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The Almighty Buck United States

Is the Amazon-Led Economic Boom Wrecking Seattle? 410

reifman writes: Seattleites are struggling with massive traffic, rising housing costs and declining diversity. Amazon's building and acquiring enough office space to triple its local headcount by 2020. Facebook, Google and many other tech companies are now expanding here as well — it's the San Franciscoization of Seattle. Downtown is filled with 75 cranes — some blocks look like mining towns. Amazon's hired so many white males that King County is now the whitest in the nation and hate crimes against gays have shot up in a formerly LGBTQ neighborhood. Politicians can't agree on reforming impact fees and taxes to address these issues." An interesting piece of recent advice from a long time Amazonian to the company's interns: avoid full-time employment there.
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Is the Amazon-Led Economic Boom Wrecking Seattle?

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  • Seattleites are struggling with [...] declining diversity.

    What? What does this even mean? How does one struggle from declining diversity? Don't communities generally struggle with inclining diversity?

  • or something like that.
  • Wrong skin color (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Saturday July 11, 2015 @06:46PM (#50090651)

    According to this article, having too many people of a specific skin color in an area causes crime. Does Slashdot really want to endorse that kind of retrograde prejudice?

    • According to this article, having too many people of a specific skin color in an area causes crime.

      Actually, according to the article, it's claiming that by having too many rich people causes crime. The idea being that having someone move it and get a well paying job that must have only come from making someone else unemployed. So now there are a bunch of unemployed homeless people, and all of the housing has gone to over paid people. So home breakins has increased because now there's actually something worth stealing in houses.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 11, 2015 @07:52PM (#50090897)

      The article does not say that too many people of one color cause crime; you said that. What the article does say, is that Amazon is hiring a primarily white male workforce at salaries far in excess of the average for the area. This correlates with, but it is not proven that it causes, a number of things stated in the article. The gender imbalance, may mean that there are a large number of men without female counterparts or potential mates. The implication in the article is that this is driving prostitution as these men seek sex they are hard-pressed to find in a relationship because there are not enough woman. The income imbalance means that Amazon employees can pay a premium for living space close to Amazon, and because they are the highest paid workers in the area, it is displacing other residents, many of whom happen to be the existing diverse people that current live there. The increased affluence of the area surrounding Amazon, it is implied, is leading to increased crime because wealthy new communities are a target for theft.

      The article doesn't prove any of this. The white males that Amazon is hiring may have brought their wives with them, in which case, Amazon's hiring would not create a gender balance within Seattle. Regardless, it doesn't say that less racial diversity = crime. That's a dumb statement you made; not the article.

      • by Kohath ( 38547 )

        The summary clearly associates an increase in people of a specific skin color with more crimes. You are correct that it doesn't say "causes", but the skin-color/crime association is clearly made. Making statements that associate skin color with crimes is called bigotry in other cases. It should be treated the same here.

    • Another anti-Amazon rant from reifman? Sigh... Same story, different slant. And predictably, Slashdot is promoting his click-bait nonsense just because a tech company is mentioned.

      Sorry, Amazon has been good for Seattle. Jobs are a good thing. Taxes get paid. Rent gets paid. People can eat. They buy things from other local businesses, and the cycle continues. You know... all that sort of stuff. People used to celebrate when they saw that an area was vibrant and growing. 75 cranes in the area? I'd

      • by x0ra ( 1249540 )

        We just had a pride celebration after the Supreme Court decision, and an annual pride parade before that, ...

        Sounds like a bad place to have any kind of old-school religious faith.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 11, 2015 @06:58PM (#50090671)

    Amazon is great for Seattle. Property values are going up, and formerly seedy neighborhoods are getting developed and gentrified.

    The media narrative about hate crimes and lack of diversity is just pandering to people who are upset by rising rents and evolving neighborhoods. Seattle's "whiteness" is not a issue unless lower crime rates and less nuisance behavior is somehow problematic. I'm not being racist, just calling a spade a spade here.

    If it's a bar fight and one of the participants happens to be gay or trans-gender, then it becomes a hate crime. Boo hoo. This is just a convenient way to breed an "us versus them" mentality between groups that will always feel marginalized or oppressed somehow vs people climbing the economic ladder.

    The only REAL problem is the traffic, and it is caused by too many cars on the road, and Seattle voters consistently voting against their own best interests.

    • What about those who want to buy a home or rent?

