Posted by: Timothy Ellis (The Tim)

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market.

55 responses to “Seattle Still Not a “World Class City””

  1. Kary L. Krismer

    Where’s Compton?

    What increases prices is a lot of people with high incomes wanting to live an an area with limited housing. Being a world class city would attract some such people, and deter others.

    In contrast, having an economy that has a lot of high income employment will help attract people and increase prices, and I don’t think there are many people who are deterred by high wages. Also, wage levels are a bit less subjective than whether or not and to what degree a city is a world class city.

    Stated more succinctly, I wouldn’t pay much attention at all to whether or not any city is a world class city.

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  2. wreckingbull

    This whole ‘world-class’ B.S. reminds me of this gem of days gone by. Same argument, different city.

    http://www.bloodhoundrealty.com/BloodhoundBlog/?p=114

    For a bonus laugh, note the date of the blog post.

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  3. Erik

    Sucks to get beaten out by Houston.

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  4. Ira Sacharoff

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 1:

    Where’s Compton?

    What increases prices is a lot of people with high incomes wanting to live an an area with limited housing. Being a world class city would attract some such people, and deter others.

    In contrast, having an economy that has a lot of high income employment will help attract people and increase prices, and I don’t think there are many people who are deterred by high wages. Also, wage levels are a bit less subjective than whether or not and to what degree a city is a world class city.

    Stated more succinctly, I wouldn’t pay much attention at all to whether or not any city is a world class city.

    Oh My God! We’re only a Beta city? Good thing they’ve got those high railings on the Aurora Bridge nowadays. Otherwise the populace would be jumping off .
    I’ve been hearing that phrases “World Class City” and “Seattle ” mentioned together since the 1990’s. I think it was former Mayor Paul Schell who was envisioning Seattle as some kind of “Geneva of the Northwest” or some such nonsense.
    He was the wealthiest Mayor in recent years. He had a place in the South of France, a condo near the Pike Place market, and a hotel on Whidbey Island. But he was also more sympathetic than the Mayors that came after him. During Schell’s short stay as Mayor, we had the 7.0 earthquake, and the Mardi Gras riots. As Mayor, Schell also managed to get physically attacked by a guy with a megaphone at a public event,, resulting in the Mayor getting taken to the hospital and suffering some eye damage.
    We can thank this sad sack of a politician for being maybe the first prominent local politician to promote that vile phrase “World Class” in Seattle.

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  5. Scotsman

    Detroit, nipping at our heels? I think there may be an issue with the methodology?

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  6. mmmarvel

    RE: Erik @ 3

    Living in Houston, I think it sucks to be rated that close to Seattle.

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  7. David B.

    RE: Erik @ 3 – Frankly, I don’t give a rip. I’d rather live here than Houston. I’m not so personally insecure that I need rankings to justify my choice.

    Which place is “best” to live is such a subjective and personal decision that these sorts of rankings are minimally useful at best.

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  8. David B.

    I wish the local Establishment would stop trying to make Seattle something it can clearly never be (a world-class city) and instead focus on making it the best regional city it can be.

    Seattle’s location is sufficiently far from both the geographic or population centers of the USA that its chances of becoming one of the USA’s “world class” cities ranges somewhere between slim and none. Just the way it is.

    And so far as world-class metro areas go, I tried living in one about 14 years ago. World-class crowds, world-class traffic, and world-class sky-high housing prices. No thanks; I’ll take someplace smaller.

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  9. Kary L. Krismer

    By David B. @ 8:

    And so far as world-class metro areas go, I tried living in one about 14 years ago. World-class crowds, world-class traffic, and world-class sky-high housing prices. No thanks; I’ll take someplace smaller.

    Those are the main reasons I would have no interest in “World Class.”

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  10. No Name Guy

    Only idiots roll out the “world class city” line of BS.

    It’s used to stiff the taxpayers to fund massive ego driven projects for grandiose in their own mind politicians. Just look at the stadiums we’re stuck with – after all, we can’t be a “world class city” without them…..I guess even with them, we still aren’t and never will be. Then again, as noted above, who wants to be. wu-WOOSH…..the sound of a billion dollars being flushed in the name of “being a world class city”. I suppose having streets free of potholes and non-disfunctional schools (amongst other things) would have been a better place to spend the money – but those aren’t part of being “world class”, are they?

