Daily Clips: April 25, 2017

Ivanka Trump gets booed, hissed at during Berlin event: There’s some sense in the world.

Seattle home-price hikes lead U.S. again; even century-old homes command top dollar

Washington state relies on a rotten tax system:

The top 1 percent in Washington paid 2.4 percent of their income, which is less than half of the national average, 5.4 percent.

There have been efforts to introduce an income tax, but in recent times they’ve never gotten far.

The idea of a Seattle city income tax on high-income households is going to be an issue in this year’s race for mayor. Current Mayor Ed Murray announced in the first mayoral debate last week that he will send a tax proposal to the City Council.

The grim biology of being poor:

Why do so few make it out of poverty? I can tell you from experience it is not because some have more merit than others. It is because being poor is a high-risk gamble. The asymmetry of outcomes for the poor is so enormous because it is so expensive to be poor. Imagine losing a job because your phone was cut off, or blowing off an exam because you spent the day in the ER dealing with something that preventative care would have avoided completely. Something as simple as that can spark a spiral of adversity almost impossible to recover from. The reality is that when you’re poor, if you make one mistake, you’re done. Everything becomes a sudden-death gamble.

Now imagine that, on top of that, your brain is wired to multiply the subjective experience of stress by 10. The result is a profound focus on short-term thinking. To those outsiders who, by fortune of birth, have never known the calculus of poverty, the poor seem to make sub-optimal decisions time and time again. But the choices made by the poor are supremely rational choices under the circumstances. Pondering optimal, long-term decisions is a liability when you have 48 hours of food left. Stress takes on a whole new meaning—and try as you might, it’s hard to shake.

Cuomo’s college plan is less than ideal:

The plan seems less revolutionary, however, when we remember that CUNY charged no tuition at all until 1976. And Cuomo’s progressive cred disappears when we remember that he has, until now, fought to raise tuition rather than cut it. Tuition is 30 percent higher today than it was when Cuomo took office, thanks to what he championed as “rational tuition.” In fact, only last year, he proposed slashing CUNY’s budget by $485 million, about one-third.

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Nick Cassella
Nick Cassella graduated from the University of St Andrews in Scotland in 2014. After graduating, he worked on the Initiative 594 campaign before joining Civic Ventures, where he now manages Civic Skunk Works' social media presence.