Seattle innovation – and stagnation


The Seattle metropolitan area only ranks 15th in the United States, but it competes on a world-class level.

The University of Washington is considered one of the best universities in the world. Boeing, based in Seattle, has been America’s leading aircraft manufacturer for decades. Microsoft has revolutionized global computing. Amazon is a giant that rules multiple sectors of the economy. Nordstrom has set the standard for quality and customer service in the apparel industry. Starbucks is the ubiquitous coffee seller in the US and abroad.

There is a lot of competence, intelligence and innovation at work, and it all came from the people on site. It’s a shame that cannot be said of local politics – Seattle City Council in particular.

With concerns about crime, police, homelessness and infrastructure growing, most council members seem more interested in maintaining ideological purity than implementing pragmatic, effective solutions. But it is not just the strictly left-wing orientation of the Council that can be the problem. A shrewd socialist like Bernie Sanders did a pretty good job as Mayor of Burlington, Vermont, after all. No, the problem can be simple competence – or the lack of it. The current group of councilors, with one or two exceptions, does not seem up to the task.

In November, Seattle citizens will have the opportunity to elect two new council members. Let’s hope the voters are wise in their choice because we could use a lot more excellence in City Hall.

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