    As for the list…..
    NY? no thanks – concrete jungles blow. Chicago – I suppose if being a murder & corruption capital makes you a “world class city”, ok then. LA – ha…..what an armpit, and no amount of Hollyweird / cleb-u-tards / playmates can change that. I’ll skip SF and go on to DC – yeah….class isn’t something that I’d associate with DC.

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  11. Blake

    Hah… Atlanta above Seattle… you gotta be kidding me!? And Houston!? (I was born there… and after we left my parents would NEVER go back! No zoning, no culture…)
    I grew up outside New York and it is pretty awesome… but just to visit and not live.
    Thanks… but I’ll take Seattle.

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  12. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: No Name Guy @ 10 – I gave you a thumbs up on that, even though it came close to being an anti-Seahawk post! ;-)

    Connecting up the topic of Boeing and stadiums, in the past I’ve taken the position that Congress should make it illegal for state and local governments to subsidize professional sports stadiums, unless they also own the team. But I don’t have a problem with what Boeing did–trying to get tax credits for locating production of a new plane in a certain location. I have a hard time reconciling that, except that with a sports team it’s still the same basic product, where with other things they arguably do change, so it’s not a case of pure blackmail.

    And Blake, obviously Atlanta should be above Seattle. After all, Seattle is only barely above Detroit (thanks to Scotsman for pointing that out.)

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  13. ricklind

    Geography counts a lot. Every time I travel to the East Coast I am reminded how close the East Coast cities are and how far, far away Seattle is from that perspective. We’re certainly more important to Japan and China from a port perspective than some of the East Coast ports, but we really are out here in the provinces otherwise compared to the Eastern US.

    But after the Cyberwar, Grid Failure and the collapse of the US Federal Authority we will at least have a functioning region, Cascadia. 8^)

    Fel Temp Reparatio

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  14. Alex Francis Burchard

    RE: No Name Guy @ 10 – Chicago is far from being a murder capital. I’m not going to argue with corruption, but I am going to say that you won’t find a more well-run city in the states I think. For all of its bullchocolate, Chicago actually runs spectacularly well.

    Also, the fact that we are above Detroit is pretty impressive actually, as this list basically tracks population, except that Seattle is smaller(by quite a bit) than Detroit.

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  15. ejs

    Detroit is larger, has MUCH more history and historical architecture, more diversity in the region, better art, better music, and bigger variety of food. RE: Scotsman @ 5 – Detroit is larger, has MUCH more history and historical architecture, more diversity, better art and better music. RE: Scotsman @ 5 -

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  16. No Name Guy

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 12

    Well, I’d extend it one more from you Kary – were I King for a day, I’d make it illegal for ANY political subdivision of the United States – state, local, etc to give any tax breaks for any corporation – same rules in a jurisdiction for everyone. I’d also ban any government entity for owning a sports team or building a stadium for use by a for profit sports team.

    Alex – nice one. Your sarcasm and snark comes through clean. Chicago….well run… Man, you got me howling on that one. And 500+ murders in 2012 and 5 in one day on December 23, 2013, yep….certainly not a murder capital at ALL. ;-)

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  17. Erik

    What the heck is going on? Detroit? Really? Detroit is the nasitiest place in the US to live. Chicago has gotten much better, but I grew up around there in the 80’s and it was super nasty. There were murders daily. I think there was a lot of crack in that area, which brought murders. It is so crazy to me how people have such crazy ideas of where they live. Maybe it is just internet people? ejs is nuts! Probably from Detroit.

    Anybody from detroit, please stay out of my seattle, you will make seattle worse. We know what you are about. If you come here, please move to the following cities: Everett, Tacoma, Lakewood(near tacoma), most of pierce county.. these places are nasty. Please stay away from the nice areas.

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  18. One Eyed Man

    If you want Seattle to be alpha world class, you better rig the criteria with something Seattle can win at like mean level of educational achievement because in the eyes of the world, we’re a lot closer to Minneapolis and Houston than we are to NY or LA, not to mention a few dozen other cities around the world.

