Category

Poverty

Jenny_Durkan_01

Seattle’s Revolt of the Elites

In Seattle, people are losing patience with city leadership over the homelessness crisis, but the frustration is running in both directions: the city’s political, cultural, and academic elites are conducting their own revolt—against the people. Read More ›
Space Needle

A Brewing Rebellion in the Emerald City

For the past five years, like many of its West Coast counterparts, Seattle has endured a steady expansion of homelessness, addiction, mental illness, crime, and street disorder. But the activist class—a political and cultural elite comprising leaders in government, nonprofits, philanthropy, and media—has enforced a strict taboo on declaring the obvious: something is terribly wrong in the Emerald City. Last month, veteran Seattle reporter Eric Johnson of KOMO violated that taboo with a shocking, hour-long documentary called Seattle is Dying, which revealed how the city has allowed a small subset of the homeless population—drug-addicted and mentally-ill criminals—to wreak havoc. Johnson’s portrait is backed up by evidence from King County homelessness data, by city attorney candidate Scott Lindsay’s “prolific offender” report on 100 homeless individuals responsible for more than 3,500 criminal cases, and by my own reporting on the homelessness crisis. Read More ›
Homeless man sleeping on a bench
Sofia, Bulgaria - November 4, 2014: Homeless man is sleeping on a bench in the center of Sofia. Years after joining the EU Bulgaria is still the poorest country in the union.

When “Compassion” is Contempt

The Washington legislature is one step closer to legalizing homeless encampments statewide. Last week, Democratic lawmakers passed through committee legislation, introduced by Representative Mia Gregerson, that would usurp the authority of city governments and legalize camping in all “plazas, courtyards, parking lots, sidewalks, public transportation facilities, public buildings, shopping centers, parks, [and] natural and wildlife areas” throughout the state. If passed, the bill, inspired in part by the work of Seattle University professor Sara Rankin, who claims to “advance the civil, constitutional, and human rights of visibly poor people” through “the repeal of laws that criminalize homelessness and poverty,” would represent the most significant extension of “survival crime” theory into American law. Survival-crime theory has been percolating through academic journals …

Chris Rufo Interviewed on Seattle’s KUOW

Discovery Institute Research Fellow Christopher Rufo hit the airwaves on Seattle’s 94.9 KUOW radio station to discuss the homeless crisis, and how the city’s seemingly “compassionate” policies have only exacerbated the problem.

Go Grow Somewhere Else

Microsoft recently announced an unprecedented three-year, $500 million investment to spur housing development across the Puget Sound region. Since 2011, strong economic growth in the Seattle metro area has boosted overall jobs by 21 percent, but the housing stock has expanded only 13 percent, leading to a massive increase in rental and home prices. It’s a problem reaching crisis levels in all West Coast tech cities. Microsoft plans to devote half the investment—$250 million—to pay for market-rate loans to support low-income housing. Another $225 million will go to preservation and construction of middle-income housing in the cities surrounding the company’s Redmond campus, and $25 million will go toward addressing homelessness. Overall, Microsoft hopes to leverage these funds to create “tens …

Trump Calls for a Reform of Perverse Welfare System. Media (Mostly) Ignore It

On Tuesday, President Trump issued an executive order calling on secretaries in eight federal departments to work on reforming their bloated welfare bureaucracies. They are to spend the next month looking for ways to fix the programs under their charge, and report back. You can be forgiven if you didn’t hear about this. Insofar as the media covered it, they mostly painted Trump as a mean old rich guy who doesn’t care about the poor. Check out this “explainer” piece at Vox for one example. In truth, this move is Trump at his best. Reversing Obama But what can he do by way of executive order? Quite a lot as it turns out. President Obama spent his two terms gutting the Welfare Reform Act of Read More ›