Here are a couple of recent stories to drive home the point that the Seattle area economy is not in fact magically separate from the national/international economy, as some have made it out to be over the last few years.
Brad Wong, Seattle P-I: Tough economy forces cutbacks for area residents
The economic shocks to the nation’s banks, stock markets, credit industry and real estate business have forced Seattle-area residents to review their finances and save what they can.
Thoughts about how to pay for bills — from mortgages and rent to higher food and gas prices — have consumed area residents fearful their quality of life could diminish.
As residents — including those not in immediate dire straits — hatch new plans to weather the turmoil, even young people said they are learning how quickly national problems can affect daily life.
Donna Gordon Blankinship, AP: WA people worried but not desperate about economy
People worried about the economy are more likely to seek help paying their bills or feeding their families than turning to suicide or violence as one man did in Los Angeles this week, mental health experts in Washington state said Tuesday.
“I don’t think the average response to the downturn in the economy is more people thinking of suicide because they can’t pay their bills,” said Kathleen Southwick, executive director of the Crisis Clinic in Seattle.
Southwick said her nonprofit agency’s 24-hour crisis line has not seen an increase in calls these past few weeks, but the “211” non-emergency line has seen about a 50 percent increase in the number of people calling to find out where they can get help paying the rent and keeping the lights on.
The last time the help line saw such a sharp increase in calls was a few years ago “when the tech bubble burst,” Southwick said.
So much for the theory that we’re better prepared to weather the storm than we were when the dot-com bubble popped. Who could have guessed that seven years of pretending everything is fine and that we’re magically immune wouldn’t be enough to stop economic calamity from arriving in Washington State?