    Face it, if we were an alpha world class city, the Stones would play here, the Eagles would book more dates and our best known (non-cyber) cultural achievement wouldn’t be called grunge. Seattle is probably more comparable to the Beta cities (as opposed to the alphas, zetas or upsilons) in most things one might rank cities in but so the F what. I’m old so when I go downtown I’m usually more interested in how long I’ll be stuck in traffic on I-5 before I can get to where I’m really going than what’s playing at the Rep, the best new restaurant or whether Starbucks made its trillionth cup of syrupy swill. My destination likely isn’t downtown, and my immediate attention is more likely on whether I can find a way around all the other poor bastards in the world class traffic jam than whether the American style football game that’s contributing to my irritable bowl syndrome is a world class sport.

    As to the methodology used by those picking “world class cities”, I’m pretty sure that it has as much relevance to me as the methodology used to identify how many angels can sit on the head of a pin and what’s the prettiest color for a turd. The most interesting thing about an article on things like “world class cities” is finding out where the hell Kuala Lumpur is which has more rain, more people and taller buildings than Seattle but probably doesn’t come up when Seattleites discuss world class cities on their cell phones while ignoring the world class view from the interstate.

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  19. Blurtman

    Many of the large old cities suffer from malicious neglect, and illustrate the problem with one dimensional profit maximization. Philly, NYC, Chicago all have some pretty grisly areas, for example. The large East Coast cities have had a head start, and it might be the weather, but the crappy parts of LA somehow don’t seem as depressing as the slums of Chicago. And old doesn’t have to mean ugly. But when you add impersonal high rise buildings, run down buildings, lots of concrete, steel, and little nature, and dirty streets, you get NYC. And the subway system there is depressing – old, dirty. No financial justification to renovate, that is the problem with a lot of the large cities.

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  20. Kary L. Krismer

    By No Name Guy @ 16:

    Chicago….well run… Man, you got me howling on that one. And 500+ murders in 2012 and 5 in one day on December 23, 2013, yep….certainly not a murder capital at ALL. ;-)

    They can’t be the murder capital of the world because they intentionally violate the Bill of Rights there and ban guns. /sarcasm

    Maybe Seattle would have scored higher if they hadn’t just giving up the gun ban in libraries based on a single email pointing out it was an illegal ban? NYC, LA and Chicago all scored high, so banning guns must be part of being a world class city, right?

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  21. Ira Sacharoff

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 18
    The prettiest color for a turd is purple. We need to commission a government study to find out which city’s residents produce the most purple turds. Then declare them World Class. The turds or the people producing them, not the city.

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  22. softwarengineer

    The Minneapolis/Seattle Parity Is True

    Especially since this Minneapolis comparison includes the Twin City [right next to Minneapolis too] St Paul.

    The winter there is horrifying in Minneapolis due to arctic freezing right now in the midwest, but infratructure [roads] are FAR better laid out [a major 6 lane freeway encircles Minneapolis/St Paul]. Flat too….you can still get around OK on the icy roads [most drive 50-60 mph on them with no problem; I did it easily in a 3 cyliner rental Sprint for 2 weeks; drove way into Wisconsin toolies during a snow storm, no problem]. Real estate prices are far lower than Seattle too.

    The mean sales price for homes in Minneapolis is $205K….that’s with a 10% YOY recent increase too.

    http://www.trulia.com/real_estate/Minneapolis-Minnesota/

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  23. softwarengineer

    RE: Erik @ 17

    Detroit is Bankrupt Too

    Its half destroyed [empty factory, etc]…..having said that, it still has Seattle beat, even 20-30% operational, any automotive manufacturing city makes Seattle look like a hack joint, financially comparing sales.

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  24. BacktoBasic

    Detroit surb is much larger and nice than Seattle surb. We are talking about Oakland county and Wayne County. The Detroit Institue of Art has more collection Seattle would dream of, the Fox theater. For sports, Detroit host NBA championship team Piston, NHL Red Wings, I don’t want to mention Lions. Detroit prospers in the turn of last century while Seattle is still a logging town and fur trade center. Only after the oil crisis in the 70’s, and riot after, the middle class fled city to the surb. Even GM and Chrysler bankrupt filing, Detroit is still an American heavy industry heavyweight. The neighbor city like Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus is just hours away. Five largest fresh lakes Michigan has four. Housing price is just 1/2 of Seattle translate more disposable income for Middle class. World class public education institution such as University of Michigan is Seattle kids would dream of. New York, Ohio, Penn State, Chicago Land, Wisconsion, Indiana and all heaving industrized States are just hour flight. Detroit title of top 5 US city has long gone. But if you count the sub population, DTW metropolitan still holds the title. Just look at the Google Map night view, you will see Seattle is so isolated from other civilizations. If Boeing moves to South and MSFT lost tech competitations, we will be back to a NW small port as a cruise terminal to Alaska and docking station for imports cargoship from Asia.

