Author Topic: Seattle is dying  (Read 1603 times)

rukawa

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Seattle is dying
« on: April 27, 2019, 12:41:13 PM »
Pretty good documentary:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpAi70WWBlw

Its pretty shocking. I'm guessing San Francisco is even worse.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2019, 12:42:44 PM by rukawa »


Cigarbutt

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Re: Seattle is dying
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2019, 03:56:25 AM »
That was interesting. Thank you.

I would say the documentary is very good in some respect but also quite poor in others, perhaps not unlike the Seattle neighborhoods.
It's interesting to see how some people look for simple solutions to complex problems (which can be fine as long as you are aware of this) and how the reflection may have started based on a certain ideology or pre-conceived ideas (which may be right but it may contaminate the thought process).

I've been to Los Angeles and San Francisco (but so far not in Seattle) and, every time, have been amazed how extreme wealth crosses extreme destitution.

Before concluding on policy (or absence thereof), it may be useful to consider the underlying cause(s).
What would you do if you were the mayor?

The comparison with Rhode Island is interesting because that State has put in place an extensive program for inmates. However, Rhode Island has been characterized by (compared to the Seattle area) lower ++ GDP per capita or household (about half), a less dynamic job picture and much higher rates of alcohol abuse, illicit drug abuse as well as opioid-related deaths.

The documentary has an alarmist tone which is fine if the idea is to focus concern but the overall picture in Seattle is more subtle.
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Seattle_crime,_population_and_crime_rate_1984-2016.png
What may be particularly concerning (and this trend tends to be national) is that the average numbers hide improvements in certain areas and a concentration of deterioration in others and, overall, previous positive trends seem to be turning.

Deepdive

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Re: Seattle is dying
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2019, 09:58:57 AM »
That was interesting. Thank you.

I would say the documentary is very good in some respect but also quite poor in others, perhaps not unlike the Seattle neighborhoods.
It's interesting to see how some people look for simple solutions to complex problems (which can be fine as long as you are aware of this) and how the reflection may have started based on a certain ideology or pre-conceived ideas (which may be right but it may contaminate the thought process).

I've been to Los Angeles and San Francisco (but so far not in Seattle) and, every time, have been amazed how extreme wealth crosses extreme destitution.

Before concluding on policy (or absence thereof), it may be useful to consider the underlying cause(s).
What would you do if you were the mayor?

The comparison with Rhode Island is interesting because that State has put in place an extensive program for inmates. However, Rhode Island has been characterized by (compared to the Seattle area) lower ++ GDP per capita or household (about half), a less dynamic job picture and much higher rates of alcohol abuse, illicit drug abuse as well as opioid-related deaths.

The documentary has an alarmist tone which is fine if the idea is to focus concern but the overall picture in Seattle is more subtle.
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Seattle_crime,_population_and_crime_rate_1984-2016.png
What may be particularly concerning (and this trend tends to be national) is that the average numbers hide improvements in certain areas and a concentration of deterioration in others and, overall, previous positive trends seem to be turning.

The crime stat is interesting

If you elect not to arrest people for drugs, property damage, arson etc that were previously deemed to be crimes, the crime stats .  While the number would seem it dropped, the reality is that crime is unchecked. 

LC

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Re: Seattle is dying
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2019, 10:21:15 AM »
The graph shows reported crime, which should be independent of enforcement, I believe.

If so, it mirrors the general trend over the past 20 years of dropping crime rates.
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Cigarbutt

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Re: Seattle is dying
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2019, 02:03:31 PM »
^Deepdive makes a valid point.

Across North America, new policies have been put forward to delineate the use of "force" (in Seattle, it was in 2012) when dealing with a disorganized homeless individual so it's possible that some interventions that may have ended up as an arrest before because of a confrontational approach may now result in a more conciliatory outcome and no arrest. Also, it's possible that people don't bother to report a crime (especially minor ones) as much as before because police officers may be overwhelmed by more serious offenses.

The trend for more serious crimes would tend to support that thesis but does not demonstrate that Seattle deviates from other large cities and other regional or national trends.
https://www.cityrating.com/crime-statistics/washington/seattle.html

This thread reminds me of two issues related to investing: 1-We need a system where the ordinary citizen has the necessary resources to buy products or services (to benefit directly or indirectly through investing), to be able to afford a reasonable home and not to feel like destroying the system. 2-When following a company, a small ethical offense is OK but represents a red flag and may correspond to a culture shift and early intervention is essential otherwise move on.

Parsad

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Re: Seattle is dying
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2019, 10:27:26 PM »
Pretty good documentary:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpAi70WWBlw

Its pretty shocking. I'm guessing San Francisco is even worse.

Actually the documentary is not accurate in how it perceives to solve the problem.  We went through exactly the same thing in Vancouver, where one of the core areas of the city, Hastings and Main, deteriorated over 25 years into not only the poorest zip code in North America, but crime-ridden, tent cities, drug addicts everywhere and crime occurring right in the open. 

CBS and other news services came and shot stories about it.  I was embarrassed like Mr. Campbell that my city had allowed this area to deteriorate the way it did and to allow people to live like this.  It wasn't solved with police enforcement, greater sentencing or even drug sites allowing supervised injections.  It wasn't a right wing or left wing problem!  The area had more social services per capita than anywhere in North America.  It was a virtuous cycle where as more social services and policing came in, the area became a more concentrated haven for drug addicts, criminals and the poor needing those services.

