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Seattle May Hit Peak Progressivism With a Literal Tax on Jobs

Business and labor join forces to oppose an employee head tax.

Emmanuele Contini/NurPhoto/Sipa/NewscomEmmanuele Contini/NurPhoto/Sipa/NewscomSeattle is preparing to pass a literal tax on jobs.

On May 14, City Council is scheduled to vote on an "employee head tax," which would impose a 26 cent levy on every hour worked by an employee at companies making more than $20 million a year. The tax would hit between 500 and 600 businesses; it is supposed to raise about $75 million a year for homelessness and affordable housing services.

Versions of this proposal have been circulating for a while. They've been nicknamed the "Amazon tax"—of that $75 million in revenue, $20 million is expected come from the online retailer.

Amazon isn't taking the tax lying down. On Tuesday the company announced that it is pausing construction planning for a 17-story building intended to serve as office space for some 7,000 Amazon employees. Amazon is being uncharacteristically explicit about the reasons for the stall.

"I can confirm that pending the outcome of the head-tax vote by City Council, Amazon has paused all construction planning on our Block 18 project in downtown Seattle and is evaluating options to sublease all space in our recently leased Rainier Square building," company spokesperson Drew Herdener said in a statement.

Supporters of the tax were incensed at this unintended yet totally predictable consequence of their policy.

"If Amazon generally wants to engage about how they can be part of the solution, we welcome that conversation," Councilmember Mike O'Brien said Wednesday, according to The Seattle Times. "But we need companies that are profitable and making billions of dollars every year to help with the folks that are being forced out of housing and ending up on the street."

Councilmember Kshama Sawant—a self-proclaimed socialist who has endorsed the nationalization of another Seattle-area corporate titan, Boeing—was less subtle. Sawant calls Amazon's refusal to passively accept the taxation "blackmail," and she organized a Thursday rally outside Amazon's headquarters.

Despite these protestations, support for the tax is starting to flag.

Business groups have been opposed to the idea from the get-go, arguing that the city should do a better job spending the record revenue it is already raking in before it asks for more.

The goal of the new tax is "simply to raise more money instead of truly solving the homelessness facing our region," write the heads of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Association, and the Greater Seattle Business Association (an LGBT business group) in a Seattle Times op-ed, noting that in the past two years the city has increased spending on housing and homelessness by 50 percent only to see a 37 rise in the homeless population.

"It is time to ask: What is behind the dramatic increase in city spending, and what is there to show for it?" they conclude.

These business groups have been joined in their opposition by trade unions.

"To reduce the jobs only increases the possibility of additional homelessness," Chris McClain of Iron Workers Local 86 tells the Times. His union organized a counterprotest at Sawant's Amazon demonstration, shouting down pro-tax speakers with chants of "No head tax, no head tax!"

This is not the first time capital and labor have joined hands to fight some of the ideas coming out of Seattle City Hall. Teamsters and retailers both fought in vain to stop the city's sweetened beverage tax last year.

Vocal opposition from so many corners is encouraging some Seattle politicians to backpedal. Mayor Jenny Durkhan has thrown some shade on the idea of head tax in recent public statements. Some city councilmembers have suggested delaying the scheduled May 14 vote.

Whether this will all be enough to kill the tax plan remains to be seen. But the fight demonstrates a growing weariness among workers and businesses owners when it comes to handing over more tax dollars to a city government that has proven less than adept at putting the money to good use.

Photo Credit: Emmanuele Contini/NurPhoto/Sipa/Newscom

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  • Rhywun||

    "If Amazon generally wants to engage about how they can be part of the solution, we welcome that conversation,"

    So... creating jobs isn't part of the solution?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Private sector jobs? That's literally leeching off the state.

  • tlapp||

    That is the warped socialist thinking but government lives 100% at the expense of the private sector.

  • ||

    Ok so some warehouse workers feel compelled to take on welfare and food stamps. Well they can get a different job!!!!!
    If Seattle would deregulate, things would be more affordable and those workers wouldn't have to rely on additional income to support their lives..

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    Nobody wants to be a slave, Rhywun.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    What about Mr. Slave?

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Aaahhhhh........Jesus Christ!

  • Ariki||

    And the world never saw Lemmiwinks again.

  • ||

    Oh god. hahaha

  • Rev. Arthur Ꮮ. Kirkland||

    You obviously haven't spent enough time on FetLife or CollarSpace.

  • dchang0||

    Yes, but there are safe words there, and they are strictly respected by all participants.

    Gov't doesn't care if you scream out a safe word--it will keep raping you, sometimes HARDER if you complain.

  • ||

    Considering half their business model is a literal (re)distribution scheme, you'd think they'd be a shoe in!

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    Only if they were created by Gosplan.

  • Calidissident||

    Obviously no one who Amazon employs pays taxes.

    It'd be hilarious to see these morons dumbfounded at the loss of revenue if Amazon left Seattle.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    The city would, quite honestly, probably collapse in a few years if Amazon entirely left.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    The Detroit of the Pacific Northwest has a nice ring to it. Maybe they can get Tim Allen to do promo spots.

  • vek||

    It depends... I've lived in Washington state over half my life, and Seattle for 13 years. Seattle used to be a really awesome mid priced (not midwest cheap, but not NYC expensive) city. It was pretty awesome when I first moved here. There were tons of shit libs, but they were a lot more sane back then, and it was a lot lower % of the population.

    What happened is Bill Gates set up Microsoft in the suburbs of Seattle. Amazon basically got setup here to poach MS employees. Once they went big it drew in tons of other companies, and we're basically the biggest tech hub after the Bay Area.

    If Amazon left because Bezos woke up one day and said "Fuck Seattle, I want more sun. Let's move to Silicon Valley!" Seattle would become BETTER in the mid to long haul. That is to say if they other companies were still around. If Amazon, and all the others, left because the business climate was THAT bad we'd be fucked.

    But if it was just Amazon real estate prices would tumble and the city would actually probably bring back more diverse businesses that are no longer able to operate here. I'm moving soon because of the taxes, regulations, and cost of doing business here. But if the sheer expense of the city went down I would consider just moving to the burbs. Seattle would actually be a decent place to live again if Amazon left one day. I'm not going to stick around to see, but even their HQ2 might let out enough steam for supply/demand to catch up and bottom out prices here to some degree.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    I'm not going to stick around to see, but even their HQ2 might let out enough steam for supply/demand to catch up and bottom out prices here to some degree.

    The problem for wherever HQ2 is placed is that it's going to drive up real estate prices and the cost of living in that place, too, because it won't be creating "new" jobs, it will just be importing 50,000 bugmen to the new spot.

  • vek||

    Red Rocks, yes the new town will probably be ruined. A place like Chicago or Dallas is big enough to absorb the 50K or so people without TOO crazy of an effect because they already have large populations. Seattle wasn't that big of a big city, and the sheer speed of the growth is what made it go nuts here.

    Honestly if these tech companies just spread the jobs around to more metros it would be a positive for all the different places. The over concentration in the Bay Area, Seattle, Boston, etc is what has turned it into too much of a good thing. Traditional Fortune 500 companies spread their divisions around the country to take advantages of specialized skills in an area (finance in NYC, programming in San Fran, etc) and/or cost advantages. Tech has ignored the fact that they could easily hire good people in the top 20 or 30 biggest cities in the country no problem, while cutting salaries massively by not cramming everybody into 5 or 6 "tech hubs."

    I think it will happen sooner or later because it's so obvious. The bean counters can't let them get away with being this dumb forever...

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Honestly if these tech companies just spread the jobs around to more metros it would be a positive for all the different places. The over concentration in the Bay Area, Seattle, Boston, etc is what has turned it into too much of a good thing.

    The irony is a supposed benefit of a tech infrastructure is to be able to de-scale your workforce and avoid concentrating them in a few select places. Theoretically, these companies should be decentralizing their offices to where real estate is relatively cheap, but a certain amount of housing/amenities exist, like Casper, WY, Grand Junction or Pueblo, CO, Albuquerque, NM, Prescott, AZ, Knoxville, TN, etc. Instead, they concentrate them in a few select areas and dramatically drive up the cost of living for everyone, because most of their workforce is young and childless, and thus needs areas with a bunch of snob-boutique restaurants and bars where they can go and get drunk on the weekends to try and drown all the free-floating anxiety that comes with being disconnected from your local community.

    I don't have a problem with people making money, but the increasing economic caste system that's growing there (sort of like NYC) is not something I want to see imported nationwide.

  • vek||

    Totally. Their argument is that the hip, cool, young, smart programmers ONLY want to live in super cool places like the Bay Area, Seattle, etc. So they "have" to be in ONLY these types of cool places to attract the best talent. This is what they all tell themselves.

    The problem with that is that it's bullshit. I've lived here for a long time and know a lot of people in tech. Most of them are not from here. There are some who want to be in the super cool spot. They exist! BUT I have also met a lot of boys from the midwest or the south who studied computer science or whatever at their state uni, and then tried to find good paying work around where they are from... But couldn't. They would have gladly taken 95K a year in Cleveland where they grew up instead of needing to be paid 135K a year to have a WORSE standard of living here in Seattle. They TRIED to do that but there were no gigs. You'd think Google share holders would complain about the company inflating compensation by 20-40% unnecessarily, but they haven't seemed to complain so far...