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  25. One Eyed Man

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 21

    If the council approves the study, do you think we could become world class by drinking bottles of red and blue food coloring? Its tasteless if not outright crass, but its a cheap high if you get the Costco brand bottles.

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  26. redmondjp

    RE: BacktoBasic @ 24 – Wow, just wow . . .

    Comparing Seattle and (bankrupt) Detroit makes for a hearty Friday afternoon laugh!

    You are right about one thing however: Seattle is rapidly catching up with Detroit for having the most entertaining/dysfunctional city council. Detroit doesn’t have any avowed socialists on theirs yet, as far as I am aware, so score one for, er, so whose favor is that in?

    Oh, let’s not forget to mention that Seattle’s neighbor Tacoma is becoming more Detroit-like: it’s in the news today that locals have declared a War on Streetlights, pulling out copper wiring faster than city crews can put it back in . . .

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  27. Karl

    ‘World Class’ What’s the definition, who defines it? Most of it is hometown boosterism wishing. Seattle is NOT today a world class city. I include transportation (not including tourist trolley toy systems to nowhere) infrastructure, the demeanor of people, vibe, atmosphere or a sixth sense, beauty (or lack thereof) amongst other criteria. I don’t see Seattle as meriting such a moniker. Most of it self-hyped b.s. which even Little Rock, Arkansas lays claim to. I’ve lived in Wa. state for 37 years. I can say that aside from more glassy office towers and high-priced condos, more traffic, tech companies, Amazon, Starbucks, etc. it’s the same old place down on the ground. Dank, gloomy on cloudy days, crumbling or no sidewalks, tilted stop signs on wooden posts, wooden poles and lines everywhere, just an atmosphere like in many large cities of a burned out shoe. On sunny days the views out Lake Washington to the Cascades or over Elliott Bay to the Olympics are stunning, but that does not give Seattle world class status IMHO. The only cities in the U.S. that come close to the title are San Francisco, NYC, Wash. D.C., and Boston. Tokyo, Singapore, Sydney, Munich, Madrid, Berlin, Amsterdam, Brussels, Helsinki, Stockholm, Oslo, Copenhagen, Vienna, Montreal, London, Rome, Paris, Lisbon are world class. Not Seattle. Please. It takes time, work, investment and class for that. Money can’t buy everything. Sorry, Mr. Bezos, et al.

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  28. willynilly

    It seems that a careful selection of criteria would get you a more accurate set of results that may actually mean something and be useful in rating and selecting whether a city is world class or not. Many of the anecdotal knee jerk responses posted show a lack of ability to think clearly, organize their thoughts or are just plain lazy. Some of you people are all over the place from city council dysfunction, to how a city was 30 years ago. weather quirks, house prices, proximity to other locations, personal preferences. Come on, use your noodle!

    I ask the following question:
    How many fine large cities of the world have you spent some time in as an adult? Layovers in airports, guided tours, cruise ship stops, driving through, or stopping for gas do not even come close to counting. Make a list. What is your count?

    If you have never been outside of the USA (at least a few times) then close your pie hole because you have no freaking idea what you are talking about.

    Pick 4 criteria that you feel are valid key measurements in determining if a city is world class (today) or not. Vote on that.

    If you spout off nonsense or wisdom here you should at least comment on the city count of places you have actually been. I haven’t traveled in a while and we did not travel when I was a kid growing up, so my count is only about 30 so far, (and I am not a business traveler).

    LA (lived many years)
    SF (lived a few years)
    Seattle (lived 6 years)
    NYC x6
    Chicago x25
    DC x3
    Philly x2
    Atlanta x1
    Minneapolis x1
    Dallas x2
    Phoenix x20
    Salt Lake x4
    Toronto x5
    Vancouver x3
    TJ (doesn’t count)
    Hawaii (doesn’t count)

    London x1
    Dublin x3
    Antwerp x1
    Paris x2
    Berlin x4
    Cologne x3
    Madrid x2
    Barcelona x4
    Florence x3
    Rome x1
    Milan x1
    Budapest x1
    Seoul x1
    Beijing x1
    Shanghai x1

    For me a world class city has to be of a certain size, it has historical importance, exceptional cultural offerings and entertainment, significant educational institutions, is an economic powerhouse, and is a generator of innovative development. All the great places have extensive transit options, usually have ethnic diversity, and are appealing as a travel destination. A bonus is natural beauty.

