Michael Luis

Michael Luis is a public policy consultant who has been wrestling with housing, growth and economic development issues around Washington State for over 30 years. He is author of several books on local history and served as mayor of Medina.

Data On Local Unemployment: Dip Before Deluge?

Even with this new, detailed data on unemployment claims, we really do not know how many people are unemployed in the traditional sense. Epidemiologists are not the only ones laboring under a lack of good data.

From A to B: Data Show the Pain in Store for Commuters from West Seattle Bridge Failure

Census data show us where West Seattle commuters go to work and begin to give an idea of the scale of the traffic mess that awaits.

The Calculus Of Optimism/Pessimism

It seems we are hard wired to focus on the negative. Pessimists avoid humiliation and, at the same time, enjoy the possibility of the ultimate reward: being the lone voice for sanity amidst the irrational exuberance of the masses. Stay pessimistic long enough and you may have your “Big Short” moment.

Coronavirus Chronicles: Unexpected Shortages of Sudden Needs

Just try to buy a solid looking buzz clipper. Sold-out, sold-out, sold-out. Now I did find one for way too much money, and it won’t arrive for a while. I will be cautious about Zoom meetings.

Indexer: Sea-Tac is Bigger Than You Think, and More At Risk

By passenger volume, Sea-Tac is now the eighth busiest airport in the country, serving a metro area that is the fifteenth largest. A prolonged virus shutdown will damage a regional economic engine.

Indexer: As Local Sales Taxes Bust, Here’s Who Gets Hit Most

As economic activity plummets, local governments are scrambling to figure out how badly their budgets will suffer this year from a drop in taxable sales. It’s going to be tough, but how tough remains to be seen.

Indexer: Inhospitable – The Sector Of Our Local Economy Being Devastated

Consumer spending is drying up and no one knows how long it will take before it returns. We don’t know if diners will flood back into restaurants as soon as they have permission. One worry: consumers will use the return to normalcy as a time to restock depleted savings.

Wanna Help? Don’t Buy Gift Cards—Buy the Stuff

At retailers and restaurants across the Seattle area, business is evaporating. Customers are just not going out to places where they might encounter other people. One response from those who want...

Indexer: Seattle Is All Dressed Up and Very, Very Rich

On a per-capita basis, each resident of King County had, on average, 36 percent more income to spend in 2018 than in 2010, after adjusting for inflation. Insane housing prices? All those new, expensive bars and restaurants? Bentleys and Teslas? Now you know why.

Indexer: King County Migration – Why We’re Getting More Millennial

The rapid hiring by Amazon explains a good deal of the Millennial bulge. At the other end of the age spectrum, few older people migrate to a place like King County, and some older people will migrate out to warmer, quieter, less expensive places.