Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

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Tag: jobs


Economy starting to show some real signs of life . . . maybe

This editorial will appear in Thursday’s print edition.

Quick, someone. Knock on wood.

While some signs seem to indicate that the nation really might be lumbering out of the Great Recession that economists say technically ended in June 2009, we’re holding our breath, crossing our fingers and, yes, knocking on wood. We won’t believe it until . . . well, we like to think that we’ll know recovery when we see it. And we sure don’t want to jinx it by proclaiming it a done deal.
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Farms need legalized seasonal help, not a handful of felons

This editorial will appear in Tuesday’s print edition.

The connection between illegal immigration and agriculture has been blindingly obvious for decades, but apparently not obvious enough for some.

An apparent decline in the number of migrant farm workers has been hitting Washington orchardists hard – hard enough that Gov. Chris Gregoire has gamely experimented with prison labor. She recently dispatched 105 volunteer inmates from the state’s mininum-security work camp in Clallam County to harvest apples at an orchard in Eastern Washington.

A long-term solution, this is not. Washington’s farmers need thousands, not hundreds, of laborers. For many years, the majority of them have been illegal aliens, mostly from Mexico. Read more »


Economic crisis is a poor time for political pettiness

This editorial will appear in Sunday’s print edition.

Last week, U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner and other Republican leaders devoted themselves to quarreling with the White House about the timing of a presidential address to Congress.

The monumental question: Wednesday? Or Thursday?

Closer to home, the Tacoma Education Association continued its campaign to exaggerate the size of the school district’s rainy day fund and grab as much of it as possible.

Some people apparently have more pressing concerns than the economic hurricane that may be bearing down on the nation, the state and local governments – including the Tacoma School District.

Given the darkening skies, politicians, unions, employers ought to be collaborating anxiously on plans to survive the next couple of years. Not perpetuating old disputes that strike most people as petty and self-serving. Read more »


Higher ed lays golden eggs; don’t strangle it

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

A recent story in The Seattle Times vividly illustrated the tight connection between college opportunity and the state economy.

The engineering site director for Google in the Seattle region, Brian Bershad, told the Times that he can’t get enough computer-science engineers from the University of Washington. “If the UW could produce 1,000 amazing engineers every year,” he said, “we’d find a way to hire them.”

Often companies can’t achieve their growth potential for lack of qualified job applicants. Google is in a position to recruit from throughout the world, so it will

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Jobs bill’s benefits don’t outweigh risks

This editorial will appear in the Thursday print edition.

State Rep. Hans Dunshee, D-Snohomish, thinks he has the cure for what ails the economy – and state lawmakers.

His green jobs bill, a slimmed-down version of what he called “the WPA of its time” in 2009, was the first bill to pass the House when the regular session convened in January.

It promptly died in the Senate, where lawmakers showed little interest in its plan to borrow $861 million to put building trades back to work. Senators were right to be leery: Debt payments on that $861 million would come from the general fund, which is in a hole and projected to remain that way for the next few years.

But now, with lawmakers scrambling for something more than tax increases to show for their time in Olympia, Dunshee’s legislation is getting a second look. On Tuesday, the House voted again to send the measure to the Senate, where it’s getting if not a warm reception at least a friendlier one.

The Senate should trust its instincts. Dunshee’s plan is ill-timed and a potential threat to the state’s fiscal health.

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