    How can you know if something is good or not if you do not have exposure?

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  29. doug

    World class in the northwest Vancouver British Columbia fits the bill easily. Seatle could have been a Vancouver twenty years ago but bad politics steered us the wrong way. Seattle will be there though we are next in line.

    Taltons story on world class cities was weak at best most of the cities in america fell way out of world class along time ago. But then again thats why everybody is moving to Seattle.

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  30. Ann

    World class. Whatever. Not sure I care about some artificial label, but the “alpha” cities on the list are all considerably more expensive than Seattle, as are all of the “alpha” cities worldwide, A number of the cities lower than Seattle on this list are considerably more expensive as well. Houston’s placement on the list is an anomaly that boggles the mind. If it weren’t for the oil wealth, it wouldn’t even be a footnote on that list.

    Cost of housing in a location is a combination of supply/demand, and local regulations. Seattle has a bunch of high income people moving here for jobs. Nothing more. If people couldn’t pay the prices, the prices wouldn’t be what they are. Honestly, given the constrained landmass, the level of high wage employment, and that Seattle is generally a nice place to live, I’m surprised prices are as low as they are.

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  31. Azucar

    By Karl @ 27:

    ‘World Class’ What’s the definition, who defines it? Most of it is hometown boosterism wishing. Seattle is NOT today a world class city. I include transportation (not including tourist trolley toy systems to nowhere) infrastructure, the demeanor of people, vibe, atmosphere or a sixth sense, beauty (or lack thereof) amongst other criteria. I don’t see Seattle as meriting such a moniker. Most of it self-hyped b.s. which even Little Rock, Arkansas lays claim to. I’ve lived in Wa. state for 37 years. I can say that aside from more glassy office towers and high-priced condos, more traffic, tech companies, Amazon, Starbucks, etc. it’s the same old place down on the ground. Dank, gloomy on cloudy days, crumbling or no sidewalks, tilted stop signs on wooden posts, wooden poles and lines everywhere, just an atmosphere like in many large cities of a burned out shoe. On sunny days the views out Lake Washington to the Cascades or over Elliott Bay to the Olympics are stunning, but that does not give Seattle world class status IMHO. The only cities in the U.S. that come close to the title are San Francisco, NYC, Wash. D.C., and Boston. Tokyo, Singapore, Sydney, Munich, Madrid, Berlin, Amsterdam, Brussels, Helsinki, Stockholm, Oslo, Copenhagen, Vienna, Montreal, London, Rome, Paris, Lisbon are world class. Not Seattle. Please. It takes time, work, investment and class for that. Money can’t buy everything. Sorry, Mr. Bezos, et al.

    I have some issues with a number of cities in the list that you claim to be “world class”. Helsinki? Stockholm? Oslo? Lisbon?

    Sydney is, but that’s mostly because they put beets on their hamburgers down there to help with the purple turd thing. Just kidding, I Sydney is world class for other reasons beyond the beets… but a lot of those other cities are less significant than Seattle… most have better public transport so it could be argued on that front, but that’s mostly because people in those cities can’t afford (or there’s not as much in the surrounding areas to merit ownership) to own cars as widely as people in the US do. They all get taxed much more heavily than people in the US do, and some of that tax money goes to public transportation. Other than the public transportation, though, IMO they don’t beat Seattle on many front and Seattle betters many of them on a lot of fronts.

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  32. Ron

    What makes Seattle a world class city is that most people don’t appreciate it. If they did, it would be a crap-hole like most cities.

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  33. ChefJoe

    Jon Talton has quite the obsession with “World Class-ness”. Don’t you know, without a new NBA arena we’re already doomed to detroit-itude.

    http://www.fieldofschemes.com/2005/01/21/843/convention-centers-the-drug-of-the-nation/
    Over the past few days, Sanders’ Brookings report has gotten a mess of press coverage, with the New York Times noting it “raises questions about the wisdom of joining the convention hall space race,” while Bloomberg News columnist Joe Mysak called it “The Report Wall Street Doesn’t Want You to Read.” Of course, then there’s Arizona Republic columnist Jon Talton, who looked at Sanders’ figures of a plummeting convention market and drew this conclusion: “This is an arms race that Phoenix must win. If only 10 cities nationally will eventually compete for trade shows, Phoenix should be among them. If anything, the Civic Plaza expansion is years late.”

