Exit133 is about Tacoma

Seattle’s economic boom stronger than Tacoma’s

We've been seeing quite a few comparisons betwween Seattle and Tacoma in the news in recent weeks and months.

The latest piece that seems to have everyone's attention this week, comes from the Seattle Times' John Talton, who traces some pretty depressing statistics about Tacoma's economy: employment numbers, foreclosure rates, educational attainment... The list comparing Tacoma to Seattle goes on for a while before getting to the question of whether there's any hope for the smaller of the two cities.

The tantalizing question is whether affordable Tacoma could become Oakland to Seattle’s San Francisco. 

Talton hangs Tacoma's hope for turning around these troubling statistics on whether or not what he calls "a 1970 transportation system dependent on a clogged Interstate 5" can be fixed, connecting it to the growth going on elsewhere in the region... Does anyone else feel a bit lonely reading this?

Read more at Seattle Times



Although I think John Talton is a smart guy and does good research, I find that he leans too heavily on statistics, which, I admit, is his job. Because of this reliance on statistics, he is often good at providing insight into things that are already happening but often misses the mark when he makes predictions, which is why I don’t really find this article all that important. It really just highlights the shortcomings of statistics to predict the future and the real ignorance of Tacoma that characterizes many Seattleites.

May 13, 2015 at 4:05 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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I’m not sure why John Talton or anybody else would compare Tacoma to Seattle—they are two different places. He could have written about how the real estate market in Seattle has overheated and crushed the dreams of many blue collar families who have lived that city for generations. In some ways, the economy is actually better here in Tacoma, even though we don’t currently have the huge growth of King County (yet).

May 13, 2015 at 6:33 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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I would feel better about Talton’s distant opining about Tacoma if The News Tribune had a business columnist who knew enough about Tacoma to engage him in a decent debate/discussion about Tacoma’s economic trajectory and role in the region.  Unfortunately, Talton’s TNT colleague (Bill Virgin) also knows more about Seattle than Tacoma.  They should hire a truly local business columnist.

May 15, 2015 at 6:41 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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