Washington is One of Just THREE States Where Poverty is Increasing

Thanks, Gov. Inslee and Democratic legislature!!


Stop taxing poor people at a rate higher than any other state. Washington state has the most upside down tax system in the nation. Low income families pay a far greater share of their income in taxes than the highest income families – in fact, the poorest families pay 6 times more than the richest 1 percent. Relying on those with the least ability to pay to keep our revenue system going is neither responsible nor sustainable.


You Can’t Ever Get What You Need–And No One Cares

In early June, I talked to a private DBT clinic. They had a two month wait for treatment (because Americans never wait for health care). I got on the waiting list. After nearly four months, I hadn’t heard anything, so I called them back. I no longer think DBT is what I need, but my parents will pay for it (they don’t take Medicaid, of course). Guess what? The clinic never really put me on their waiting list in the first place.

My nutritionist said she’s never seen it take so long for someone to get their blood sugar meter, test strips, or insulin pen before. I welcomed her to my life.

My old therapist won’t fill out either of the forms needed to apply for disability. She won’t do the first because she says it has to be done by an MD or PhD. She won’t do the layperson form because she says it’s not for clinicians. So I asked if she could at least fill out the form for my building’s management company to prove I have a medical need for a/c in the summer. No answer, of course. She’s looking for any excuse possible to avoid helping me. That’s America’s social safety “net”.

And as I’m realizing, the time and trauma involved simply make it virtually impossible to survive poverty and document it at the same time. Which is why Americans don’t hear about what it’s like, see all the problems, or begin to fix or even acknowledge them.

Steepest Rent Increases in America? SEATTLE!


Destroying affordable housing to build luxury condos for the rich isn’t working. Incentive zoning isn’t working. Passing resolutions stating intent to act isn’t working. Handwringing isn’t working. Intellectual dishonesty on inclusionary zoning isn’t working. Ignoring the problem and its victims isn’t working. Passing a housing levy smaller than those for education, parks, libraries, schools, and just about everything else isn’t working.

This is no coincidence. This is a crisis we have consciously and deliberately created and exacerbated. We talk a good “progressive” game, but we don’t walk the walk. We are liberal on social issues but not economic ones. How much more homelessness, poverty, and human suffering must we create before finally acting to end it?

Simple. Between 2010 and 2013, Seattle renters took a bigger hit to their pocketbooks than renters in any other large U.S. city. The gross median rent here — that is, rent plus utilities — spiked by $113, or nearly 11 percent. That’s the sharpest rise in rent among the nation’s 50 most-populous cities.

Seattle is the only large city where rents jumped by more than $100, and by more than 10 percent, in this period.


The Police State Continues Unabated


But program 1033 doesn’t even come close to explaining all the ways in which campus police have been militarized over the past two decades. Colleges can also apply for Homeland Security grants, the same ones made available to every municipal police department in the country after 9/11. In 2012, UC Berkeley tried to use the program to purchase an eight-ton armored truck. After a backlash, university officials ultimately decided the truck was “not the best choice for a university setting.” The following year, Ohio State University acquired a mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicle. So far, it has yet to be targeted.

What Recovery??


Incomes rose nicely in the 2010 to 2013 time frame for the top 10 percent of earners (who had a median income of $230,000 last year). They rose slightly, by 0.7 percent, for the 80th to 90th percentile of earners (median of $122,000). But real incomes fell for every other group of earners.

…This is the simplest yet most important fact to understand about the current economic recovery: It has not resulted in higher incomes for anyone other than those who were already doing well. And very large groups of Americans have experienced falling incomes.

…The gains in the stock market did not translate into greater wealth for most American families. The median American household was worth $81,200 in 2013, down from $82,800 in 2010 and way down from the $135,400 of 2007. (Those numbers are all inflation-adjusted, using 2013 dollars).

…For all families, debt service payment is the lowest share of income it has been in any survey going back to 1989.

Damn Online Job Recruiters!


I got an email from someone who said he saw my resume on a job hunting site inviting me to apply for a part-time receptionist job by sending him my resume. At 37, I’m fed up with constantly paying endless dues without ever advancing (and a job has to pay well and be secure to be worth giving up my potential eligibility for SSDI). So I replied that I’m sorely overqualified to be a receptionist, that if he saw my resume online he already had it, and since I noticed Toronto in the list of cities in his email signature; I’d love to get a job in my favourite Canadian city. I especially wish I could be in TO while the Toronto International Film Festival is going on and the US is ignorantly and jingoistically fawning over the 9/11 anniversary. “Never forget”, say all the people who weren’t there.