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  34. Corndogs

    By softwarengineer @ 23:

    RE: Erik @ 17

    Detroit is Bankrupt Too

    Its half destroyed [empty factory, etc]…..having said that, it still has Seattle beat, even 20-30% operational, any automotive manufacturing city makes Seattle look like a hack joint, financially comparing sales.

    the GDP of the Seattle Metro area is higher than the GDP of the Detroit Metro Area. Put another plastic bag over your head and try again.

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  35. Corndogs

    There’s no such thing as a “world” class city. It would be more accurate to say ‘Western culture’ class city. What these cities typically have in common is Jewish styled money lending, Western business suits, Western European rules of law and order, American capitalist styled market place, the Western concepts of beauty, morality and modes of entertainment defined by the West and the English language. There is absolutely zero correlation between greatness and cultural diversity except where the Western model has been copied as in Asia or where recent immigration has swamped a once great Western city which inevitably has gone into decline in short order. The world in general has been in awe of the West and anxious to be part of the Western culture. The world doesn’t have a high class to emulate. It is the West that has set the bar. Bet you wished you had a thumbs down button now. . hmmmm?

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  36. Ron

    RE: willynilly @ 28

    willynilly – by your count, you are at least 125 years old – keep up the good work!

    I will close my pie-hole now.

    Seattle will become ‘world class’ this summer with the introduction of legal weed. It will provide a huge boost to tourism among other things.

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  37. Azucar

    By Corndogs @ 35:

    There’s no such thing as a “world” class city. It would be more accurate to say ‘Western culture’ class city. What these cities typically have in common is Jewish styled money lending, Western business suits, Western European rules of law and order, American capitalist styled market place, the Western concepts of beauty, morality and modes of entertainment defined by the West and the English language. There is absolutely zero correlation between greatness and cultural diversity except where the Western model has been copied as in Asia or where recent immigration has swamped a once great Western city which inevitably has gone into decline in short order. The world in general has been in awe of the West and anxious to be part of the Western culture. The world doesn’t have a high class to emulate. It is the West that has set the bar. Bet you wished you had a thumbs down button now. . hmmmm?

    Yes, yes I do. It’s mostly because I think that I vaguely disagree with what I think you’re trying to say, but you didn’t do a good enough job of explaining it or identifying specific things that you’re talking about to address anything in particular with a rebuttal. I think that this is the kind of comment where you would have gotten a bunch of down thumbs and people bringing up examples of places that don’t fit with what it sounds like you are trying to say, and then you could selectively back away from sentiments/parts of it that were demonstrated to be incorrect. And then you could claim that “you were right and the unwashed masses who down thumbed you were again shown to be woefully uninformed” (not that I totally disagree than many of the unwashed masses are woefully uninformed, particularly about other cultures and foreign cities).

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  38. Corndogs

    RE: Azucar @ 37 – Corndogs post as always is quite clear. If you want to get better at understanding things that smart people write, start with reading the first and last sentence. Those sentences usually alert you to the concept being offered. Your problem is that there was a concept introduced, an idea. Of course, your rebuttal if you chose to attempt one, would attempt to show how there are exceptions to every rule and these exceptions would be correct but you’d again miss the main point. This is exactly the way you missed the point that although inventory technically did increase it was statistically flat. In aerospace you’d be the drafter arguing about the line thickness on the drawing and annoying the people trying to design an airplane.

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  39. willynilly

    RE: Corndogs @ 35

    So what your saying is a selection of criteria cannot be used to measure and compare a selection of cities, score and rate them? Who said anything about western class of cities?

    Economic prosperity, quality and breath of infrastructure, economic excellence, arts and performance venues, public spaces, educational institutions, shopping, dining, parks and recreation, natural beauty, cost of living, crime levels, architecture, lifespan of inhabitants.
    population density, air/water quality, energy efficiency, public transportation, healthcare. etc,

    Outside of some primitive isolated groups of people living in small groups most everything is connected, global, and becoming more and more similar. If you got out you would know this. I am curious to know where your statement comes from? What is your cultural / travel exposure? From what you are stating it sounds like you have some cultural insecurities these sorts of things usually stem from ignorance and lack of exposure. This is not a Capex, it is Culpex!

