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Optimistic grads already well versed in economics

Commentary | June 18, 2014 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

The class of 2014 has already lived through an economic and political rollercoaster. And they remain optimistic, enthusiastic, and wondering ... wondering what the future portends for them, and how they can make a future for themselves. They have been through the worst cycles of our economy. They live in the results of a culture that endorsed selfishness and greed. They want to make sure that is the past, not the future. If they succeed, this will be good for our kids and our kids' kids. And it will be good for us. Thank you in advance to the class of 2014. You are your brother's keeper.

Ballmer and equity in the NW

Commentary | June 5, 2014 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

There is a political phenomenon that while we hate Congress (approval rating currently at 9 percent), we like, respect, and almost always re-elect the local Congressperson we know. The same phenomenon occurs when we think about wealth. Most of us are concerned, perplexed, and vexed by the rapid concentration of wealth at the top while the middle-class disappears. But when it comes to pointing at local examples of this polarization, we hesitate to talk about them.

An Overdue Economic Gift For Moms On Mother’s Day

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Commentary | May 11, 2014 | By Marilyn Watkins | South Seattle Emerald

Back in the 1960's, while the middle class was expanding rapidly, the majority of families had one breadwinner and one full-time homemaker. That's all changed. Unfortunately, we still organize our economy as if “women’s work” had little economic value and every family had a fulltime caregiver.

The Clash Of Views On Government

Commentary | April 16, 2014 | By Marilyn Watkins | South Seattle Emerald

We expect a lot from our government – protection from bad actors and natural disasters, high quality education and infrastructure, far-sighted leadership that still represents us. But we also want to be able to do as we please and pay as little as possible in taxes.

Democracy: An on-Going Process That Requires Us All to Participate

Commentary | April 13, 2014 | By Marilyn Watkins | Rainer Valley Post

Recent headlines highlight what conflicting attitudes we Americans tend to hold about government. The still-unfolding tragedy in Oso, the debates over school and transportation funding, and the Supreme Court ruling on campaign contributions all underscore just what a messy process democracy is.

Time for opponents to support ACA

Commentary | April 9, 2014 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

The promise of the Affordable Care Act has been a long time coming — but it’s finally here. Now that the initial health coverage sign-up period has ended, it’s a good time to take stock of actual impacts.

Getting Educated on Education

Commentary | March 21, 2014 | By Marilyn Watkins | South Seattle Emerald

As divided as Americans seem to be about the role of government, we’re pretty united around the notion that quality public education should be accessible to all. Businesses and our economy can’t operate without an educated workforce – and educated customers. Democracy itself depends on citizens who can reason and understand the issues they vote on.

A Pragmatic Approach to a Fair Minimum Wage

Commentary | March 17, 2014 | By Marilyn Watkins | Rainer Valley Post

People who toil away at jobs we all depend on shouldn’t live in poverty. But would a $15 minimum wage work in Seattle? Here’s a look past the rhetoric at what the research shows.

We simply need to lower tuition

Commentary | March 12, 2014 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

There is a new study out that shows that low income students who get free tuition are more likely to go to college. That piece of common sense stood up to the investigation of six academic researchers. They could have just asked their neighbors.

It’s Time: A 3-Step Path to Funding the Education We SHOULD Have

Commentary | February 23, 2014 | By Marilyn Watkins | Rainer Valley Post

As divided as Americans seem to be about the role of government, we’re pretty united around the notion that quality public education should be accessible to all. Businesses and our economy can’t operate without an educated workforce – and educated customers. Democracy itself depends on citizens who can reason and understand the issues they vote on.

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