You would be surprised by how it was actually solved:  City Hall making deals with developers!  We'll give you rezoned sites that would be lucrative development projects in the area, and you guarantee affordable and social housing as part of the development.  As projects came in and more people started to live in the area again, businesses started appearing again and then a satellite campus of Simon Fraser University moved in...that really helped get the ball rolling. 

It was a virtuous cycle in the opposite direction:  More people got off the street and into housing...as the streets cleaned up, more young people moved into the area as condos developed and they went to school or work nearby...as the people appeared, cool new shops and restaurants started appearing...and then more people kept coming and driving up condo prices because the area slowly became desirable again...forcing developers to continue buying drug-infested or run-down hotels and properties, rezone them, and build condo towers and some affordable and social housing on each lot.

You still have some of the drugs, tent cities and crime, but nothing like before, and you can see it is improving as each year goes by.  Many of those social services are disappearing with stores/restaurants taking their place.  People feel safe again walking the streets and various age groups have made it home now.  I feel like that part of my city did die, was essentially zombie-like, and then was resurrected to a growing, vibrant neighborhood with normal big-city problems.  Increased policing had little effect.  Increased social services had little effect.  It was City Hall cutting deals with developers that created change and developers having courage to take a chance.  If you build it...they will come!  My apologies to W.P. Kinsella!  Cheers! 
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Cigarbutt

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Re: Seattle is dying
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2019, 05:09:06 AM »
^Glad to hear positive developments from Vancouver as national and traditional media, these days, tend to focus on the Fentanyl crisis that your city has to deal with. Certain outlets tend to focus on sewage stories.

A major 'cause' for homelessness was the massive deinstitutionalization that occurred in the 70's. These people "existed" before, but "we" just didn't see "them".

Access to housing seems to be the common denominator and simply curbing policies encouraging gentrification may be a step in the right direction. Dilution is the solution, more than blind 'law and order'.

Spekulatius

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Re: Seattle is dying
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2019, 05:58:16 AM »
This homeless problem exists in a lot of cities in CA for sure, not just LA and San Francisco. It seem more prevalent on the West Coast than on the East coast ( housing costs,  weather?). I have seen studies that the vast majority of the homeless are mentally ill. Not an easy problem to solve for sure.
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LC

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Re: Seattle is dying
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2019, 06:32:40 AM »
Sanjeev, a similar story happened in Harlem, in various parts of Brooklyn, etc.

I had lived through the full gentrification process over a 10 year period in a part of Brooklyn. It was a Caribbean community for decades - and was full of drugs, crime, poverty. But it had natural benefits: close to a park, acceptable distance from Manhattan.

Eventually it turned into another of Brooklyn's gentrified neighborhoods and the condos went up. But the evolution was interesting - the creep of gentrification, essentially. We had a way of describing it: I spoke to a longtime resident about it, we had a particular way of describing it:"first the Asians moved in, then the gays, then the white ladies with strollers".

Crude, but it relays the message. The point is, you can't just throw up a condo as a magic solution. You cannot manufacture demand. In other words, it's not going to work in Missouri.

But when the conditions exist, it is the next step in the gentrification process. And it's hard to argue against, especially when the neighborhood gets 80/20s out of it as a type of compromise solution, and usually a better landlord and tenant mix.

The second problem is that in my experience, it doesn't really solve homelessness - it pushes it out to different areas. Sadly not very different from Giuliani sending the homeless on one-way greyhound buses far away from Manhattan.

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rkbabang

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Re: Seattle is dying
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2019, 06:57:19 AM »
Sanjeev, a similar story happened in Harlem, in various parts of Brooklyn, etc.

I had lived through the full gentrification process over a 10 year period in a part of Brooklyn. It was a Caribbean community for decades - and was full of drugs, crime, poverty. But it had natural benefits: close to a park, acceptable distance from Manhattan.

Eventually it turned into another of Brooklyn's gentrified neighborhoods and the condos went up. But the evolution was interesting - the creep of gentrification, essentially. We had a way of describing it: I spoke to a longtime resident about it, we had a particular way of describing it:"first the Asians moved in, then the gays, then the white ladies with strollers".

Crude, but it relays the message. The point is, you can't just throw up a condo as a magic solution. You cannot manufacture demand. In other words, it's not going to work in Missouri.

But when the conditions exist, it is the next step in the gentrification process. And it's hard to argue against, especially when the neighborhood gets 80/20s out of it as a type of compromise solution, and usually a better landlord and tenant mix.

The second problem is that in my experience, it doesn't really solve homelessness - it pushes it out to different areas. Sadly not very different from Giuliani sending the homeless on one-way greyhound buses far away from Manhattan.


I was going to reply something like this to Sanjeev's post.  After the gentrification of that particular area happened it looked a lot better, but where did the homeless go?   Many (most?) homeless people are severely mentally ill and/or hard drug addicts (usually both). These people didn't just decide to give up drugs, get jobs, and buy condos.  If they are no longer living in tents in that particular area, it only means they left and spread out into other areas.