In President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address this week, he tackled many important issues, but we latched onto the moment when he said, “Tonight, my message to business leaders is simple: Ask yourselves what you can do to bring jobs back to your country, and your country will do everything we can to help you succeed.”
Obama pointed out that with the cost of labor in China rising, it makes sense to bring jobs back onto American soil and strengthen the economy internally. He said that tax breaks should stop for companies that outsource their jobs overseas. Rather, he said every multinational company should pay a basic minimum tax, and every penny of that should go toward lowering taxes for companies that choose to stay and hire in the United States.
We whole-heartedly agree with our president. It’s important to reward people for bringing jobs back home, not punish them with high taxes. The government has a duty to create incentives in order to sustain the long-term economic health of this country.
Perhaps most importantly, we collectively need to show appreciation for all the companies that choose not to outsource. Too often, we concentrate on condemning those who move jobs overseas — we wallow in the bad — ignoring the good work that is already being done. It is important to validate that good work, reinforce it, so that it seeps into our consciousness — the value of American work done by American hands.
Locally, there’s something else that can be done to give our community a much-needed boost.
This week, we published an edited version of a letter, which Chinatown-International District business owners and community leaders signed, about the unintended economic impact of extending paid parking hours.
The letter made the case that the ID has been hit disproportionately (30–50 percent vs. the 12 percent average) in comparison to other areas of Seattle because the extended paid parking hours fall during the peak times of the restaurant-dominated district.
The ID is asking that the City of Seattle eliminate two hours of paid parking during the peak times. We fully support our district in this matter.
While we and Chinatown business owners understand the city’s need for revenue, we also hope that the city can give a little bit of a break to areas that need special economic consideration. The ID is considered a depressed area, with 30 to 40 percent of its storefronts vacant. Visitors are deterred from coming here due to the drug addicts and dealers that frequent the area.
The City would help us a lot by considering this area one with special economic needs and waive some of the parking requirements. Of course, we don’t expect to have special consideration forever. We just ask for a short-term reprieve, while we build up our community more and weather this tough economy. (end)