      That is not good at all as $400,000 for a starter home is great if you are a typical Linux programmer like many on here are who make $100,000 a year fresh out of college but many if not most are not. A lowly admin and senior desktop guy would need a room mate where 10 years ago could get a full 2 bedroom place by myself??

      Also have we not learned in 2008 that too much of a good thing thanks to cheap free money by the FED pumping low interest rates due to housin

      • so... dont move to somewhere you cant afford? is that really that hard for people to figure out???
        • Uh yes we people did not get in before the fed jerked up the prices thanks to government debt.

          There is no where you can afford an hour in every direction in New York, Seattle, LA, DC, etc unless you already got in years ago at the right time or you make $70,000 a year or more. That is not the median income by far yet that is supposed to be the median price for a home. That doesn't add up.

          That is a bad thing as it means a coming crash for you home owners as that is unsustainable.

          • living an hour from NYC i say BS,you can find a decent home for under a grand a month in rockland orange and ulster county if you want to own you can buy a nice single family on an acre or 4 for under 200 grand in orange county NY
  • Statistics (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jklovanc ( 1603149 ) on Saturday July 11, 2015 @07:06PM (#50090693)

    Seattle Police Department records show that "bias crimes" against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the first half of 2014 had already outnumbered those for the whole of 2013.

    This statement is meaningless as it gives no contect.

    In the first half of 2014, the Seattle Police Department reported 21 crimes such as assault or vandalism against LGBT people, compared with 19 for all of 2013.

    This statement is more helpful as it points out that there were and extremely low number of incidents in 2013. Doubling a very low number is not difficult. Another thing I just noticed is that these crimes may have nothing to do with hate against LGBT. Just because the victim is LGBT does not mean it is a hate crime.

    • numbers confuse them its all about feelings now
    • They also make no mention of whether crime in general has gone up. I expect that it probably has, if they are cramming that many new people into a city. So if crimes are going up, then crimes against homosexuals also goes up. I find it odd that they even have such a statistic. What difference does it make if a crime is done to a homosexual or any other citizen? Why are the police asking? Are punishments for crimes against homosexuals different than crimes against anyone else? They shouldn't be. How would a
  • by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Saturday July 11, 2015 @07:31PM (#50090789) Journal

    Just expand into Microsoft's buildings: they're still laying off.

  • King County has always been super white. The article didn't say that King County was the whitest in the nation, but the whitest of the 20 most populous counties in the nation. I wouldn't be surprised if its always held that title.
  • /discussion
  • by ArylAkamov ( 4036877 ) on Saturday July 11, 2015 @08:08PM (#50090959)

    "Amazon's hired so many white males that King County is now the whitest in the nation and hate crimes against gays have shot up in a formerly LGBTQ neighborhood. Politicians can't agree on reforming impact fees and taxes to address these issues."

    Irreverent garbage completely unrelated to the article. Could we get something without painfully obvious bias?

    "Oh no, too many white guys! Better fix that!"

    But I thought race was a social construct? Or has that narrative changed?

  • Seattle was wrecked long ago. Amazon is merely defiling the carcass.

  • by russotto ( 537200 ) on Saturday July 11, 2015 @11:18PM (#50091651) Journal

    Amazon, a large tech company, is hiring a bunch of highly-paid confederate-flag waving gay-bashing white men in Seattle, they're turning the whole county white, and they're going around beating up gay people and burning down gay bars?

    Does this even pass the smell test? Of course not. Has anyone involved in this story ever worked for a large modern tech company, or talked to anyone who does? Of course not.

    Check the actual [seattletimes.com] references [bloomberg.com] and you get a different story. First of all, King County is not the whitest in the nation. It's the whitest of the top 20 counties in the nation by population. But at 62.4% white non-Hispanic, it's just below at the national average for whiteness (63.7%). Second, "the county's fastest population growth is happening among Asian and mixed-race people."

    Third, let's take a look at those attacks. The arson? Committed by one Musab Masmari. White tech company employee? Nope. Unemployed drunk raised by Libyan parents mostly in Libya. Race unclear; Arabs are usually counted as white but Libyans are mostly Berbers who are mixed. The other complaints don't mention the employment or race of the perpetrators, though none of them apparently were traced back to tech company employees.

    As the Bloomberg article says, "an industry that's otherwise showering Seattle with jobs and money has become a scapegoat".

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