I watch with a somewhat detached fascination as our bloated economy circles faster and tighter around the bowl before lodging in the drain, overflowing the crapper, and making a hella foul stinking mess. As I watch I can’t help but think that most of us over the age of forty have seen this particular turd being flushed before but for whatever reasons seem unable to grab the plumbers helper and clear the pipes before it is to late, or maybe figure that it’s no problem if we just light a match, turn our backs and walk away. Someone else will clean it up…surely.

seattle signFor those of a certain age who grew up in Seattle, this street sign circa 1971 brings back not so fond memories of a city in decline. From the end of WWII through the 1970’s Seattle was a one horse town as far as employment opportunity and the Boeing Company was that horse. As Boeing went, so went the region. Established in 1916 in a little red barn down on the Duwamish River flats, the company expanded and contracted along with the city in the boom and bust years of the 1920’s and 30’s until the outbreak of war brought Defense Department contracts and transformed the company into the corporate behemoth it is today. My father, after graduating college with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1956, entered this thriving culture of geeks and salesmen, the Microsoft of its day, and set to work helping design and test the cutting edge technology of the times. Life was good in the sixties. 

By the time the Carter induced malaise ridden seventies  rolled around however, huge cuts in defense spending were the order of the day. With the cancellation of the SST and other  programs, and with enormous amounts of tax money being poured into the ever more bloated “Great Society” programs initiated under the Johnson administration, Boeing, and hence Seattle, were foundering on the shoals of  insolvency. Somehow we managed to right the ship, due in large part to an unlikely actor who gave us reason and the means to believe again and Seattle, along with the rest of the country, had a renaissance of opportunity and wealth creation.

Now comes word from Microsoft that if corporate taxes are raised to provide for the “One’s” wealth redistribution plans, they will move a substantial part of their operations overseas and out of reach of the new taxes. Seattle is a much more diverse city regarding business than it was in the seventies but with city and state deficits running ever larger we can ill afford to have a company with the  economic impact of Microsoft relocate to greener pastures. Boeing already left about ten years ago to a state with a more business friendly tax structure. How many times do the members of the so called reality based community have to get hit upside the head by reality before they recognize it for what it is.

If I have to walk into the bathroom again to find turds floating on the floor and a bunch of leftists standing with their pants around their ankles shrugging “I don’t know what happened”… well…I don’t know what I’ll do but it won’t be pretty.


10 responses to “Lather…Rinse…Repeat:

  1. Open a gas pipe. Light a match.

  2. There will be several places in the same bowl, swirling together. And the “reality based” community will always be looking for the hired help to do the dirty work.

  3. Ah yes Boeing. Or as the locals say ‘ Boeings’. One of the great corporate welfare success stories ever.

    Speaking of redistribution of wealth a good place to start would be the costs of US military empire. I don’t seem to recall much noise from the right when George put the tab for Iraq on the family credit card. Likewise I don’t recall much brouhaha over the ‘great ones’ massive deficits in the 1980’s.

  4. And speaking of ‘Carter induced malaise’ the SST (socialist super transport?) funding was pulled 1971. Same year as the famous billboard, ‘ will the last person leaving Seattle please turn out he lights?’

  5. I guess the point I was trying to make in invoking Carter was that the road to his famous malaise speech had been paved by the statist policies of the Johnson and Nixon administrations before him. Basically “we screwed things up bad, best you just learn to live with it”. Reagan came along and told us that we didn’t have to live with it.

    Reagan did indeed run large deficits but those can in part be attributed to a Democratic Congress running up non defense department spending while Reagan cut taxes. He looks like a piker when compared to the current administation on deficits wouldn’t you agree?

    As far as US military empire, unfortunately there in no such thing as a power vacuum through human history. Someone will be the hegemon and I would prefer it be us, with all our imperfections, than say China or Russia.

    Match…gaspipe…yes, I can see it!

  6. I would never, ever consider RR a piker. I do consider his military budgets (a favorite of the past administration as well) ruinous and unsustainable. Dick Cheney put it best in 2002, ‘RR proved deficits don’t matter’. Which of course is untrue. As a club with which to beat the political opposition, the American right has found them indespensable.

  7. See that little pic you have up there. Bit of trivia for you – they ran that headline in The Sun newspaper for the pre-Blair Labour government, the night before an election. Labour Set for Possible Victory: Will the Last Person to Leave Britain Please Switch Out the Lights. It was greatly credited with the Conservative landslide that ensued.

  8. It’s gratifying to see you Brits finally turn away from Labour although it looks like there is quite a mess to clean up. How is Consevative MP Daniel Hannan recieved over there? He is quite poular among a certain set here.
    I wish he was fighting the fight for sane government on this side of the pond as it looks like we will have our experiment with socialism despite the fact that it doesn’t seem to be working anywhere else.

  9. Oh that front page I mentioned isn’t recent. It was run back in the days before Blair. He brushed off old commie union attached Labourite notions, swung in heavy in traditional Conservative policies, carefully detaching old socialist ideals. He also took a leaf out of Clinton’s book and started glamourising the party. Making it a sort of Democrat party for Britain. It worked too.

    I liked Daniel Hannan until I saw him swing in on some US news show where he talked absolute crap about “socialised” healthcare. Then I figured he was just another vox pop kinda guy with an ego. That might be too cynical but he should have known better. The French healthcare system is “socialised” and works brilliantly. I owe so much to it I might be biased but I’ve seen both in operation with parents in France and a sister in the US, all of whom have come to use the systems there. I guess I just prefer honesty and Daniel fell short. That is not to say I think the US should go full whack on Obama’s plans. I have no idea what they are.

    Otherwise Daniel’s ok.

    More widely, it’s the economy that needs cleaning up but I chalk that up to the City. Multi culturalism I chalk up to Labour and all governments. Bleugh to that. Way too much emphasis on a welfare state I chalk up to Labour and hate them for it. I’m not sure of Obama plans that wholesale for you guys but I know some States have that kind of thing going on.

  10. He seems an egaging enough fellow who’s politics more or less mirror my own but I thought it odd that he would make the rounds of the talk shows over here. It goes to show what a mess this country’s conservatives find themselves in that they have to import inspiration from overseas. Good to get a view from someone with a deeper understanding than that which can be gathered from US television sound bites.
    It will be intersting to see how much of Obama’s agenda is eventually enacted. He is already getting resistance from within his own party regarding some of the more egregious spending he is proposing. As much as guys like me like to rant and rave we have a pretty healthy system of checks and balances over here and while certainly messy and ripe for abuse by ideologues of all stripes, our representative republic is working just about how it is supposed to in my opinion. If Obama’s policies work, good. If they don’t the pedulum of public opinion will swing back to the right.
    Same as it ever was.

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