I stopped on my way home from the grocery to do my DSHS food stamp “interview”. (You have to call right at 8am or risk waiting on hold for a very long time) They said I can’t because it’s too early. You can’t win with these people. They told me to call back Monday, which is Memorial Day. When I noted that, they suggested I wait until June 15th, which I believe is past the due date they gave me in the letter they sent.
Part of me would love to start a non-profit to work for a basic income in Washington state. Basic Income Washington. I’d hate raising money, and there are some things I’d have to learn, but I know I could do it. It would mean staying here much longer instead of emigrating to Europe, and working very long hours. I’d love to research and produce reports showing how little it would cost after replacing all these bureaucratic means-tested programs like SNAP, ABD, HEN, unemployment, Medicaid… but at the state level we could only replace the state-funded ones unless we got waivers from the Feds. I think we need to make sure everyone has housing and health care, but after that a basic income may suffice. (I also think we should fold Medicaid into Medicare which would shift the funding responsibility from the states to DC, and people on Medicaid would get better coverage and care)
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.