    Here are some cultures I have been heavily exposed to: growing up, through work relationships, and personal friendships. All of them have been immigrants from other cultures, English was not their first language and was seldom spoken in their homes.

    Cuban, Filipino, Mexican, Guamanian, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Inuit, Afghans, Iranian, Lebanese, Israeli, Greeks, Italian, Spanish, German, Swiss, Irish, English, Ghanaian, Zimbabwean, Canadian. Less exposure to a handful of others.

    My grandparents all emigrated from Eastern Europe. Half of my family hold citizenship from a non US country, none of my in-laws were US born.

    Please divulge what your cultural exposure is. Thank you.

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  40. willynilly

    RE: Ron @ 36
    Ron, I am between 45-51. To people that never travel, being to more than a handful of non- US countries seems like being a world traveler. Some of my travel junkie friends have been to many more places than I. Many people in this country think traveling is something you do when you are 55+. The best time to travel is in your 20’s and 30’s in my opinion – when you have more energy and can be influenced and affected. Older people are – less pliant. I guess if you don’t have the DRD4-7R gene, it is all much less compelling.

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  41. Azucar

    By Corndogs @ 38:

    RE: Azucar @ 37 – Corndogs post as always is quite clear. If you want to get better at understanding things that smart people write, start with reading the first and last sentence. Those sentences usually alert you to the concept being offered. Your problem is that there was a concept introduced, an idea. Of course, your rebuttal if you chose to attempt one, would attempt to show how there are exceptions to every rule and these exceptions would be correct but you’d again miss the main point. This is exactly the way you missed the point that although inventory technically did increase it was statistically flat. In aerospace you’d be the drafter arguing about the line thickness on the drawing and annoying the people trying to design an airplane.

    No, you just seem to have a bit of a naive viewpoint. Yes, maybe in your circle the definition of a “world class city” is really a “western culture city”, but that’s not the only definition of it. People all around the world have different visions of what a “world class city”. The factors that people from different cultures/groups look at in deciding if they consider a city to be “world class” do differ to some extent from what Americans look at when considering the same thing, but only to an extent. You were vague in who you were referring to as “non-western” (as I alluded to in my initial criticism of your post) cultures, but let’s take India or China as an example. They may differ with Americans on whether or not say Chicago or Miami is a “world class city”, but my guess is that if you surveyed the general population of the non-western world they would acknowledge that London and New York are “world class cities” (when presented with the data – such as population, infrastructure, photos/maps, a description of amenities, etc. – if they were not familiar with the cities already). Anywhere around the world (not just the western world) people recognize New York and acknowledge it as a major city “Ah, ok… you American? New York! Big Apple! Go Yankees!” That’s a conversation that happens in more than just the “Western world”.

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  42. Ira Sacharoff

    How much does it personally benefit us if the place we live in truly is “World Class”?
    For me, not at all. For me, unless I was fabulously wealthy, living in a “World Class City” would just mean that prices would be really high, and that there would be a lot of “World Class” entertainment options that I couldn’t afford. Name a “World Class” city famous for their numerous trees and parkland.

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  43. Blurtman

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 42 – Yes, but as you rummaged through the dumpsters, you could hold your head up higher than the lesser dumpster rummagers of Cleveland, Ohio.

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  44. Erik

    RE: Azucar @ 41
    Your comments low value and you are getting high praise via thumbs up. The same thing happened with wreckingbull. Give it a rest sugar. You stated the obvious that the criteria is different than we would expect. That is why all of these dumps like Houston and Detroit scored so high. Maybe the criterion is murders and thefts, which I am sure those places accel. Next time they may call Clark county world class.

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  45. Benjamin Lukoff

    RE: Corndogs @ 35 – “Jewish styled money lending”? What??

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  46. Ira Sacharoff

    By Benjamin Lukoff @ 45:

    RE: Corndogs @ 35 – “Jewish styled money lending”? What??

