and money, another with many people completely left out.

Top two primary often leaves out one party or the other

Commentary | August 11, 2016 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

We have created a monopolistic farce out of this election, rather than a real choice among candidates of different parties. Needless to say, this leaves a lot of voters disenfranchised. So what's the solution?

You hold a lot of local power with a pen and ballot

Commentary | July 28, 2016 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

The franchise to vote is open to all citizens who have registered to vote. Use it. Our democracy depends on your vote, not just for the big decisions, like president, but for the little ones that affect your everyday quality of life, like fire levies, state legislators, and local judges.

I-1464’s would put campaign cash in voters’ hands

Commentary | July 14, 2016 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

There is an intimate connection between campaign contributions, lobbying and legislators’ decisions on bills to support and to oppose. But our elected legislators are not supposed to publicly acknowledge these connections. Is there a solution to this not-so-subtle corruption of public decision making? Yes!

Democracy, equality a work in progress for our country

Commentary | July 7, 2016 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

These days, the Fourth of July seems mostly to be about barbecues, beer and fireworks – all for the celebration of freedom. That’s the popular narrative for the birth of our country. But the truth is, the United States had many parents.

Lack of choice in state races discouraging

Commentary | June 15, 2016 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

We should be bracing ourselves for highly visible and well argued elections throughout our state. But as is turns out, in two-fifths of all these elections, either the Republican party or the Democratic party has failed to field candidates.

Raising wages statewide is a job for We The People

Commentary | June 10, 2016 | South Seattle Emerald

Growing economic inequality compounds racial and gender inequities and deepens divisions in our society and democracy. We all lose – with less innovation, economic vibrancy, and cultural richness – when so many are denied the opportunity to reach their full potential and pursue their dreams. It doesn’t have to be this way.

Finland’s link between taxes and prosperity

Commentary | June 1, 2016 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

Imagine living in a relatively small nation, where per capita income is $11,000 less than in Washington state, and the only natural resources are timber, water and ice. People pay a 31 percent tax on personal income in excess of $82,000, a value-added tax of 14 percent on food and restaurants, and 24 percent on most other goods. Yet they are, by many measures, better off than most Washingtonians. How?

Obama rule assures better pay, more jobs

Commentary | May 18, 2016 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

Today President Obama makes up for four decades of neglect of middle wage workers by both Republican and Democratic administrations. That's thanks to a new federal rule on how and how much employers pay workers. This new rule will result in workers gaining literally thousands of dollars more in earned income in our state.

What we got for Boeing’s $305M break

Commentary | May 4, 2016 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

Legislative consideration is usually a slow and deliberative process, for good reason. The Boeing package was pushed through in a special two-day session, called for just that reason and paid for by the taxpayers of our state -- to the tune of $305 million that went to bulk up the stock buyback for Boeing shareholders. That is a disservice to the citizens of this state.

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