Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Seattle Takes Another Poison Pill

Seattle is struggling.  They were struggling before the riots started and now with the resultant costs from Covid and the Chaz/Chop, it has gotten worse.  Being a city council that's run by socialists, and therefore idiots, they've decided to punish upper middle class workers by instituting another city income tax.  Naturally, being idiots, they exempted themselves.
Nonetheless, the Seattle City Council has decided that now is the right time to impose a new tax burden on its residents. On July 6, the council passed the so-called “JumpStart” tax, which specifically targets middle-class jobs.

The council’s new tax will affect employees at medium-to-large companies, but not most small businesses. Applied to businesses with a total payroll of $7 million or greater, it will impose an additional 0.4 percent to 2.4 percent payroll tax on jobs that pay an annual salary of $150,000 or higher. This is on top of already steep federal and state payroll taxes.
According to OpenTheBooks.com, 601 city employees in Seattle earned $195,000 or more. Analysts found that “tree trimmers lopped off $160,604; the chief librarian made $197,704; electricians earned $271,070; electrical lineworkers made $307,387; and police officers earned up to $414,543.” The new payroll tax will not apply to any of these government employees or their peers otherwise drowning in taxpayer cash.
Now I realize that an annual salary of $150,000 sounds pretty high - if you're not working in any of those Seattle city jobs - but it's not the top 1% of salaries.  It takes close to $500,000 per year to make that, extrapolating from this 2019 piece, but $150,000 should be in the top 5%. 
According to Payscale.com, the average salary in Seattle is $79,000. It’s the fifth most expensive place to live in America, with the highest rents anywhere in the country outside of California. With this context in mind, workers making $150,000 are far from members of “the 1%.” More realistically, many of the targets of this new tax are middle class by Seattle standards. So while the tax isn’t massive, it does showcase an important trend: In their class warfare charge, left-wing officials aren’t constraining themselves to “soaking the rich,” but are quickly reaching down the income ladder for fresh wallets to tap.
You may have heard about Seattle telling Amazon that they didn't want them in the city anymore.  OK, that's not exactly how they said it.  They attacked Jeff Bezos by name, said, “we're coming for you” and one particularly idiotic councilwoman, Kshama Sawant, said she wants to “dismantle the deeply racist, sexist, violent, utterly bankrupt system of capitalism” and replace it with “a socialist world.” Sawant has also promised to “take into public ownership the top 500 corporations and banks that dominate the US economy.”  Sawant and fellow socialist city Councilwoman Teresa Mosqueda promise this new tax will be a “victory for working people.”

Doubtful.  They claim it will raise $200 Million.  Also doubtful.  The simplest thing for companies affected by the tax to do is to get out of the city limits.  When Seattle instituted a $15 minimum wage that was supposed to wonderful things, too, but reality is simply what it is.  Some restaurants went out of business and closed.  Others went outside the city limits.  Workers' hours went down, or they lost job flexibility and many ended up making less.   Prager University has a new video from a Seattle restaurant server talking about how the $15 minimum wage screwed up her world. 

If you were making just under $150,000 in Seattle and were due for a raise, would you want that raise if it went to the city?  Would the company want to give that raise, knowing you'd get a smaller piece of it than they had in mind?  Would you or the company look for ways around that?  It has been known for ages by anyone with the sense to observe cause and effect that revenue streams from soaking the super-rich dry up pretty quick - the world is full of these stories. So the “soakers” eventually must resort to soaking the less rich, and eventually the middle and working classes. 

I predict that they may take in some more revenue before the systems adapt, but in the second year, they'll lose money and the city will teeter closer to bankruptcy and collapse.  Seattle is in decline.  It could be terminal if they continue to elect socialists and other idiots.  

Twitter video is here.  I didn't really feel the need to watch it. 

By the way, in the strange world of the Internet, it has happened more than once that people I've written about have stumbled across my blog.  Should that happen to you, Mr. Bezos, I think people in Florida would be happy to have your small but tasteful world headquarters of Amazon move into the state.  Putting it in Central Florida would put you that much closer to your Blue Origin operations on the Kennedy Space Center.  I do have to warn you about the oppressive, Crematoria-style heat and the mosquitoes that raped and killed the invading Murder Hornets, but air conditioning takes care of both of those.


  1. Very interesting in a scary Marxist-Socialist way.

    This is the end result of over 20 years of slow socialization, and pushing as an actual agenda, the Marxist-Socialist way.

    They have finally reached the done-button stage. Let them fail. Fail bigly. Most of the city structure will be there in 30 years, may require some work, but...

  2. The woke people in Seattle must be rejoicing in the opportunity to give more. I know that's what I would be doing...if I was progressive...and if I lived in Seattle, and I'm not and I don't so there you are.

    1. They always want those rich people to pay for it. It's that Churchill quote about socialism being "the gospel of envy," in real life. Why pay for anything when you have evil, rich, fat cats around?

      OPM - Other People's Money. It's the most addictive substance in the world.

  3. Hey, Jeff, c’mon down to Central Florida; our governor is business-friendly

    1. I'm sure we could spare a few hundred acres of swamp, um, wetlands to bring that many jobs into the state.

  4. It would not surprise me if smart companies - and there certainly aren't as many of those as there used to be - examine what's happened with the COVID and working from home thing and substiantially decentralize their footprints.

    If you own a 40-story building in Seattle (or Baltimore, or NYC, etc.) that contains all your company functions in one place you're locked in a box; if you have much smaller rental spaces spread across the country, a "decentralized business" in the buzzword lexicon, you have no single point of high risk. It's much easier to write off a lease for half a floor of rental offices than an entire building if/when the political/social/legal environment in one place goes radical. Write a much smaller check to escape, pack up, go elsewhere.

    And, there's contracting services with outside companies located elsewhere to further shrink the space/employee committment in any one place.

    The wild card is expensive manufacturing facilities; we've learned what happens when every egg gets placed into a Chinese basket, so I'd expect that to be decentralized (see: Japan, cottage industries) with, perhaps, final assembly done in one (convenient and politically stable) place.

    It'll take a decade, or more, but I think we'll start, very quietly and well below the radar, see it implemented. The impact on metropolitan budgets will be severe, and in some cases, spectacular.

  5. ...and the voters in Seattle will keep on compounding their error by voting the same bunch of progressive idiots into office election after election. Meanwhile the people that the tax is aimed will be moving on. Hopefully they'll remember what drove them out of their utopian progressive paradise, but I wouldn't bet money on it. They'll bring dreams of utopia with them whereever they wind up and creats another shithole where ever they end up.


    1. "They'll bring dreams of utopia with them whereever they wind up and creats another shithole where ever they end up."

      See: FL, TX, MT, SC, NC, et al. Those fucking assholes have spread their Socialist virus all across the country and it's infecting and killing the very areas that the fuckheads "escaped" to. You can't fix Stoopid.

  6. As a 3rd generation Floridian I see my birth state falling to a communist. The governors race was very close, and we were very very fortunate to have Ron Desantis as governor. His opponent, Andrew Gillum is a Marxist.
    Florida is filling with communist New Yorkers both running from Deblasio and as wealthy retirees. The southern half of the state is already communist, and growing. Adding to the communist numbers are immigrants from socialist countries who prefer the order communism bring them.

    A note. In my opinion there is no such thing as socialism, only communism. Also I consider the democrat party as having abandoned democracy and is now embracing communism, therefore I label them communists. Therefore all things leftist/left wing I consider to be communist.

    November 2020 will be the most important election in the history of our country. Americans will choose between communism and the Republic

    1. I'm also a Nth-gen Floridian...

      Socialism is just Communism with a better PR department.

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