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Thursday, July 2, 2020

Fantasies: The Purpose of Crowded Starbucks Stores

I once asked one of the original founders of the coffee company how it could be economical to have so many folks occupying tables for hours while spending a pittance on a cup of coffee-flavored milk drinks.

Unemployment shot up but Savings… have Soared?

At the risk of being repetitive, it was a pretty strange month. Nationally, employment fell by about 15 percent. But total disposable personal income in the country rose by 13 percent

Set to Soar: This Week in Space

We are all rooting for the success of the launch -- if anything mobilizes the national spirit, it’s a rocket on its way to space.

How Convention Centers Devour Their Cities

"What troubled me about the whole convention center business/financial model was its self-feeding locomotion. Once a city begins to compete in the big leagues (not unlike sports) it has to buy into a whole multi-decade commitment. And the bar keeps getting raised."

A Suddenly-Endangered Convention Center Project: Time to Rethink Seattle Tourism?

How we can tame this beast, and (if it comes to this) what might be a better use of the convention center 3, now one-third built and facing a serious financing problem?

The Growing Case For Taxing Automation That Costs Jobs

Replacing human labor with machines can have a positive impact if it frees up people to use their human empathy and understanding to help the many who need help to survive and enjoy life. However, the money to allow them to assist the larger community needs to come “from the profits that are generated by the labor-saving efficiency there; some can come directly in some kind of robot tax.”

You’re Unemployed and You’re Unemployed and You’re Employed… Here’s how it Breaks Down

Quietly, tens of thousands of office workers, salespeople and their managers have been let go. A restaurant or construction supply company can't do much business with all the restaurants and sites shut down. We look at unemployment claims by occupation.

What Seattle Got Right: The New Establishment Shows Its Stuff

It was a moment of emergence for the the region, though it may not have momentum. I count at least four areas where these new leaders have impressively stepped up, often leading the nation in pandemic responses.

Out of Range: Could Lockdown finally help solve Rural Broadband Access?

“Drive in WiFi” is the stopgap solution of the day: using the powerful fiber connections at shuttered schools, libraries, and other agencies and business to provide the WiFi equivalent to the old drive-in movies, with signals directed out to open parking areas. The state is scrambling to provide WiFi service to the 200,000 Washington residents who live beyond connectivity.

It Won’t Be Your Grandfather’s Boeing Bust

The inevitable Boeing reductions will hurt the regional economy, but not nearly as much as past Boeing job cuts. Boeing is still the region’s biggest employer, but accounts for a gradually diminishing share of all jobs.