  • vek||

    I get needing HQ to be SOMEWHERE, and probably somewhere with lots of talent. But 80% of the programmers here are still just low to mid range code monkeys who aren't that good, but are being paid out the yang to work here because COL. They could easily be in Chicago or Houston or wherever. Not to mention something completely unrelated like accounting could definitely be in Des Moines or somewhere ultra cheap.

    IMO it is 110% that the CEOs and C level execs who have zero problem affording SF or NYC that are doing it. THEY can't imagine wanting to live anywhere else, so they imagine their employees wouldn't either. Thing is the $125K a year code monkey doesn't have a billion dollar net worth, and isn't super stoked on $5K a month for a one bedroom in SF! If he's from Knoxville, he would have been totally stoked to stay in the area and live like a king there instead of a college student out here on his supposedly great salary.

    HQ2 and some other office expansions by Google and others seem to be showing they're FINALLY starting to spread the jobs around a little more, which could be very good.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    IMO it is 110% that the CEOs and C level execs who have zero problem affording SF or NYC that are doing it. THEY can't imagine wanting to live anywhere else, so they imagine their employees wouldn't either.

    So, this is a late response on a dead thread, but I agree with you here. The tech CEOs deliberately set up their work culture as a substitute family, with all the insularity that implies. You're expected to participate in workplace events, and only spend time with people you work with, so everyone gets concentrated in a few select areas. Having a workforce that's rooted in their home community, with a functional support system of neighbors and parents, is the last thing these bugman CEOs want. Someone with a support system outside the workforce is harder to manipulate or control because they aren't threatened when the boss demands that they put in 80 hours a week. "Fuck you, buddy, I'll go lay tile with my uncle until something else comes along. See ya."

  • FlameCCT||

    "There were tons of shit libs, but they were a lot more sane back then, and it was a lot lower % of the population."

    I would suggest that the Liberals are still sane however the Progressives have taken over and the Liberals either STFU or leave.

  • vek||

    Yeah, fair enough. But the thing is most people that used to be Liberals have CONVERTED to being Progressives IMO. I can't count the number of people I know who have gone from being sane or sane-ish on things, to being nut job SJWs/communists.

    My last girlfriend is a perfect example. We dated for 6 years.

    When we first started going out I would sometimes make jokes about needing to take a leak... So I needed to fine a tranny to pee on! Because peeing on a tranny is obviously the ONLY way to urinate right! It just became a running inside joke. She'd just give me the "Oh you're so bad! Haha." thing. Wasn't actually upset at all.

    By the time we broke up she was FREAKING out anytime I made even the most mildly insensitive joke about ANYTHING. Keep in mind I have friends who are trans, and she knows full and well I'm not actually an asshole about that stuff. But this is how far many individuals have transitioned I think. They're just off their rockers now when they weren't 5 years ago.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    They're just off their rockers now when they weren't 5 years ago

    As the Democrats continue evolving into the "hate YT" party, expect this trend to continue.

  • vek||

    Yup. I don't see them getting any more sane until there is a full on massive slap back and everybody swings hard right. This seems to be already happening with many people.

  • dchang0||

    I don't think you should assume that Seattle would be a decent place to live again if Amazon left.
    Detroit saw many big auto manufacturers leave, yet it didn't get better.

    Why? The parasitic gov't policies designed to milk the big automakers dry didn't leave or lessen. The local economy didn't adjust fast enough either.

  • vek||

    People who don't live in the Bay Area or Seattle really can't appreciate this fact, because it is literally only in a handful of cities in the whole country... But there REALLY can be too much of a good thing. That's what has happened here. The growth in $100K-150K a year employees has happened so fast they haven't been able to build out housing quickly enough, and prices have gone bonkers.

    If you live here and make $125K a year, you're literally not even going to be able to qualify to buy a 3 bedroom house in any decent neighborhoods in the city... And you'd be pushing it to buy in a shitty neighborhood where your car will get stolen. That's just ridiculous.

    The REAL standard of living for most people here would go up quite a lot if Amazon cleared out. Boom towns always seem cool for the people on the right side of the boom, but not for anybody else... And ALSO not for the people who thought they were on the right side when the boom finally ends... And they ALL end sooner or later. I wouldn't buy real estate in Seattle if I won 100 mil in the lotto tomorrow. The values cannot be sustained according to math the dictates real estate pricing.

    In short Amazon leaving is LITERALLY almost everybody who lives in this cities wet dream. That includes many Amazon employees if you believe it! People just say it out loud all the time hoping that if they say it it will come true eventually! LOL

  • JesseAz||

    How much of the housing problem is caused by idiot NIMBY policies like in San Francisco? Liberals love to pretend to care about the lesser folk, just not when it effects them.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    NIMBY is such a pestilence. More than once I've had some Progressive twit demand "would you want one in your back yard", and for most things the answer is "why not?". Oh, not a wind farm; those things are noisey and I like birds. Nuclear power plant? I'd want to read up on the type, and I'd try to finagle free electricity, but sure. Low rent housing? If it was free market, no problem. The government projects have a nasty habit of becoming war zones.

    But most people just knee-jerk "no".

  • vek||

    Some, as with any major city. Other than Houston which still has NO zoning IIRC.

    They used to have some height restrictions even in already dense areas, relatively high fees for building permits, and some other dumb stuff... But it's not as bad as SF. Every other building isn't a Historic Landmark, and they've had a lot of the city upzoned for years and it's still not built out.

    It's mainly because of the growth being so fast the developers just can't keep up, and all the techie douches DEMAND to cram themselves RIGHT into a handful of "super hip cool trendy" neighborhoods. It's basically supply and demand being REALLY out of whack.

    Obviously if we had ZERO zoning and ZERO building standards more stuff would be getting cranked out. But we're not NYC or SF or anything.

  • Jerryskids||

    Amazon is destroying jobs. If they didn't employ these people, they'd all be living on welfare and that would require many more well-paid government administrators for the welfare programs. Amazon is literally stealing money from the state by reducing the number of people who depend on the state for a check.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I think Amazon's second HQ isn't going to be second for very long.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    I suspect that's half the reason they're looking for HQ2--in case the commies in Seattle decide they'd prefer to drive out one of their biggest employers.

  • Paper Wasp||

    Pretty sure Kshithead Sawant has actually said things that paraphrase this.

  • tlapp||

    First those companies will add new people in offices out of that jurisdiction and over time move more and more until there are fewer jobs and the homeless problem they claim to be solving grows rapidly.

  • Trollificus||

    Doesn't usually work that way. Homeless move to areas of prosperity, not where there's greater competition for...homeless jobs, I guess. Also, mild climate attracts. Of course, a nice infrastructure of homelessness organizations with nice generous grants from the city attracts them too.

    And what's with the Seattle city governments' inefficiency?? They increase spending on homelessness by 50% and only get 37% more homeless?? Piss poor return on that money, eh?

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    "But we need companies that are profitable and making billions of dollars every year to help with the folks that are being forced out of housing and ending up on the street."

    I'm betting the Councilman's emphasis was on the wrong part of that statement.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    This is one of many problems with the far left - they view business as a social program.

  • Paradigm||

    Exactly. I actually had a female union leader respond to me on Huffington Post with the following; "The purpose of business is to support society."

    I naturally shit back with a reality burger that the purpose of a business is to support shareholders and others who have taken risks on it. Not surprisingly, I got the usual claptrap about how not everyone can take risks blah...blah...blah.

  • Paradigm||

    CORRECTION: Shot back. Although I did feel like I was shitting just by engaging with this person.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Councilmember Kshama Sawant—a self-proclaimed socialist who has endorsed the nationalization of another Seattle-area corporate titan, Boeing...

    I'm going to go ahead and stop you right there. Seattle chose this person (and the others floating this tax) to represent their interests and businesses are not fleeing?

  • Ron||

    Sometimes its very expensive to move particularly if there is a lot of people and equipment involved. these council people know that and they will tax the frog in the pan until he feels the heat to late to leave. Much like the auto manufactures when they finally left Detroit which is now a crumbling hell whole of vacant homes

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Seattle chose this person (and the others floating this tax) to represent their interests and businesses are not fleeing?

    Yes.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Boeing picking up and leaving would cost them a fortune. However, they did move production of the 777 to South Carolina from Seattle because of stuff like this.

  • JesseAz||

    And got sued doing it.

  • Adam330||

    Amazon is looking for a second HQ for a reason...

  • Paper Wasp||

    They're specifically discussing "problems they've had in Seattle" -- inertia on traffic and transit, hostile local government, punitive taxes, etc.-- with their HQ2 finalists. They want to ensure HQ2 isn't a change-resistant, passive-aggressive prog swamp like Seattle.

  • markm23||

    But wherever they settle, they'll import tens of thousands of prog voters.

  • The Last American Hero||

    They thought the Lenin statue was ironic. Oops.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    No they didn't. They just say that when confronted with the fact that they built a statue to a mass murderer.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    It was actually imported from Czechia or Hungary, if I remember correctly.

  • Ariki||

    OMG there is actually a Lenin statue in Seattle.......
    W.T.F

    The explains this bitches comment then,
    " Sawant calls Amazon's refusal to passively accept the taxation "blackmail,""

    How far the west have fallen.

