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View Diary: Seattle job boom: But, but, but... Socialism! Taxes! Liberals! (31 comments)

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  •  Two words to explain it. (4+ / 0-)

    Microsoft Boeing

    These are the primary base of the economy.  Well, also the port of Seattle but that's also gummint socialism.

    Microsoft and Boeing depend on different aspects of big government.  Boeing's military business depends on nothing but Federal spending.  Their civilian business depends on a government-provided aviation infrastructure.

    Microsoft would not exist without various NSF initiatives.  Without the Internet, demand for desktop computers and laptops would be far lower.  Various parts of the Windows NT base of code (what goes into every desktop Windows since XP, as well as every Microsoft server product ever made) come from open source paid for in part with public dollars.  (Microsoft relies on that to avoid IP lawsuits.)  And, much as gummint tries to escape Windows, Linux desktops have not really made a big imprint in the public sector so some huge portion of high-margin Windows and Office and Exchange and Sharepoint goes to public entities worldwide.

    There are a lot of other spinoff businesses in Seattle, all of which are there because of Microsoft and Boeing.  And because most of them are "creative class" economic based, they bring in lots of well educated professionals and lots of creative types in their wake; thus, there was a market for stuff like alt rock and all manner of cultural goods; "Seattle Grunge" is probably a significant contributor to the local economy, too.

    Anyone want to do a comparison with Texas now?  Especially if you take Austin (also full of hippies, gays, and socialists) out of the mix?

    •  Microsoft and Boeing are primo fer sure (8+ / 0-)

      Other hot economic drivers:
      *Google (has a big presence and expanding facilities)
      *Costco, Nordstrom, REI
      *Joint Base Lewis McChord (sprawling Army-Air Force Base in Tacoma)
      *Port of Tacoma
      *Eastern Washington grain (and ag in general, big business)
      *Timber like nobody else (okay, Oregon and Alaska)
      *Cheapest electricity in the country
      *Magical beards (hah!)

      •  Port of Tacoma? (1+ / 0-)
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        The Port of Tacoma creates a lot of jobs by sending Walmart's containers to points east.

        I thought that foreign trade was supposed to create poverty?

        And then there's the stores in Blaine that sell things to Canadians trying to dodge the VAT.

        •  Port of Tacoma (6+ / 0-)

          Wal-mart may be a component of their traffic, whatever moral quandries that may present there is no denying their economic impact:

          The Port of Tacoma is considered an "economic engine" for the region. A study released in July 2005 highlighted the Port's economic impact at both the local and state level:
          More than 43,000 jobs in Pierce County are related to the Port of Tacoma's activities.
          More than 113,000 jobs in Washington State are related to the Port's activities.
          Port-related jobs generate $637 million in annual wages in Pierce County.
          Port activities generate more than $90 million annually in state and local taxes in Washington state.

          Washington State is the most trade-dependent state in the nation -- one out of three jobs are related to international trade.

        •  Well... (1+ / 0-)
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          it hasn't helped the low wage earners who used to work in manufacturing but now work at Walmart, or the other retail workers who have seen their own earnings reduced as a result of Walmart's market domination.

          "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

          by happy camper on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 06:24:07 AM PDT

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      •  Good point (0+ / 0-)

        I'd put Amazon and Google under the "Microsoft" banner.  But Costco and Nordstrom and REI are all another development track.  But now you've screwed up my pithy "two words" comment.

    •  IMHO, what counts is not the volume of dollars (1+ / 0-)
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      so much as the rate of turnover. Currency is called that because, like the current in a stream, it is meant to move.
      Washington, D.C. has a monopoly. It is the only agency in the country that produces money. The fifty states rely on it being sent out. Why it gets laundered through the Federal Reserve is a puzzlement, unless you figure that Congress has an interest in giving the financial community an initial "cut" of every dollar that is sent out.
      Federal taxes are levied for two purposes: as an indicator of who's doing what with the currency (& try to control them) and to insure that the currency is recycled, kept moving, rather than getting stuck in some hoarder's accounts. The difference between what Congress sends out and what comes back is what's called a "deficit," even when those dollars get stashed at the Treasury, which, for some reason, pays out a dividend for keeping the dollars it originally issued safe for the new "owner."
      In other words, before a dollar is used to mediate any exchange or trade of real goods and services, bankers and bondholders get a 5% cut for doing absolutely nothing but collecting the dollars from the Fed. Middlemen.
      If the interest is in moving money more quickly, as it should be, then sales taxes are more effective, even if some income taxes are paid monthly or quarterly. Also, there's an economy of scale realizable in the collection and processing of sales taxes that you don't get with income tax collections from individuals, especially if there are no large corporate employers doing the collecting.
      For some reason, I suspect it's because the Congress has been trying to ration the dollars and rationing prompts hoarding, the rate at which dollars get passed around has slowed to a trickle in the last three decades, as this graph attests:

      MZM is money that earns no interest but does show up in bank accounts, where it is counted.

      The graph for another kind of money M2M shows the same pattern:

      You can see the effect of the stimulus in 2009.

      The rate at which dollars move from hand to hand goes up and then Wall Street engineers a recession to bring it back down and capture more for their coffers. Since Wall Street churning dollars in short trades does not get taxed -- i.e. none go back to the Treasury, dollars churning on Wall Street are effectively being hoarded (think rodent on a treadmill in a cage).

      We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

      by hannah on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 04:06:43 AM PDT

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