Seattle is said to be dying — again.
That’s the talk of the commentariat, many of whom have been forecasting that the protests and riots, the Seattle City Council’s new tax on high salaries, and the disruptive force of the pandemic are all set to time-warp the downtown and South Lake Union business districts back to about 1972.
“Seattle faces ‘lights out’ in 2022,” predicts local business analyst Don Brunell, evoking the famed 1970s recession billboard that asked the last person out to shut off the lights. “Given the direction Seattle is heading today, the billboard may re-emerge by 2022 — if not before.”
“Does the city council really think that many of these jobs/workers won’t be transferred? This is a disaster for downtown Seattle,” echoed the Mainstream Republicans of Washington, after the city approved its new business tax.
It’s not only conservatives saying Seattle may no longer be a star attraction.
“Just when downtown Seattle needs to economically recover, the Seattle City Council incentivized moving jobs out of Seattle and into the suburbs,” said former King County Executive Ron Sims, who of late has become a political analyst for KING-5 television.
I’ve learned from hard experience that I’m terrible at predictions. So these past two months, amid all the protest upheaval and the aftermath of the passage of the city’s tax, I’ve instead been watching the money.