  • vek||

    There is. I drive past it all the time. On the plus side people DO cover his hands in red paint all the time... Blood on his hands and all that. Every time somebody does that I get a big smile :)

  • Johnny B||

    Vek: That is hilarious!

  • vek||

    Yeah, it's pretty sweet. It doesn't happen every month or anything, but I'd say about once every year or two somebody does that. I've been tempted to do it myself, but I'm a TOTALLY good, upstanding, law abiding citizen ;)

  • JesseAz||

    Liberals are in an arms race to see who can be the biggest virtue signaling shithead. Won't end well for the country. The last few winners destroyed their countries, see Hugo Chavez.

  • sage||

    This is why I live and work outside of the city limits. Them fuckers be crazy

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Why would anyone willingly choose to live in Seattle.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    I know, right?
    It's been downhill ever since the Grunge Era

  • Pro Libertate||

    It's downhill both ways.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I read an article in the Times about a guy who left "after 14 years" because it's gone downhill. 14 years. If people who moved here 14 years ago think it's gone downhill, imagine what it looks like to people who've been here much, much longer. The downward grade is very steep.

  • Paper Wasp||

    Yeah, saw that one. His residential neighborhood had turned into a homeless camp, littered with needles and drug paraphernalia. Cops shrugged; moving homeless people out of residential neighborhoods hurts the druggies' precious self-esteem, apparently (same reason they wouldn't move homeless camps off public school grounds over spring break). The prog gestapo has been happily taking all his tax money and just telling him he needs to be more tolerant. Fuck that. I don't blame him; I moved out in '94 and will never move back.

  • Cloudbuster||

    Kicker: The guy moving out was a progressive who had voted for the politicians and policies that created the mess. Now he'll go fuck up a new city.

  • David-2||

    Exactly. Microsoft drew lots and lots and lots of Californians here - and they were all liberals with progressive tendencies. And that changed the politics.

    Some people now have wised up and see that ex-Californians, ex-King Countyers, ex-Portlanders move out of the decrepitating places they created with their own ideas/policies/votes to as yet unspoiled places and bring their ideas/policies/votes with them, unchanged, spoiling them as well.

    I'm afraid that if I don't leave Seattle soon I'll be tarred with that brush and not allowed to move to anyplace not yet ruined.

  • vek||

    You will be ALLOWED to move still... People will just think you're a jackass... BUT you can just tell them the truth like I do. I just tell them there are two kinds of people who left California, those that left to get away from the insanity, and those that left to recreate it. I'm the kind who left to get away!

    If you're from Seattle just sub that for Cali and you'll be fine! I'm REALLY looking forward to moving somewhere conservative. I've NEVER lived in a conservative leaning place in my whole life. It will be CRAZY to not have to hide who I am and to openly bitch about taxes and how stupid government is! I'll have issues on things like pot with line towing Rs, but it will be vastly better than the Ds.

  • Trollificus||

    You could move to Salt Lake, problem is, the government here isn't total shite. SLC gov is actually full of competent people who view their jobs as "serving their fellow citizens". It's amazing but it does put a crimp in my "damn government" soliloquies. And developers gotta get paid, so there's that, but that's most places.

    State gov isn't too bad either...a little corruption here and there, but it's pols being paid off by lobbyists for actual useful industries, like mining and power generation; not Trans Veterans of Color or "Resist the Wage Gap".

    Yeah, that anti-government rant thing, though...pretty damn frustrating, as I've told gov't workers in several agencies, to polite laughter.

  • vek||

    I thought about SLC, and would consider it still I guess. I have a few reasons I'm leaning more Idaho though. One of the main ones is the long haul outlook. Utah is great now, but demographics/voting pattern wise I think it will "fall" long before Idaho does. Same reason I am writing off Texas. If Texas was gonna stay what it was 10-30 years ago I'd be all over it! SLC is progging out from what I hear, and has become very "trendy" as a place to move. I'm almost kind of trying to avoid that specifically in my next move, which is one reason Boise is LESS desirable than northern Idaho/Spokane to me. Boise is getting kinda trendy too :/

    My dad moved to get away from the stupid. Now I am. I don't want to have to move AGAIN to run away from government. I have a few other minor reasons, but I'm sure SLC is pretty solid still. Certainly better than most places! I have a cousin who moved there after living in a lot of places in the country (he moved for work a lot, oil industry), and he finally decided to settle down living in SLC. He's a conservative leaning libertarian as well, so it can't be all that bad!

    If I was already there I wouldn't even be thinking about leaving, but since I'm not it's just down the list a touch.

  • vek||

    Yeah, there are such things as competent guvmint employees! I've even met a few over the years!

    I think a lot of it comes down to specifics of the time/place/situation. Socialism screws things up more than freedom in all cases... But sometimes it is "functional" at least. The Nordic/Germanic countries ARE an example of this. They're high IQ, high trust societies, with tons of cultural influences that make it work OKAY there. They'd be far wealthier and more prosperous without it of course, but because of the other factors their societies haven't completely collapsed from the socialism.

    Hell most of those governments are more fiscally sound than ours! Problem is in other times/places/situations where they don't have those factors, like the USA today, it will have FAR worse results. Look at the percentage of non whites on welfare in Europe nowadays. FAR higher numbers than native born Germans/Swedes/whoever. That's a cultural issue that will sink the semi-functional welfare states of northern Europe, because the lovely migrants just don't behave the same way as the natives.

    But I'd still prefer no communism versus communism-lite that's semi-fucntional.

  • vek||

    I moved here 13 years ago, and will be leaving in the next 1-3 depending on things.

    Even when I first moved here my first thought was "Man, I bet this place was awesome 20 years ago!" because of all the stuff I heard from old school people and non proggies.

    But in all fairness it wasn't THAT bad right when I first moved here. And the recession helped keep a lot of the crap in check. The last several years the rate of decline has been INSANE though. I can't take it anymore, so I'm out.

    I HATE that every awesome city has been taken over by insane progressives. I'm originally from the Bay Area, and my father moved to escape the commies. When we moved to Washington almost 20 years ago its last governor had been a Republican, and the laws overall were pretty darn sane. It's just got soooo much worse soooo fast. It's sad. I'd rather be living in the Bay Area still as it is LITERALLY the greatest place on earth, other than the horrible laws and the shitty changes in the last couple decades. But I can't deal with that shit. Now Seattle is proper ruined too. They do it everywhere that's nice. It's pretty depressing to think about sometimes. All I want to do is live in a decent place and not be tormented by the government... But they won't allow it! So Idaho here I come! It won't be as nice as here geography wise, but it will be better in every other way.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    When we moved to Washington almost 20 years ago its last governor had been a Republican, and the laws overall were pretty darn sane. It's just got soooo much worse soooo fast.

    The same pattern repeated itself in Colorado--the first California migrants were actually pretty conservative (TABOR passed after the first major wave in the 80s, and Focus on the Family set up shop in Colorado Springs), but they were followed by subsequent waves of shitlibs. It looks like the same thing is happening in other western states, too, as the cost of living got more expensive in California.

  • JesseAz||

    It's not the shitlibs faults. The previous places they destroyed didn't implement the shitlibs policies correctly!

  • I'm Here, for MOAR Hihn||

    You are correct, we are always told "this time it'll be different"

  • vek||

    Yup. I'm almost embarrased to tell people I'm from California originally, even though I've lived here more than half my life.

    I always start it out with a short story: You know, there are two kinds of people that move away from California. The kind that moved to get away from all of the stupid, and the kind that moved to recreate it somewhere else. My family moved to get away from it!

    A little known fact: It's not even "real" Californians moving everywhere ruining everything. It's ACTUALLY a bunch of commies from the Northeast that moved to California and ruined IT, and are now moving along after a generation or two.

    Some sides of my family have been in California since the 1800s. We have a town named after us! We're not shitlibs. Neither side of my family is. It was all the people that moved there from the east coast that ruined Cali, and are now moving along to ruin other places. The old school California was very much a rugged individualist type culture. The urbanites from back east screwed it up!

  • GeneralWeygand||

    Native son as well. I refuse to be run out of my home state. California's problem is the influx of progs from the lower 49. If we could deport every non-native citizen (except my hot girlfriend...so we can of course keep the blood lines from becoming too homogenous in breeding. God she is hot) this state would correct itself and be worthy of Ronald Reagan again.

    "Well the next thing you know, old Ron's the president..."

  • vek||

    LOL

    Yeah, it really is all the folks that moved there, mostly post 1960s as I understand it. That's when it really started shifting. The Reagan amnesty is what did it in though by my reckoning. All the previously illegal people could start voting :/ Ron talked a good talk, and did some great things, but totally dropped the ball on some stuff too.

    I just keep hoping for a plague or civil war to clear out about half the people! LOL I'm a small slice Mexican on my moms side, and even when I was a kid it wasn't OUT OF CONTROL. But when less than half the people are from a place, and I believe over 1/3 don't even speak English at home... That's not a recipe for people holding proper American values.

