In his recent State of the City-State Address, Mayor Nickels took credit for a number of startling things, pretended to have made progress in areas he has not, set a bold agenda of changing the world, and completely ignored some of the most pressing problems of the city. Mostly, though, he completely avoided saying anything specific. In fact, as I think about it, I can’t remember the man ever saying anything specific.
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Well, here’s the review you wont get from the obsequious mainstream media:
The underlying theme of his speech was that “Seattle is back.” Back from where? I thought we were in glory-land already, what with all the talk about being a “livable” city and all. No, Seattle is not back and really is not even in a much different position than it was 3, 5, or 10 years ago. It is still hostile to business, burdened with bureaucracy, and shooting at the moon.
Mayor Nickels claims to have “created jobs.” I am not familiar with any government that has ever created jobs. A government can stand in the way of private enterprise, and therefore limit job growth, but it can’t create jobs. I suppose Nickels believes that his favorite mega-project (well, at least for now, until he starts building a tunnel with funny money), Light Rail, created jobs. In reality, for every person hired, someone probably lost a job, because that’s just what taxes do – eliminate jobs.
Mayor Nickels also takes credit for “building strong families.” I could not find anything specific in his speech, so could someone please explain to me how Seattle is building strong families? First, there aren’t many families in Seattle. 46% of men in their thirties in King County have never been married. That number includes rural areas of the county, so surely the percentage is much, much higher within the city limits of Seattle.
If these single guys are forming families, I think we can all agree that they are not the sort of families we would hope for. On the other hand, maybe those are the types of families Nickels wants. Or, maybe what he is referring to is his own procreation with God knows who and what. In any case, saying that Seattle in any way contributes to strong families is like saying river channels in a desert contribute to water flow -- there is not much water to flow in a desert, just as there are not many families in Seattle to make “stronger.”
Don’t expect help from the State Legislature, Mr. Mayor, because they are raising the cost of getting married in order to fund programs that are sure to increase the percentage of men opting out and the profits of eHarmony.com as desperate women in their 30’s and 40’s search for a man. The fact is, the imperial district of the state (Seattle and King County), as well as the state legislature, are downright hostile to families.
The Mayor then points out a statistic that he ought to be deeply embarrassed about: Less than half of school-aged children in North Seattle attend public schools. Why did he focus on North Seattle? Is it because that statistic is even worse in other parts of the City? Well, just waking up to the fact that public schools in Seattle TOTALLY SUCK, Mr. Mayor?! And, have you considered that parents don’t like the city-state wieners busing their kids across town to meet “diversity” quotas?
Not wanting the blame pinned on him, Nickels followed with, “the State of Washington should be ashamed that we now rank 42nd …in the amount we invest in our children’s schools.” As usual, more money is needed. Oh, and by the way, it’s the state causing the problem, not Seattle itself.
In reality, Seattle has blown its wad on all sorts of stupid projects, while its schools crumble. Super-sized football and baseball stadium, light rail, and the monorail circus ride all suck up tax dollars that could have gone toward improving schools. Worse, if Nickels is hoping the state will help, he’s got a long wait. The best our legislature has is lowering test standards and pushing “multi-culturalism” in our schools. (See SB 5638 and HB 1659). The problem is that Seattle makes choices like Nickels selects desert, “Give me everything on the menu.”
So, then Nickels says he is getting traffic moving. What type of traffic is he talking about? The most onerous problem the city has is a bottleneck on I-5 in downtown (under the Washington State Convention Center -- see that little pinhole traffic goes through? That’s the problem) and limited access to this major traffic artery. But, of course, it’s politically incorrect to point at the real source of the problem, because the Seattle City-State is going to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, bringing snow to the mountains, and leading the world to the promise land.
No, Seattle isn’t back. Actually, it’s being left behind by the cities and communities on the east side of Lake Washington. If the state is smart (which is asking for a lot, I know), it will invest its transportation dollars in upgrading and expanding I-405. There are real families over there, real businesses, and nobody is permanently limiting the size of it’s major highway.
Let sclerotic Seattle wither. But, pass the meth first, Mr. Mayor.