In a Pew poll conducted last fall, 61% of all respondents agreed that there was too much income inequality in America these days. Virtually everyone can feel that the difference between the wealthiest Americans and the poorest is growing out of control, but we don’t understand how big that gap is, or how fast it’s […]Read More If It Feels Like You’re Working Longer for Less Money, It’s Because You Are.
Summer 2020 was the opposite of what we’ve been told a summer should be: it wasn’t carefree, it wasn’t fun, it wasn’t restful or rejuvenating or rehabilitating. From the pandemic to the clamoring hoards of aggrieved white supremacists in our streets to the wildfire smoke that’s clotting the air over the Northwest as I write […]Read More What I read on my summer vacation (2020 edition)
After John Kerry’s failed presidential run in 2004, Democrats didn’t just double down on cities — they basically behaved as though building and maintaining power in cities was the only strategy going forward. The Urban Archipelago theory argued that American cities were strongholds of progressive thought, and rural America had become an underpopulated conservative wasteland. The future, […]Read More Democrats Abandoned Farmers, Not the Other Way Around.
We’ve all seen the mind-boggling charts demonstrating how income inequality has expanded to unprecedented levels in America since the late 1970s. We know that this ever-growing divide between the wealthiest one percent of all Americans and the rest of us was the result of a systemic trickle-down economic framework of tax cuts and deregulation promoted by conservative […]Read More John Maynard Keynes fought authoritarianism with economics
At the end of May, Ada’s Technical Books co-founder Danielle Hulton made a remarkable announcement: Ada’s would be taking over operations of local minichain Fuel Coffee. By any metric, buying three neighborhood coffee shops in the middle of a global pandemic and economic collapse is a bold move. Even more surprising, though, was Hulton’s announcement that the […]Read More In an economic crisis, Seattle gets a new chain of indie bookstores
Is it sacrilege to admit that I prefer Zadie Smith’s essays to her fiction? If you asked me to identify Smith’s most admirable qualities, the clear and precise thinking of her non-fiction work would be at the top of the list. Given her trademark thoughtfulness, it shouldn’t have surprised me that Intimations, the short book […]Read More Zadie Smith Cancels the Apocalypse
Last weekend, we passed a milestone moment in the 2020 election cycle: We are now less than 100 days away from Tuesday, November 3 — Election Day. In normal years, this would be the time when the general public really starts tuning in to the messages both parties are running with, familiarizing themselves with the […]Read More Voting by mail is the safest, easiest way to vote. Why are Republicans lying about it?
The coronavirus pandemic has made it almost impossible to operate the arts venues where people tend to gather and linger: galleries, arts education spaces and bookstores were all closed for months. For Ballard’s Push/Pull — a combination of outsider art gallery, small-press bookstore and education space — COVID-19 could hardly have been more devastating. Director Maxx Follis-Goodkind says 2020 […]Read More Outsider arts hub Push/Pull is building community online
A couple times an hour, a tiny swatch of a Pieter Bruegel the Elder painting flashes across my Twitter feed, courtesy of an automated account called @Bruegelbot. Bruegel’s paintings—and here we’ll just refer to him as “Bruegel,” setting aside the other painters with the same surname—are notoriously busy, packed with tiny figures going about their […]Read More A Face in the Crowd
Even if you don’t know Dutch historian Rutger Bregman’s name, you’ve likely heard him speak. In January of last year, you probably saw a viral video on social media of Bregman speaking truth to power in front of some of the wealthiest and most powerful people in the world at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. […]Read More The “subversive” idea that breaks economics: What if people are largely decent?