Puget Sound Regional Council – A Trainwreck in the Making

Fertile Ground for Corruption

Western Washington is increasingly ruled by unelected regional planning agencies with great power, utopian visions, hefty budgets, and little accountability.

In other words–the perfect breeding ground for corruption.

The Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) joins other obscure regional governments like the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA), and the Olympic Regional Clean Air Agency (ORCAA) that wield enormous power over our daily lives.

PSRC controls transportation dollars, and can withhold them when they believe that their visions are being disregarded.

And like these other regional agencies, the Puget Sound Regional Council makes it clear that they have the power to change the way people live and work.

Mega perks for special friends

They also freely choose who gets their special favors, by promoting their own top ten “industry clusters.”

PSRC helps their hand-picked “industry clusters” get lucrative perks like tax credits, grants, special rules, and other privileges that are denied to others.

PSRC gives no reason why these industries were chosen over much larger ones.

Some of PSRC’s industry clusters have minimal significance in the Puget Sound region, with a population of 3.8 million:

WIth PSRC’s aid, employment in both “clean technology” and life sciences and global health” both dropped dramatically from 2014-2016.

In just two short years, clean technology lost 23% of their jobs.  Life sciences and global health lost over 28% – nearly one in three jobs.

In 2014, PSRC had also included “philanthropies” as one of their main industry clusters–even though that cluster only had 2,423 employees out of 3.8 million people.   That mini cluster has since been dropped from PSRC’s perk pool.

How did these obscure “industry clusters” get so much clout with the PSRC?

What are these little clusters going to do with their clout?

Who will benefit?  Who will lose?

A small Idaho company involved in Puget Sound regional planning

The PSRC also identifies “information technology” as one of their ten industry clusters.

That was actually a reasonable choice, considering the high-tech power players in the Puget Sound region.

Yet the PSRC outsourced their economic modeling to a small, out of state company.

PSRC uses data from EMSI, a small company in Moscow, Idaho to justify their choices for their cherry-picked industries.

PSRC’s website gives no reason for choosing Idaho’s EMSI as their data source, rather than government statistics, or their own region’s experts–particularly since they chose “information technology” as a key Puget Sound industry.

The EMSI statistics–the basis of PSRC’s industry cluster assertions–have been flatly disputed by evidence from Washington State’s own Employment Security Department and Seattle Business Magazine’s economic outlook analysis.

But who’s counting?  Not EMSI, apparently.

And not that it seems to matter.

So who is EMSI, and why were they chosen over our own experts?  With our own taxpayer dollars?

PSRC re-educates to “combat NIMBY-ism”

PSRC isn’t content just to hand out favors and taxpayer dollars with minimal oversight.

They are determined to enforce their vision of where and how we should live and work.

That vision could be a nightmare existence for many of our region’s citizens.

Simply put, the PSRC wants us crammed into boxes built by their favored builders in their favored locations–even though much of our region is sparsely populated.

Western Washington population distribution.
Western Washington population distribution.

 

For those who could somehow afford a yard in PSRC’s utopian vision, the PSRC wants to make sure it’s a tiny one.

And if we object to this latest Big Brother?

PSRC has an ominous plan that they call “Citizen Education and Outreach.

The latest polite term for “re-education.”

This plan has many “Tool Kits” to deal with troublesome people who want to have a say in how they live-–such as lessons on how to “combat NIMBY-ism” (as in “not-in-my-backyard”-ism).

Will ACORN be reborn through PSRC’s regional housing plan?

PSRC has enormous power to grant favors and hand out money through their regional housing network.

Is there any way we can find out how all that power and money is really being used?

Our state doesn’t seem to have learned much from other places that toss around big bucks on utopian fantasies of how and where folks should live.

Utopian fantasies that have taken their shape in one failed and corrupt housing program after another.

Remember ACORN?

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