This animated map shows the increase of million-dollar homes in Seattle over four years. Did you know that seven percent of all single-family homes in the Seattle area are worth seven figures? That’s one out of every fourteen homes. And the median price for a single-family home in Seattle is now over $630,000. So how can people who can’t afford million-dollar homes (like myself) stay in the city? Seattle needs to get rid of restrictive zoning regulations that undermine equity. (And build more homes!)
It’s not all doom and gloom when it comes to housing in the Northwest. Matthew Yglesias over at Vox takes a look at how Seattle and Portland are growing without sprawl. Yay!
Join Denis Hayes, founder of Earth Day and president of the Bullitt Foundation, in a discussion about the future of Cascadia, this Monday at the University of Oregon. Hayes will explore the Bullitt Foundation’s new “Emerald Corridor Initiative,” an effort to invest in Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver, and make these cities global models of sustainability. Learn more here and find out what green innovations are possible for our beloved region.
Social mobility means your parent’s economic class doesn’t determine yours. If you go to college, it won’t matter that your parents did not. In the 21st century, America clings to 18th century voting systems, but apparently has abandoned the dream of social mobility: if you are lucky enough to have parents with unlimited time and money to help you through college, send you designer clothes so you can be popular, go to class and take notes for you so you don’t fall behind when sick, get you unpaid internships through their networks then pay for you to work unpaid, you can succeed. If your parents didn’t go to college and don’t have the time/money/connections to pave the way for you, going to college won’t get you a better life, it will just land you a low-paying job that doesn’t require a college degree, plus a lot of student loans.
Now I am depressed.
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Even Mr. Money Mustache’s characteristically optimistic badassity (“computer savvy is all kids really need to succeed”) didn’t really cheer me up.
Why do poor white people support Trump? This article outlines America’s history of racism and classism from the era of slavery when white plantation owners threw a few crumbs to poor white people to keep them from uniting with black slaves. In the last years of his life, MLK Jr. tried to unite people. He said to his white jailers:
You are put in the position of supporting your oppressor, because, through prejudice and blindness, you fail to see that the same forces that oppress Negroes in American society oppress poor white people. And all you are living on is the satisfaction of your skin being white, and the drum major instinct of thinking that you are somebody big because you are white. And you’re so poor you can’t send your children to school. You ought to be out here marching with every one of us every time we have a march.
MLK Jr. brought together fifty multiracial organizations in the Poor People’s Campaign, a gathering committed to the radical redistribution of political and economic power. A month later MLK Jr. was assassinated. Two months later, Robert Kennedy, a key advocate for the Poor People’s Campaign, was assassinated. And here we are.
Maybe the main cause of the gender gap in high-paying positions is that people are really bad at discerning between confidence and competence. People are more likely to choose arrogant, self-centered, overconfident, and narcissistic individuals as leaders, and men are more likely than women to display those characteristics. Unfortunately for us, arrogance and overconfidence are inversely related to leadership talent. What it takes to get the job is the opposite of what it takes to do the job well. How can we re-wire ourselves to select competent leaders? (This strikes uncomfortably close to home in the current American presidential contest)
Speaking of competence and women in leadership positions: Wayne County Michigan elected its first-ever female prosecutor, who got to work and discovered that male predecessors had let 11,000 rape kits sit in storage, untested, for decades. She had them tested, found matches, and convicted more than two dozen serial rapists. That’s competence.
Ever since 15 years ago when I stumbled across The Baffler Magazine #14: The God That Sucked (that particular sucky God being the free market) I’ve had a crush on Thomas Frank. And he’s just upped the infatuation with his new book bashing—gasp!—liberals. His people. My people! Though I don’t yet own a copy, I already know I’d love to be spending time this weekend reading Listen, Liberal: How the Party of the People Learned to Love Inequality, thanks to Bill Moyers’ recent interview with Frank:
What I’m getting at is that liberalism itself has changed and that the Democrats aren’t who we think they are. That’s the answer to basically every question you want to raise about them for the last 30 or so years. They aren’t who you think they are. Their unofficial motto is that they’re the party of the people. That goes back to Jefferson and Jackson. And it’s just not so. The Democrats are a class party; it’s just that the class in question is not the one we think it is. It’s not working people, you know, middle class. It’s the professional class. It’s people with advanced degrees.
Yep, and there are plenty of dots to connect between the preeminence of the professional class (or what others have called the salary class) and the popularity of both Trump and Sanders:
But if you look just back to the Bill Clinton administration: In policy after policy after policy, he was choosing between groups of Americans, and he was always choosing the interests of professionals over the interests of average people. You take something like NAFTA, which was a straight class issue, right down the middle, where working people are on one side of the divide and professionals are on another. And they’re not just on either side of the divide: Working people are saying, “This is a betrayal. You’re going to ruin us.” And professional people are saying, “What are you talking about? This is a no-brainer. This is what you learn on the first day of economics class.” And hilariously, the working people turned out to be right about that. The people flaunting their college degrees turned out to be wrong. I love that.