The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Open Thread

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Happy Thanksgiving


Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – November 27, 2022


  1. someofparts

    Folks say move to a smaller town to find affordable housing. I’m finding out that the market is not that simple. Turns out even the smallest town, if it is a nice place that isn’t bleak, has become too expensive. The only cheap housing is in parts of the city that are depressing and desolate. Yay.

  2. Chuck Mire

    The first Thanksgiving – but what happened in Virginia four months later mattered much more:

    “Today’s Thanksgiving – with school kids’ construction paper turkeys and narrative of camaraderie and cooperation between the colonists and Indigenous Americans – obscures the more tragic legacy of the early 17th century.”

  3. StewartM

    I saw a history of Uber on Youtube. As someone who never has used the service at all, I knew some of it, but I wasn’t aware of the breadth of their unethical if not illegal business practices:

  4. StewartM


    In my smallish-town local, rents have gone through the roof. I’m paying less for my mortgage than a 1-bedroom apartment costs.

  5. mugu

    In late 70’s early 80’s Seattle I rented a clean one bedroom one bath apartment on Capitol Hill for $150 a month with utilities included except electricity, which amounted to about $25 a month because of a regional compact capping rates.
    My restaurant manager salary was $1,200 a month with medical benefits. I shared expenses with my girlfriend.
    In 2022 I scrape by with a fixed income of around $900 and own nothing. But I live outside the conventional economy and framework otherwise I’d be dying an agonizing death in the streets like too many others.
    The social fabric is ripped, and even if you think you’re sitting all comfy in your front row seat, hell is just a misstep away.
    Still, as Leonard Cohen wrote and sang decades ago: god is alive and magic is afoot. (I don’t believe in a personal god, but magic, yes. Miracles, too.)
    Enjoy what you have. Be kind and don’t trip and fall. The banana peel’s right there next to the curb or the abyss. Keep your eyes peeled as my grandpa used to say. Happy holidays. . .

  6. Willy

    @ mugu
    I lived in the University District in a similar place and time and for exactly that amount. Seems like yesterday. Then I moved into a college rental house in Shoreline, (1800 sq ft incl. daylight basement but looks like a small starter home from the street), with a couple other college guys, for $600/mo. total. Today both places still exist in a somewhat more remodeled condition. The apartment rents for closer to ten times that amount. That house Zillow’s for over a million dollars, also a ten-fold increase.

    My musician housemate quit college and now works as a grocery store cashier. 1986 was the peak of his economic life, but he still has the small home and boat and wife he bought in that year. I did okay until I got run out of my design engineering career and now scrape by a small-time remodeling contractor. Another housemate tried and failed his various small media companies but was recently hired by Amazon as a project manager. He’s the wild success of the group and owns a tiny home in Ballard.

    We’d all met as coworkers at a grocery store. The only one of us who’s come even remotely close to making ten times what we made back then is the Amazon guy, and that was a very recent development for him.

    And yes, I know that if I was a better businessman (and more physically and mentally healthy I suppose), willing to hire illegally and build and bill unethically, then the world of naive young Amazon tech earners would be my oyster. I typed that last bit for any economic libertarian readers out there.

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