    I do hope that someday maybe I can move back to California, but I'm not planning on it. If it happens it will just be a pleasant surprise for me! I have kicked around the idea of buying a duplex or something and only renting out half so I can go down there for some winter visits once in awhile, but even that is probably quite a few years out, and most of my family has bailed on the state anyway. I don't know that I would have stayed to fight if my dad hadn't moved when I was still in school, but I feel like I would probably have ditched on it too. It just seems like too much of a lost cause.

  • Trollificus||

    Not Utah. Only the sane/right/non-proggie Californians come here, because "the theocracy! REEEEEE!". And a decent amount of the money and businesses end up here too, at least the ones who are confident they can staff their buinesses with just normal people.

    As for the theocracy...Utah is less LDS than Boston is Catholic, or Alabama Baptist, or California crazed social-justice-autist. The church might make something less-than-perfect once in a while, but mostly it's pretty easy to shrug off.

  • vek||

    Yeah, the LDS isn't that bad. I've known some Mormons, and they're pretty decent people even if they do believe in some weird stuff... This isn't one of my big reasons for not wanting to move to SLC, although my dad isn't too keen. We're both moving together as we own businesses together.

    SLC is probably a pretty solid choice as far as places to run away to. Everybody has the different things they want/need out of a place, and SLC could definitely be the right choice for many.

  • vek||

    Yeah, the LDS isn't that bad. I've known some Mormons, and they're pretty decent people even if they do believe in some weird stuff... This isn't one of my big reasons for not wanting to move to SLC, although my dad isn't too keen. We're both moving together as we own businesses together.

    SLC is probably a pretty solid choice as far as places to run away to. Everybody has the different things they want/need out of a place, and SLC could definitely be the right choice for many.

  • ||

    What are the best alternatives to Seattle and King County? I'm planning on a move to the area but want to avoid those because of the meddling progressive politics. Snohomish, Skagit and Whatcom counties seem like good alternatives but even they've got cities like Bellingham that follow Seattle's lead.

  • End Child Unemployment||

    Bellingham is even more deep left than Seattle. Portland is also worse and more militant than Seattle in my opinion. My perception is it's still reasonably socially acceptable to be a go-getter in Seattle, and trying to make money. Portlandians take pride in their career failure and hate people who aren't similarly destitute.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    A pocket knife tends to improves the opinion the locals have of you when you move into a progressive enclave.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Do you have any commute issues or are you just moving anywhere? If the latter, move to Bremerton and stuff if you want wet weather. Move to Ellensburg if you want dry weather.

  • The Last American Hero||

    Snohomish County isn't bad, but Everett is getting turned into a prog-enclave pretty fast.

  • Paper Wasp||

    I live in unincorporated Snohomish County well outside Everett and like it. It's a good mix of liberal and conservative. My state reps are all Rs and they're pretty responsive. People like their peace and privacy out here in the woods. However, I am definitely in the heart of the damned "convergence zone" so if you don't like rain, consider Spokane. Lots of job opportunities and growth in Spokane but you are in a more conservative area. The houses and property taxes are much cheaper in Spokane than they are even in SnoCo.

    Bellingham has nice people in it but it is seriously overprogged. They're the kind of people who think we should all be forced to shop at the farmer's market.

  • Jimbo||

    I don't understand comments similar to:
    "Bellingham has nice people in it but it is seriously overprogged. They're the kind of people who think we should all be forced to shop at the farmer's market."

    They are not nice if they want to force you to do something you don't want to do.

  • Paper Wasp||

    They're very friendly and helpful. I got stranded up there at the airport one time when a flight to B'ham was the only way I could get out of a Vegas conference. I found a shuttle driver who took me to a hotel even though her shift had ended, friendly desk clerks at the hotel who gave me free sodas and helped me book the next morning's airporter shuttle and find a good dinner; speedy, clean, and English-speaking taxi service; and a painfully-clean, reasonably-priced room. It was a welcome change from the indifferent, dead-eyed service you get from most airport and motel employees.

    But I don't live there, so they don't get to force me to do anything, hence my positive opinion.

  • Brandybuck||

    Spokane is fairly center to center-right. But what jobs? It's not that big of a city and it's in the middle of nowhere. At least Portland has jobs in its myriad of suburbs and plenty of county islands to hide in.

  • L.G. Balzac||

    "Spokane is fairly center to center-right. But what jobs? It's not that big of a city and it's in the middle of nowhere. At least Portland has jobs in its myriad of suburbs and plenty of county islands to hide in."
    This is a dumb comment.
    Portland is not far from a decent ski hill but as they say back east, "You can't get there from here." Same is true for just about anything else you might want to do. Way too much traffic and annoying shit. I don't want a job, I want to do fun stuff. Spokane is better for that.

  • BlueStarDragon||

    It's good to hear that about Spokane. Their a store their that I make pipes for and the owner wants me to move their so he can get his orders faster :).

  • vek||

    I agree with what people have said. Snohomish County is the way to go in this area IMO. So if you need to be in commuting distance to Seattle proper that's probably the trick. Everett is still pretty divey, but I have a feeling it is going to get gentrified to hell and back! So it'd be a good place to buy probably.

    You can go south too, like Pierce county. A lot more affordable, and pretty proggie, but not nearly as bad as here. Across the water in Bremerton is becoming a more popular move though too, even for people who work in Seattle. You can hop on a ferry and be here pretty quickly. It all comes down to what you want or need though.

    If you just want to move to the northwest in general I wouldn't come anywhere near this area though. I'm going to visit the Spokane area in a few weeks to scout around because I may move there. It's probably either there or Boise for me in the next few years. Spokane is right on the Idaho border so I figure I can always move across the border without completely upending my life if I move in that general area and Washington laws get too nuts at the state level.

  • vek||

    That all said, I would probably stay away from Washington in general though. It used to be a middle of the road state, but all the progs that moved to Seattle have literally flipped the whole state hard left in the last few years. We will finally be passing laws as insane as California in the next few years. If you're just gonna be here for a few years building a resume, fine. But if you want somewhere to settle down, and you care about your taxes and freedom... This is going to be California V 2.0 going forward. It really sucks to say it, but it's true.

  • Hugo S. Cunningham||

    A major difference between Washington and other left-leaning States is the lack of a progressive income tax. Would I be correct in surmising that tech workers are happy to support most proggy virtue-signaling *except* if it costs them a big tax hit?

  • Hugo S. Cunningham||

    A major difference between Washington and other left-leaning States is the lack of a progressive income tax. Would I be correct in surmising that tech workers are happy to support most proggy virtue-signaling *except* if it costs them a big tax hit?

  • vek||

    That is the ONE thing keeping Washington decent for now. That's why I'm okay living on the Idaho border in Spokane possibly. I think my taxes still pan out to being lower in Washington versus Idaho for now, especially since I order online and avoid sales tax a lot of the time, but it's close. Especially losing the deductability in the last tax overhaul, that really makes Washington attractive. I will do the exact math one of these days...

    The progs have tried a ton of times to put one in though, and if that happens there will be zero advantage to doing business here anymore. The techie progs have voted for a lot of small increases in taxes, but not super huge changes like the income tax. Even most dems voted it down last time it was on the ballot. But I wouldn't expect that to last forever with the flood of people coming to Seattle. I guess we'll see!

  • Paper Wasp||

    They're working hard to get a city income tax passed in Seattle as a prybar for overturning the state law banning income taxes. The state court judges are bought off by unions, especially the teacher's union (WEA). And the WEA thinks it's entitled to every spare penny anyone in Washington earns. For the children, of course.

  • soldiermedic76||

    Idaho native here. Just a word of advice, in Idaho we call Boise "East Portland" I wouldn't advise Boisr or Moscow, they are infested with progs too. Coeur d'Alene isn't to bad. Kootenai County still is pretty down to earth.

  • vek||

    You know I've heard that from several people.

    My thoughts on that are that I can probably deal with living in a city that is moderate overall, as long as the state government is staying sane. That's how I put up with Seattle for so long! Until it really sunk in that the state government here is flipped hard left never to return, which only happened in the last couple years, I was just planning on moving to the burbs of Seattle.

    While Boise might seem lefty to you, it CANNOT be anywhere close to as insane as Seattle! So it'd still be a vast improvement for me. LOL But Spokane and Coeur d'Alene kind of seem preferable to me for a few reasons. One being they aren't quite as progged out. The geography seems nicer. AND the fact that they're not growing as fast is actually a plus to me. I'm sick and tired of watching every one of my favorite dive bars get torn down and replaced with ugly ass apartment buildings! I don't mind change, but the pace here in Seattle is just ridiculous. Boise seems to be growing at a really solid clip from the stats I have seen.

  • Brandybuck||

    I suspect what Idahoans call "proggie" is right of center to Seattleans.

  • vek||

    "I suspect what Idahoans call "proggie" is right of center to Seattleans."

    Probably! I've looked at voting patterns and Boise seems about split in most elections, so I'd call it "moderate" overall probably. There are probably a few total loonies... But I bet most Hillary voters there are more sane, old school type Democrats, not the totally bonkers coastal variety. Being around people who hold opposing views in sufficient numbers has a way of moderating ones views I think.

    PS It's Seattleites!

  • HGW xx/7||

    My friend, please join us on the Idaho side. I grew up in western Oregon and witnessed that same shift growing up. I actually used to love visiting Seattle, but everything there has gone to shit.