    In the middle ages, Jews were prohibited from working in the trades. And the church dictated that Christians were not allowed to charge interest on loans. Judaism has no such restriction, so essentially Jews were forced into becoming moneylenders, because there were very few other occupations they were allowed to do.
    Yup, hearing ” Jewish styled money lending” makes me wish for a thumbs down button. If I didn’t know that Corndogs was an upstanding, fair guy, I might think he were insinuating that there is an evil Jewish banking cabal that runs the world banking system, as well as Hollywood, and controls all of our politicians.
    If he’d said “Jewish Style Pastrami”, I could see it. But here, I’m afraid, we’d have to refer to it as “World Class Pastrami”.

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  47. Blurtman

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 46 – I dunno, Ira, George W. Bush was an ardent member of a Jewish sect, founded millennia ago by a radical Jewish mystic.

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  48. Azucar

    RE: Erik @ 44

    Low value to who? Are you now the judge of what a valuable post is in here?

    And to think, it wasn’t much more than a few months ago that you started posting here and acknowledged that you were inexperienced and were just here to learn. How quickly you’ve risen to the top of the totem pole.

    Maybe instead of assuming that you are the victim of some organized gang of down-thumbers, you should consider a more simple hypothesis. After all you are an engineer, aren’t you? You must be familiar with the principle of “Ockham’s razor”. Maybe there are just a lot of people in here who disagree with the same people that I do and, like me, don’t always want to go to the trouble of explaining why what they are saying is either biased, uninformed, or outright wrong (or in some cases maybe even just poorly written or lacking sufficient clarity to be considered a “good comment”). Back in the old days, before the removal of the “down thumb” button, those people could, like I used to, just down thumb the comments that I vaguely disagreed with or vaguely disliked for some reason. Now that that avenue of expression is no longer open, what remains is either writing out a post that explains it to you guys OR “up thumbing” the posts that disagree with the posts that those people disagree with. Maybe that is why some of my posts that point out flaws in either your or Cornie’s posts are getting up-thumbed. It’s easier than laying things out for you like I’ve done above.

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  49. Erik

    RE: Azucar @ 48
    Lay it out for me! I need explanation! Otherwise nobody learns anything and nothing is gained.

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  50. ARDELL

    WON the Super Bowl AND Celebrated it…like a World Class City!!!

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  51. Kary L. Krismer

    By ARDELL @ 50:

    WON the Super Bowl AND Celebrated it…better than a World Class City!!!

    Fixed. ;-)

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  52. Ira Sacharoff

    I don’t want to live in a World Class City. But I’m very happy to have a World Class football team.

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  53. Julie

    It seems that the reason why Seattle is not a world class city is because the majority of its citizens don’t want it to be (including some who posted here). People are pretty happy with the status quo here and don’t want or want to imagine if things were to change. All the world class cities do have a lot of problems and I think that’s why most of Seattle doesn’t want to change, in fear in heading that direction. So, the status quo remains. I don’t think things will change unless things have to.

    Personally, I enjoy living in Seattle. Why bother it being a world class city, when I can just go up to Vancouver when I want my big city fix? And Seattle can teach some of these world class cities a thing or two – we have more parks in our city than in some of these older ones. In fact, some cities are learning that to make their citizens happy, they have to bring some parks back and are learning from us. Having said that, there are some things about a world class city that I wish Seattle would adopt: more open attitude and better communication, a better public transportation system, more consistent highway safety standards to the rest of the country (left lane exits and right lane entrances onto a left lane are not cute and make us unique; they are flat out dangerous), etc. It’s the communication and more open attitude that I think holds Seattle back. It prevents it from being a more dynamic place, and that is really what is the draw to a lot of the world class cities, like London, New York – not their trash, bad politics, etc. – people crave a dynamic and energetic environment and that’s what’s missing from Seattle. Until that happens, which I’m not sure Seattle can change because it prides itself in being a friendly city, too (there needs to be a balance of both), I do think that the city is overpriced for what you get, which disappoints many. Don’t get me wrong, Seattle is as experimental as other cities, but that energy and dynamism is not as pervasive as in other cities.

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  54. binip

    As a local resident who does not yet own property, I’d like to say that I am happy we are beta, and would like us to remain beta for a long time. At least five years, during which I intend to save up an awesome down payment, would suffice. Beta all the way.

    There have got to be some people willing to get off the I5 and back to alpha-class Chicago. I hear they have world-class sandwiches there, and a really big airport.

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