Seattle’s Money Problem

Seattle’s Money Problem

Inequality is a huge issue in the United States as well as all around the world: specifically in Seattle, there is a huge unequal distribution of wealth.  In 2016, this was shown by Seattle’s Gini Index passing 50.  The Gini Index is a number that is used to asses income inequality in cities all across the nation.  The index can be a number anywhere from 0-100; the higher the number, the more unequally wealth is distributed.  This means that a society where everyone has the same income will have a score of 0, and a society where one person has all the wealth would score 100.  On average, Seattle has fallen between 48 and 49 on the index, but in 2016, it jumped 3 points within a year, to 50.4. This is the second biggest increase between in the United States, and the first time Seattle has crossed 50.  

The average income for the top 20 percent of Seattle households went up by more than $40,000 last year, averaging $318,000/year. Yet they took home 53 percent of all the income earned.  Conversely, the bottom 20 percent of households saw an average decline over the course of the year. This could be due to Seattle’s move toward a $15 minimum wage, since employers can no longer afford multiple employees, choosing instead to employ fewer people due to the higher minimum wage.  

This is an issue all across the United States, but we seem to do little about it.  We need to begin where the problem is the biggest issue; in cities where there are tons of industry and money, but at the same time so many homeless and unemployed.  We need to fix this to save lives, and improve the quality of life for all of us here on earth.

The imbalance of wealth in America is so large that we cannot fix it immediately; to implement change, we mustinvest in the future, and change our ways for generations yet to come.  We can begin by investing in education. Education is the single best tool that any group of people can use to pull themselves out of the lower class. Additionally, those who have an education will have a larger social network that they can use.  They can use this network to gain access to new, better paying jobs. This leads to more and more people working in the upper class, which will help mend the gap between the upper and lower classes. I hope to help enact these changes by raising awareness about the imbalance of wealth not only in Seattle, but all across the United States, and eventually the World.





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  1. April 26, 2018 by Samuel Gan

    What other ideas do you have to reduce inequality in Seattle?

    Some ideas for you to consider:
    Could tax reforms help combat inequality? Perhaps more tax revenue allows the government to invest more in social projects and infrastructure, therefore creating more jobs and opportunities.
    How can we invest in education? Is this education for Children, or education and additional job training for adults? If for Children, how can we improve the current education system?

    I would check out this article by the Haas Institute:

  2. April 27, 2018 by Eva.Motolinia

    I agree that education is the best way to combat income inequality. What is the disparity of education right now in Seattle? And what needs to be done to fix it?

  3. April 28, 2018 by andrew namkoong

    I like the overall outline of your app on Seattle’s Money Problem. I liked the layout of having your information on the presentation being first, and I also liked how you grouped your texts. Perhaps some areas of advice could include going more in depth on the raising awareness portion. I also think that your presentation could bet better if you added more pictures highlighting your idea.

  4. April 30, 2018 by Laria.Behrens

    Having lived in Seattle, and now the Bay Area, I have seen the effects that big companies have on the cities they are located in. In Seattle’s case, it would be Amazon. Have you looked much at the effects of specific companies? I would be interested to find out what Seattle is doing to work on it.

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