    I went to school in Spokane and fell in love with the region. Life took some turns and I ended up living near Issaquah for a few years for work reasons. Every day, I cursed that commie-loving gulag and did everything I could to land a gig on the east side of the state.

    Almost immediately after I got an apartment in Spokane, I bought a house in Idaho. Not that Spokane is hardcore blue (the city itself is fairly liberal, but it tends to be a more blue-collar strain, and the surrounding metro area is quite conservative), but I refused to live under Seattle's laws. (If Washington state ever splits in two, I'll move back, but not before.)

    I can't tell you how many people I've run into here who've made the same move, many folks who grew up in Spokane. While Idaho will likely someday fall prey to the progs who seem to feed off making everyone's lives a nightmare, there are three things Idaho has going for it that give me hope at least in the mid-term outloook:

  • HGW xx/7||

    1. We don't have any real major cities. Progs need dense urban environments to survive and SimCity out their centrally-planned wet dreams. There is nothing they love more than a shitty, cramped condo so they can go to "events" and indulge in artesian vegan nibbles, all the while smuggly smugging over those back-county rubes. Yes, we have Boise and they have a selection of progs to choose from, but Boise isn't the cosmopolitan hub that Seasshole or Portland is. It will take a while to get there. Even that being said, the county that Boise is in - Ada - is still a red county. Moscow has progs, as well, but it's a college town of 20,000; sad, but usually inevitable.

    2. The weather isn't suitable to the typical lefty. Lefties from the Bay Area crave mild, grey weather and move to Seattle or Portland. The lefties from SoCal need warmth and move to Las Vegas or Denver, which are both very sunny. North Idaho? We get below zero on some winter nights and can have snow on our yards for months at a time. I know of more than one Californian who move away after a couple winters here. It's a small thing, but it matters a lot to some.

  • HGW xx/7||

    3. Idaho's political climate doesn't resemble anything close to Boregon or Washington. The progs have fucked up OR and WA because neither state was throughly conservative/libertarian to begin with. The unions in the 1920s proudly referred to the Evergreen State as the "Peoples' Republic of Washington". At best, in the 80s, Washington was pleasantly moderate; I would have loved living there at that time. However, the left has never flipped a state as red as Idaho. This is one of only two states (ID and WY) where voters aged 18-25 voted for Trump (which, all things considered, is at least an indication that the youth aren't as slavishly leftist). We are the least regulatory state in the country, and observe constitutional carry. There are Gadsden flags mounted on pick-ups and folks open-carrying everywhere. When the Progs sneer and call you "backwards" when you say you're from Idaho, it means we got something good going here.

    All this is no assurance that we'll stay this way; change is inevitable. Yet, if there is a place where liberty stands a chance, I truly think it's here. Folks here are politically vocal, active, and aware.

    It's for these reasons my family and I will make our stands here. If Idaho goes, in my book, it's game over any way.

    [Apologies for the lengthy manifesto. Been trolling (in a non-sinister manner, I assure you) these boards for years, but I have to reply on this comment because this is eerily similar to my tale.]

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    The progs have fucked up OR and WA because neither state was throughly conservative/libertarian to begin with. The unions in the 1920s proudly referred to the Evergreen State as the "Peoples' Republic of Washington".

    This is actually an excellent historical point. A lot of people forget that the Northeast was a hotbed of commie activity, mostly via the IWW, because the lumber unions were made up of itinerant immigrant labor that moved around looking for work and had no ties whatsoever to the communities in which they lived. I suspect unions made themselves big targets during the first Red Scare because of their activism inevitably brought in a herd of outsiders that made daily life difficult for the people who actually lived there. If these unions had grown organically from the local citizenry instead of relying on bringing in hundreds of comm-symps to pack the jails and raise hell, communism probably would have gained a stronger foothold here early on.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Whoops, sorry, Northwest, not Northeast, although the Boston Brahmins were basically commies themselves.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    However, the left has never flipped a state as red as Idaho

    I disagree here; Vermont was a reliably Republican, small-government state for about 125 years until the Massholes and New Yawkers started retiring there and made it a magnet for hipster shitlibs in their wake. We're talking about a state that has the distinction of being the only one to have never voted for FDR during any of his terms, but turned Democrat in 92 and will probably be so for another 125 (even in their supposed liberalism, Vermonters are hilariously conservative in that they just vote for the same party over and over out of sheer habit).

  • vek||

    HGW, thanks for the long reply! I basically agree 100%. My father and I (we own businesses together) have researched a lot, and we both agree Idaho (+ Dakotas/Montana) are probably the last places in the country that will go full on prog-derp. That's one of the main reasons we're AT LEAST going to Spokane, if not the Idaho side right away.

    I'm 99% sure I'll end up on the Idaho side eventually, but until they pass an income tax Washington isn't THAT bad once you're out of Seattle. I'm not a douchey urbanite, but there are some things I like about a decent sized city. I think Spokane has enough of that to make me happy, but is moderate enough to stand for now. Eventually I want my 100 acres with no neighbors in sight! But a nice cheap 4-5 bedroom in the city is okay for me for now.

    Red Rocks, yeah the NW always had a leftist tinge to it. IMO it was almost left-libertarian in nature until saaay the 90s though. Now it's full prog.

  • HGW xx/7||

    Don't get me wrong: I love Spokane! It's my favorite metro area and they got everything you need. Greasy spoons and fine dining, a classic Western feel, excellent medical services, and four seasons. The Spokane Chiefs games are a blast, too, especially when Tri-City is in town, though beating up on the Thunderbirds is fun, too. :)

    We get a good mix of hicks and city folk. Can't tell you how many times I'm driving downtown and see a Lexus next to an archaic Chevy covered in mud, hauling hay, and missing a tailgate. I'd say a plurality of the Democrats are blue collar, and love their guns and freedom of speech as much as I do.

    It's a great place to set down roots!

  • vek||

    That's all pretty much why I'm thinking I will like it a lot! I'm definitely a right-libertarian, but I'm still pretty libertarian. I've probably become more socially conservative as I've aged, but am still pretty "Don't care what you do in your own life dude, even if it's stupid!" attitude wise. So I think that area will be a nice in between for me. Enough city stuff to be nice, but not too many of the downsides like Seattle has now. I will definitely be straight out of there if they pass an income tax in Washington though. The thing that's nice about being on the border there is you can always jet on over to Spokane in a few minutes even if you're in CDA or Post Falls or wherever. Plus my favorite uncle is supposed to be moving to that area in the next year or two also, so that'd be nice to have family around for the first time in a lot of years. Only my dad and I are in Washington.

    I haven't been to Spokane in ages, which is why I'm taking the trip at the beginning of next month to get a real good feel for the area... But the bottom line is there really isn't anywhere better to run to anyway, so it's pretty much going to have to be there or Boise area. I want to be near a decent sized city for my businesses, and I'm not quite ready to buy that 100 acres and sit on my porch with my shotgun all day anyway! Gotta save something to look forward to in retirement! LOL

  • HGW xx/7||

    Sad but true. Funny enough, I have a 3M (yup, the duct tape folks) produced board game from the 60s called Mr. President. (Great game, btw. Copies are usually up on eBay.) Part of the preface poses the outlandish question: "Can a Democrat break the Tepublican stronghold of Vermont?" or something to that effect. Made me laugh in a sad way.

    That said, I don't know what else to do. I suppose I'd rather be in a place that stands for liberty today and fight like hell for tomorrow, than rot away in a blue hellhole, knowing there's no Calvary coming once they put me against the wall. I can only hope that as the blue states get bluer, some of the reds are trending redder, as well. The conservatarians have to have some place to call home; hopefully, this is one of them.

  • ||

    Thanks for all the comments. The Northwest has the blend of snow and sea we're looking for and had narrowed our search south of Canada and north of Seattle but if I end up having to justify why I put some of my trash in this bin and not one of the 6 others to avoid a fine, I might skip the ocean and move to Montana.

  • Paper Wasp||

    They don't do that trash-snooping bullshit anywhere outside King County.

  • vek||

    Idaho will get you done and still be closer to the ocean!

    It all depends on how long term you're thinking to me. Everett or Marysville or some place like that will probably be tolerable for years... But in 10 or 20? I don't expect the state to stay awesome. So think about the time frame you really want to get out of the move. If it's forever Idaho or Montana are going to be better bets. You can hit the coast in 5ish hours from some parts of the Idaho border driving, so it's not that bad.

  • BlueStarDragon||

    Their is no place to run anymore you have to stand and fight now. This problem is every ware. I live in Colorado a state that legalized gambling and pot and is pro gun. So what do we get from the Demarcates and Republicans candidates or elected officials who are anti pot, anti gambling and anti gun ( The Republicans only pretend to be pro gun). It's going to be like this in till we stop the left and the right, or having space travel becomes cheap enough that we can find a place to travel to that far a way and well hidden. So free people can band together and live. With the hope they will not be found by conservatives or socialist.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Trump should get a real AG, have them arrest the Mayor and city council for their sanctuary crap, and out Seattle under martial law. That would be quite entertaining.

