Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Vote to overcome our "new economic realities" by ignoring the Seattle Times

Instead of being a responsible voice for Washington’s largest metro area and supporting ballot measures that invest in our common wealth, the Seattle Times promotes a cynical outlook on government and scorns citizens’ attempts to level the playing field for the poor and middle class. The Times opposes Initiative 1098 and Referendum 52, two measures that will put people to work, educate kids and provide health care, and it supports Tim Eyman's newest attempt to disable our government, Initiative 1053.

This is short-sighted.

This election season, the Times is promoting “resetting government to the world’s new economic realities” while failing to see just what our new economic realities are.

For starters, the rich are getting richer and the middle class is sliding backwards. According to PBS, new Census data show that:
The U.S. now has the greatest disparity between the rich and the poor within Western industrialized countries.
For the middle class to hang on, or to even grow, kids must have a good education. The best paying jobs today and into the future will require a college degree, but Washington spends less per pupil today than most states do, and big cracks are showing in the foundation of our state school system.

While we're waiting for health care reform to kick in, medical bills are still the number one cause of personal bankruptcies, and health insurance costs are taking a bigger bite out of workers’ and employers’ pay and profits every year.

The Seattle Time’s answer to these very real economic realities is to fight tooth and nail against Initiative 1098 which will take a small slice of money from some of the wealthiest people in the country—the top 1.2% of earners in our fairly rich state—and use it to strengthen the state school system and to provide health care for the needy. The Times doesn't trust the legislature to honor the initiative, the same way it doesn't trust it to be able to make tax decisions without a vote of the people, which is why it supports Tim Eyman's latest attempt to debilitate our government, Initiative 1053.

The Times also opposes Referendum 52 which is at heart, a jobs measure. If approved, the referendum would create 30,000 construction jobs fixing up older public schools and making them more energy efficient. Both Referendum 52 and I-1098 are supported by citizens, business and labor groups.

So, why do the rich and powerful of our state need the newspaper's protection? They seem to be doing pretty fine. Instead, let's vote to give a hand to the middle class who are just trying to stay afloat in our “new economic reality.” Let's give our state government the resources it needs to "reset" our state infrastructure by investing in and protecting Washington's citizens through education, jobs and health care.

Be sure your ballot is in the mail by Tuesday, November 2.


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