  • Paper Wasp||

    They're very friendly and helpful. I got stranded up there at the airport one time when a flight to B'ham was the only way I could get out of a Vegas conference. I found a shuttle driver who took me to a hotel even though her shift had ended, friendly desk clerks at the hotel who gave me free sodas and helped me book the next morning's airporter shuttle and find a good dinner; speedy, clean, and English-speaking taxi service; and a painfully-clean, reasonably-priced room. It was a welcome change from the indifferent, dead-eyed service you get from most airport and motel employees.

    But I don't live there, so they don't get to force me to do anything, hence my positive opinion.

  • Paper Wasp||

    Gaaah, meant this in response to Jimbo, sorry.

  • Brian||

    I wish socialists could understand:

    It's not the dictatorships that your preferred policy styles result in that's necessarily bad, it's actually the retarded economic policies that kill people.

  • ||

    Meh. I'd say it's an 'a little from column A and a little from column B' sort of situation.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    "" Sawant calls Amazon's refusal to passively accept the taxation "blackmail," and she organized a Thursday rally outside Amazon's headquarters."'

    Yeah, that will convince them to stay.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    I'm sure she she badmouths white male as well.

  • Mark22||

    Yes, while having sex with them: "Punish me more for being an evil white capitalist pig, MISTRESS SAWANT."

  • Eric L||

    So, if someone is trying to rob me and I don't passively accept what they are doing I am engaging in 'blackmail'?

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    The socialists want people to believe that they're the champions of the workers; yet here they are treating workers like livestock. I guess all the workers will have to wear ear tags like cows to show the tax has been paid?

  • Ariki||

    No No NO,

    this doesn't hurt the beloved workers, it hurts the evil fat cat capitalists that make workers actual workers......
    I'm sure the lefty economics professors can tell us ignorant fools how fucking the guy at the top is a benefit for the guys underneath. Something to do with oppression, equity and unicorns I imagine.

  • Hunthjof||

    You do not know how close to the truth you are. I have had a very similar conversation several times. I relate to them s scene from the TV Show Las Vegas. Tom Selleck's Character is talking how some people want to shut his ranching operation down cause cows fart too much and while those people think only he will be hurt he points out he will still have his fortune and be alright but the thousands of people who will be out of a job will not.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    The socialists want people to believe that they're the champions of the workers. Yet here they are, treating workers like livestock. I suppose the workers will have to wear ear tags like cows to show the tax on them has been paid?

  • shortviking||

    "Kshama Sawant—a self-proclaimed socialist"

    Rolls eyes

  • Pro Libertate||

    Lovely anagram: Ms A. Satan Hawk.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Ah, the Pro L anagram. It's been missed.

  • ||

    Maybe HQ2 will become HQ1, amirite?

  • Paper Wasp||

    If the shitty council doesn't stop trying to find ways to bleed more money out of Amazon for doing pretty much nothing, yep.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    They will be a tax on all companies ceasing to operate in the city, and a tax on hiring new workers.

  • ||

    a Literal Tax on Jobs

    So... Income Tax? Or will they be taxed for walking a dog in the morning and taking the garbage out for no pay?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    No, it's a tax on hours worked charged to the company.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Yeah, it's a pretty asinine bit of hyperbole.

  • Mark22||

    Not just income tax, but a highly regressive income tax. This will drive low paying jobs out of the city and ultimately make housing more expensive as long as the city doesn't collapse. It's what "American socialists" like: to surround themselves by wealth and make their property values go up.

  • Rossami||

    As Mark22 said, yeah, it's a little like an income tax but a really, really bad one. Consider:

    For a minimum wage worker at a small business ($11.50/hr), it's a 2.3% tax. 2.3% might not sound like much to you but some of these are people who have to decide between eating and buying medicine or paying rent. They don't have 2.3% to spare.
    There is a higher minimum wage in Seattle for large employers ($15/hr). For them, it's a 1.7% tax.
    For an average elementary school teacher ($61,848/yr), it's a 0.9% tax.
    For a low-level IT professional ($100k/yr), it's a 0.5% tax.
    For an executive like Jeff Bezos, it's a fraction that's almost too small to calculate.

    If your intention was to destroy entry level jobs and/or to give businesses an incentive to further increase their investments in automation rather than in people, if you deliberately wanted to create more homeless while insulating the people at the top, it would be hard to design a tax better for the purpose than this one.

  • Jerryskids||

    I see now why Bernie champions jobs for everybody and a $15 an hour minimum wage - he's counting the vig.

  • ||

    In Seattle, they probably could get more revenue from a giving head tax.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    "Hey baby, since this is our first date I'll take care of the taxes."

  • Paper Wasp||

    Haven't those Asian ladies suffered enough? Because in Seattle, you know that's who's gonna pay.

  • Calidissident||

    OT, but related: Apparently California may soon become the first state to mandate solar power on all new homes. This should be great for the affordable housing crisis that the same people supporting this are no doubt constantly complaining about. I love a lot of things about living here but some of the government does here is just facepalm-worthy.

    https://tinyurl.com/y76fs6jz

  • Calidissident||

    *things

  • ||

    The power of facepalmery in California could injure your face.

  • ||

    *Your palm may contain one or more compounds know to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects, or reproductive harm.*

  • BYODB||

    I wonder if this warning is on the medical instruments used in abortions...I would bet a small sum that it is not.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    That's a feature, not a bug.

    It makes the role of government stronger. Government prefers it when you require their assistance to pay outrageous prices. It allows its power over you to grow.

  • Ron||

    they've been planning this for a long time. It will probably turn out like the law that said 10% of all cars sold in the state shall be electric by 1999

  • Ron||

    "folks that are being forced out of housing"

    people who refuse to work are not being forced out of anything and corporations don't force people out of homes they provide jobs so that people can live in homes how stupid are these people

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    Sawant calls Amazon's refusal to passively accept the taxation "blackmail,"

    Stupid enough to consider common sense a "crime".

  • The Last American Hero||

    She's a moron, even by Commie standards. Commies know you have to have control of the military and the means of leaving the country before you start nationalizing stuff. Otherwise they leave, and unlike Boeing, Amazon doesn't have to worry about abandoning billions in heavy equipment at a factory. They can lease office space anywhere and everywhere.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    What did those bike lanes in San Diego end of costing per mile? Something something million, per mile? Yeah, that's the way the money goes, especially when you taken it from someone else.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    ...have taken. Guess I should hit "review" before I post lest I provide opportunities for trolls to attack my language.

  • ||

    I've got a 'preview' button and across browsers and operating systems, it's never worked. Where's the 'review' button? Right next to the 'Edit' button?

  • Sevo||

    "...it is supposed to raise about $75 million a year for homelessness and affordable housing services...."

    So it will be wasted attracting bums and increasing housing costs?
    Great: Lose! Lose! Lose!
    What more do you expect from a proggy city government outside of more corruption?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Uh, huh. Bet that money goes straight into the general coffers, if they do it.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    If by 'general coffers', you mean into the pockets of a shady bike-share program and an empty streetcar clanging its way, charmingly up the street, you're spot on.

  • Pro Libertate||

    What do I win?

  • kinghiram91||

    You get to jump ahead one place in the breadline! Lucky dog!

  • Paper Wasp||

    "Comrades of the Council, our public bike-share subsidy of $1MIL that we gave to private company LimeBike is lost. The private bike-sharing business is failing. What shall we do?"

    "Double down on it, Comrades! The masses must be forced into our bicycle-only utopia! We shall be great bicycle nation like Mother China!"

    "All in favor, say 'aye'."

    "AYE!!!!"

    "So it is, Comrades. $2MIL more to bail out LimeBike."

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Councilmember Kshama Sawant—a self-proclaimed socialist who has endorsed the nationalization of another Seattle-area corporate titan, Boeing—was less subtle. Sawant calls Amazon's refusal to passively accept the taxation "blackmail," and she organized a Thursday rally outside Amazon's headquarters.

    Despite these protestations, support for the tax is starting to flag.

    Business groups have been opposed to the idea from the get-go, arguing that the city should do a better job spending the record revenue it is already raking in before it asks for more.

    Umm, so have dirty blue collar working class people-- the very people the progressives in this town claim to stand for.

    As a good friend of mine texted on this very issue, without his permission:

    "Socialism has evolved to such a point it doesn't even need the proletariat anymore. It can exist purely as an upper-class dabbling in economics for "the feels".

  • BYODB||


    "Socialism has evolved to such a point it doesn't even need the proletariat anymore. It can exist purely as an upper-class dabbling in economics for "the feels".


    That's actually not an evolution, it's the way it's always been.

  • JoeBlow123||

    For real. In Russia it was near uniformly middle to upper class, highly educated individuals who were the "vanguard" of the proletariat, pulling the kulaks and petite-bourgeoise and middle peasants and unenlightened proletarians along whether they liked it or not.

    I am reading a book about the Russian revolution right now and it is touching on collectivization under Stalin. Disgusting. It was entirely done to get grain to sell for hard currency so they can buy foreign machinery to modernize at the expense of piles of bodies. The peasantry was divided into three groups, 1/3rd rich Kulaks, 1/3rd middle Kulaks, 1/3rd poor Kulaks. The rich were immediately liquidated by death or sent to Siberia where there was no food (to starve to death), he middle 1/3rd was partially displaced close to where they lived, the poorest 1/3rd was more or less left in place. The stories of the cannibalism and death, from Party functionaries diaries and reports nonetheless, are truly disturbing.

    38% of all ethnic Kazakhs died between 1930-1933 in the name of collectivization. Disgusting.

  • Ariki||

    It wasn't just Russians man.
    Marxism is a disease born in the middle to lower upper class.

    Mao Zedong – Wealthy farming family
    Fidel Castro – Wealthy farming family
    Che Guevara – Middle-class family
    Adolf Hitler – Middle-class family
    Leon Trotsky – Wealthy farming family
    Vladimir Lenin – Father a Middle Class Educator & eventual Nobleman
    Ne Win – Middle Class family
    etc. etc.

    Shit even Marx himself was a middle class bum who never worked in his life, left a trail of dept and would have burned in the me too movement.

    I think it has something to do with:
    Middle class jealousy + lack of talent + desire to be Upper Class = Resentment = Virtue signaling = Using the lower class as a weapon against the upper class.

    This is a fairly common "equation" on the socialist left.

  • JoeBlow123||

    I am absolutely amazed how the Bolsheviks managed to gain power in Russia considering how weak their party was. It was maybe ten or so thousand true believers that piggybacked off the internal fragmentation to hijack the machinery of government. Regular people just lost their verve and retreated.

    This is a good illustration (for me at least) to remain vigilant against looters and the prophets of a utopian, socialist future. Even a small, committed group of true believers can topple a government and send me and my family to kulak re-education camps given the correct historical circumstances.

  • Longtobefree||

    One small difference; the second amendment.

  • kinghiram91||

    What's interesting is that China now has a word to describe those people, "Baizuo", literally meaning "White Left". They care only about policies that will have no effect on them.

  • Sevo||

    "What's interesting is that China now has a word to describe those people, "Baizuo", literally meaning "White Left". They care only about policies that will have no effect on them."

    Where did you get that info?
    When I was in eastern China, the guides were circumspect regarding criticism of the government; most would not even comment on the CR, except the guy who admitted that the terra cotta 'army' in Xian would have been demolished had it been found earlier.
    In west China, they mostly spoke of the Han government as occupiers, but had no specific 'language' regarding the commie mass-murderers.

  • Sevo||

    "I am reading a book about the Russian revolution right now and it is touching on collectivization under Stalin."
    Which book?

  • JoeBlow123||

    I think I found about the book from this website. It is House of Government by Yuri Slezkine. It is a massive book with some pretty slow points, but really touches on everything from literature to purges to where people lived to family policy to plays to gulags. Highly recommended.

    Touching on so many points exposes what a bunch of hypocritical pieces of trash all the Bolsheviks were. Every time one of them is offed in some internecine party struggle I laugh a little.

  • Longtobefree||

    They are hitting the wrong target. Every progressive knows the only effective solution to any problem is to tax the rich and create new government programs. So according to the impartial Seattle city website, there are 3857 people living on the streets, and 4,619 in shelters and so forth. Our buddy Jeff Bezos in worth 130 billion or so, depending on where the stock market ends on a given day. So, a simple tax on his obscene wealth would yield over 15 million dollars for each homeless person. Then tax all those new evil millionaires 50% of their income, and the homeless problem is solved, and the coffers swell by 65 million dollars.
    Win, win.

  • Longtobefree||

    Or maybe 65 billion dollars. ex post edits?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    So according to the impartial Seattle city website, there are 3857 people living on the streets, and 4,619 in shelters and so forth.

    If it's really that low, then I am blown away. That's nothing.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    I'm sure it's much higher.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

  • BYODB||


    ...noting that in the past two years the city has increased spending on housing and homelessness by 50 percent only to see a 37 rise in the homeless population.


    So...you're telling me if you install a whole lot of free stuff for homeless people more homeless people will show up?


    That sounds suspiciously like economics, therefore Seattle has banned mentioning it.

  • Paper Wasp||

    LOL, they've built practically nothing. They've hired a bunch of consultants with the money and increased "administrative costs" and created a shit-ton of new agencies. But they've done just about nothing.

    Oh, except build a few tiny houses. Because, y'know, those are trendy.

    They could've built multi-story apartment buildings on each of their tiny house lots and housed hundreds more, and used the lower floors to provide agency services, offices for social workers, classrooms, healthcare providers, etc. Oh, but no.

  • Mark22||

    Oh, except build a few tiny houses. Because, y'know, those are trendy.

    Yeah, just don't try building or living in one yourself: you are not allowed to just roll one onto your property and use it, you can only do that with rare, special exemptions and positive media coverage for progressive politicians.

    It's like a 1-2 nut punch of inefficient housing: the city supports tiny homes where they do the most harm, while banning them everywhere else.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Tiny homes are just expensive taxpayer funded port a potties for the homeless.

  • Mark22||

    Tiny homes are just homes with a small square footage. When people choose to live in them, they make quite a bit of sense for some people: for second homes, single people, people who need to be mobile, etc. And, of course, what's considered a "tiny home" in the US today is a completely normal home elsewhere. The average US housing unit size is ridiculously large.

    They only become "taxpayer funded port a potties for the homeless" when the government gets involved.

  • Longtobefree||

    The phrase for 'tiny home' used to be 'travel trailer'.
    But Trump - - - - - -

  • Paper Wasp||

    There wouldn't be a housing shortage if they didn't overregulate MIL apartment remodels and tiny houses. They effectively prevent people from building new dwelling units on their own property then bitch about housing prices. The laws of supply and demand just aren't mutable, and bleeding-hearts just never figure this out.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    it is supposed to raise about $75 million a year for homelessness and affordable housing services.

    They can't move to Michigan and become farmers?

  • JoeBlow123||

    Hahah. Good comment.

    Honestly homeless people would probably be terrible farmers. Weak ass, drug addled morons running around.

  • Mark22||

    You'd be surprised how quickly people shape up if their survival depends on it.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Most likely irrigating crips with 'Brawndo, the Thirst Mutilator', because it's got what crops need.

  • Cloudbuster||

    Maryland is claiming a shortage of workers for harvesting crabs and wants to bring in 15,000 guest workers. Meanwhile Baltimore has a 25% unemployment rate. People are not homeless or unemployed because of a lack of jobs.

  • Trigger Warning||

    How long until Seattle becomes Detroit?

  • The Last American Hero||

    90 days after the proggies finally get their income tax and the tech companies decide they can relocate anywhere in the world that has broadband internet service.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    26 cents an hour, $2.08 a day, $10.40 a week, $50 a month, $540.80 a year ... I wonder how many employees would be just a teensy bit upset seeing that itemized on their pay stubs.

    One of the more astonishing things to me is how every time these statists raise taxes, they are regressive. Yet they deny it, call themselves Progressive, and simply cannot recognize the hypocrisy.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Why do we debate and argue with them? When will enough be enough so the rest of you finally figure out that they have to be dealt with. They aren't going away. Progs cities will get worse and they will keep migrating to turn your town into another Seattle through incrementalism.

    Enough is enough.

  • The Last American Hero||

    Because the NAP is a bitch, but she's right in the end.

  • JoeBlow123||

    This is disturbing to me too. Everytime a place becomes rich, the looters come out of the rafters to loot. It is hard to imagine which places will be left that will push back against this looter mentality that seems to descend on places that become successful.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    This is why dirty hippies need regularly scheduled beatings. To keep the, down and remind them their ideas are shit.

  • The Last American Hero||

    If I was an employer, I would totally itemize this out on their pay change form when they get their annual review.

    Well let's see here Mary, you've gotten some nice reviews and we're very happy to have you. We'd like to give you a raise of $1,500/year, less your $540 Seattle Head tax, so just under $1k. Keep up the good work.

  • JoeBlow123||

    The more see taxes like this, it is harder for me to not view all taxation as organized looting

  • Cloudbuster||

    How much more will it take before you plan to acknowledge reality?

  • Cloudbuster||

    How much more will it take before you plan to acknowledge reality?

  • esteve7||

    Well that's what you get for going into a progressive run city in the first place. Don't sleep with wolves and cry at the outcome

  • vek||

    Lots of people lived here before it was full on prog-derp mode! Even when I first moved here it was something like 60/40 voting ratio I think. Which is not too out of line for almost any major city. It's over 70% Dem now, so Rs and independents literally don't even bother to run for any offices here anymore.

    The prog-derp level 15 years ago was NOTHING like it is now. It was just "Oh, my car tabs are a couple bucks more here than in another county... Whatever." Now it's 1000 things like that, and then crazy stuff like this on top of.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    This is why when leftists domenstrate and riot it's best to fire into the crowd repeatedly with live ammunition. To thin their ranks. Too many progs and this is where you end up.

  • vek||

    I wouldn't complain if that's how Seattle PD decided to handle things :)

  • Paper Wasp||

    Business groups have been opposed to the idea from the get-go, arguing that the city should do a better job spending the record revenue it is already raking in before it asks for more...in the past two years the city has increased spending on housing and homelessness by 50 percent only to see a 37 [percent] rise in the homeless population..."It is time to ask: What is behind the dramatic increase in city spending, and what is there to show for it?"

    This is the astounding disconnect. They've got one of the wealthiest tax bases in the country. Business is booming. Most of downtown is ripped up for construction: luxury hotels, condos, new Amazon buildings, etc. Density is crazy, and now new condo/apartment buildings don't even have to provide parking. How do you rake in the fat stacks of money that Seattle does on all those warm bodies and yet still cry it's not enough? How can you be so totally paralyzed, and do nothing about crime and homelessness? They hire consultants and boost administrative staff and really do fuck-all else.

  • Mark22||

    How can you be so totally paralyzed, and do nothing about crime and homelessness?

    They are doing something about crime and homelessness: they subsidize it. That's why it is rampant.

  • Len Bias||

    "Seattle May Hit Peak Progressivism With a Literal Tax on Jobs"

    No, it won't.

  • NYC2AZ||

    ^This^

  • Paper Wasp||

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    "O-PEN MIC! O-PEN MIC!" the crowd screamed in unison—a wall-to-wall, full-volume chant that bore an eerie similarity to a phrase often shouted by Trump supporters during the 2016 campaign.

    What?

  • Paper Wasp||

    My guess is it's "Lock Her Up."

    This being Ballard, though, these aren't Trump supporters. They're liberals who haven't yet figured out that this is what happens when you vote liberal.

  • esteve7||

    didn't liberals in a rich new york area just lose their minds when they found out those 'underperforming' (minority) kids would now make up a quarter of their school?

    Yeah and they are the ones that call everyone else racist.

  • Longtobefree||

    Well, it is self evident that all schools should be above average - - - - - -

  • JoeBlow123||

    They should go Boston Tea Party them.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    I'm sure that's not the whole audience, but look at how old most of the people in the posted picture are--these are basically Boomer trash trying to relive the 60s.

    Gas hippies, generational war now.

  • NYC2AZ||

    "After I got home, I checked my Twitter notifications and found that plenty of people were eager to inform me that this was what democracy looks like—a mass of humanity screaming in unison, with the goal of making sure other voices are literally drowned out—and that if I didn't like it, I just needed to grow up. I disagree."

    I'm drinking a nice cup of schadenfreude while reading this.

  • Paper Wasp||

    I'm betting this same biatch who thinks all the screaming and yelling is so undignified had no problem with it when the May Day marchers and the pro-head-tax freeloaders who demonstrated in front of Amazon's Spheres were the ones doing all the screaming.

  • Mark22||

    Democracy comes in many forms. Progressive democracy, social democracy, and majoritarianism look like that.

    A classically liberal democracy keeps government so small that there really is no point in screaming because government usually can't do much that matters.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    Councilmember Kshama Sawant—a self-proclaimed socialist who has endorsed the nationalization of another Seattle-area corporate titan, Boeing—was less subtle. Sawant calls Amazon's refusal to passively accept the taxation "blackmail," and she organized a Thursday rally outside Amazon's headquarters.

    For the sake of context, is there a link to her full statement where she apparently called Amazon's move blackmail? I tend to distrust quotes in which "one" word is actually quoted.

  • Mark22||

    Supporters of the tax were incensed at this unintended yet totally predictable consequence of their policy.

    Let's translate the tax from Newspeak into English:

    "In order to drive low paying jobs out of the city, maximize tax revenue, and increase real-estate values, Seattle passes a highly regressive income tax."

    The only way they could make it more regressive is to exempt jobs paying more than $100k, but that really isn't worth the trouble.

    The tax is working as intended, and accomplishing what progressive policies usually accomplish: make people with political power richer while pretending that they are helping the poor.

  • Miter Broller||

    Do these public dolts not realize that Amazon is currently seeking out a 'second' HQ?

  • vek||

    That's the only thing that might half way save this city... If Amazon left, they'd be forced to get their shit together to some degree. They'd probably screw that up too! But at least housing prices would become reasonable again!

  • Elias Fakaname||

    It would be funny to see the more affluent progs there stuck with negative equity in their homes. Although they would probably all dump their mortgages and not Kay just like AmSoc.

  • Headache||

    Seattle is in a tight race with Portland for the Left Coast's prestigious Alinsky Award.

  • vek||

    And THIS kind of shit is why I am taking myself and my businesses and moving out of this ridiculous city. Seattle really wasn't THAT bad even as recently as 10-15 years ago. It's crazy how fast the city has gone down hill, and how fast the left in the USA in general have gone off their rockers. It's too bad. Seattle is a pretty place, and had a lot of cool stuff going on back in the day. But it's just not worth the BS anymore.

  • eldrick||

    we have no idea what we are doing, so give us more money

  • PaulTheBeav||

    Whatever you feed you get more of. In America we feed poor people.

  • cc2||

    Somehow, the Left hates anyone who makes money. Envy? Insanity? If they could they would strangle that goose that lays golden eggs....all for a good cause of course.

  • Longtobefree||

    Think that through.
    Look up the net worth of the most quoted babblers of left wing thought. Not envy, those guys are filthy rich.
    Not insanity; they gain more and more political power by SAYING they are against the rich and for the poor. Yet their policies indicate the exact opposite. If they are for the poor, why all the angst over the SALT deduction reduction? It only affects the rich. If they are for the poor, why do the ranks of the poor continue to grow? Is it because the filthy rich of the left do not donate any of their OWN money to the causes they espouse? If all the democrats in the one percent club liquidated their assets, they could house all the homeless in the country and fund 'quality schools' for ten years. Anybody with three (and more) houses that claims to be concerned with homelessness is a liar.
    The remainder of the proof is left as an exercise for the reader - - - - - -

  • J'onn J'onzz||

    To give you a better idea of what kind of loon she is, this is from her Wikipedia page. "Sawant has advocated the nationalization of large Washington State corporations such as Boeing, Microsoft, and Amazon.com[53] and expressed a desire to see privately owned housing in "Millionaire's Row" in the Capitol Hill neighborhood turned into publicly owned shared housing". It also says she is a member of Socialist Alternative (SA) which is a Trotskyist political party. needless to say, The Socialist Alternative were Bernie supporters and started a campaign called #Movement4Bernie

  • Elias Fakaname||

    People like that should be prosecuted for sedition at a minimum. We really need Joe Mccarthy back.

  • buybuydandavis||

    'The goal of the new tax is "simply to raise more money instead of truly solving the homelessness facing our region," '

    Of course. If they solved the problem, they couldn't hit you up for more money next year.

    Progressive Governance 101: Never Solve any Problem - the tax cattle will argue that the associated programs can be ended.

  • ICOMoi.com||

  • handsoffmypineapples||

    I suggest an alternative: tax the homeless...

    Granted, it's not as lucrative as taxing multi billion dollar companies, but I'm pretty sure they'd see an immediate drop in the homeless population, thus reducing the need for the tax in the first place.

  • L.G. Balzac||

    Most of the population enjoys head. Will this head tax limit the availabilty? If so, I for one, am against it.
    Tony and I are probably in agreement but for diametrically opposed reasons.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    It's a regressive tax. "Progressive" doesn't belong in the title of this article. Democrats and progressives aren't always the same thing.

  • Bubba Jones||

    If Amazon leaves, that will reduce traffic and make housing more affordable.

    Right?

  • Brandybuck||

    Most insane West Coast city? I might no longer be a race between San Francisco and Berkeley. Seattle is rapidly overtaking and could end up taking the prize.

    Otherwise known as the leftie version of "hold my beer and watch this" olympics.

  • John C. Randolph||

    I don't know why in the world Bezos ever located Amazon in Seattle in the first place, but he should have told them to go fuck themselves and moved the whole operation to Texas a decade ago.

    -jcr

  • vek||

    Well he's a bit of a shit lib himself. But the main reason he setup here was to poach Microsoft employees. Basically it was either here or Silicon Valley back in the 90s, almost nowhere else had a good cluster of computer folks. Maybe Boston I guess? But back then Washington was MASSIVELY better for business than Cali. It still is a lot better. No income tax for one! But it's mostly only started getting bad the last several years. Even 10 years ago it was still a pretty business friendly state.

    The funny thing is that Amazon is half the reason all the leftists have moved here, so in a way they screwed themselves by tilting the demographics enough to ruin their own business! LOL

  • ||

    "Supporters of the tax were incensed at this unintended yet totally predictable consequence of their policy.

    "If Amazon generally wants to engage about how they can be part of the solution, we welcome that conversation," Councilmember Mike O'Brien said Wednesday, according to The Seattle Times. "But we need companies that are profitable and making billions of dollars every year to help with the folks that are being forced out of housing and ending up on the street."

    Councilmember Kshama Sawant—a self-proclaimed socialist who has endorsed the nationalization of another Seattle-area corporate titan, Boeing—was less subtle. Sawant calls Amazon's refusal to passively accept the taxation "blackmail," and she organized a Thursday rally outside Amazon's headquarters."

    That's some commentary by these two.

    Why can't they just shut up and line up against the wall?

    What a couple of ignoramuses.

    It's not Amazon's job to solve societal problems and just because a business makes profits doesn't freaking entitled you to the money. Funny, what Sawant said about 'blackmail'. Nice bit of projection if you ask me because the only bullies I see are the progressive idiots stealing money.

    How does Seattle function? Not even Quebec goes where they plan to go.

  • Smokert5555||

    I would tell the gov't "Once you can be fiscally responsible with taxpayer money, then we can talk about new taxes.".

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