Smead Capital Management, a large investment firm, has decided to leave the unpredictability and unrest of Seattle for the greener pastures of Phoenix, Arizona.
The decision to leave comes amid the death and destruction that has overtaken the Capitol Hill area of Seattle in the form of the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP).
Prior to the riots which arose nationwide in response to the death of George Floyd, the attractiveness of Seattle was apparently starting to wane. CEO Cole Smead said that recruitment of potential employees was growing more difficult and the cost of living in Seattle is greater than that of Phoenix, likely due to Seattle’s race to ever more absurd minimum wage rates, which over double the Federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.
It seems that the ever-increasing difficulty of running a business in Seattle, the COVID-19 pandemic, and finally the occupation of the Capitol Hill region by leftist radicals finally forced Smead’s hand to decide to leave. In an interview, Smead said his biggest concern was, “what the business community [in Seattle] is going to come back to, and what kind of businesses are going to come back for customers.”
Apparently, Phoenix provides a much more attractive environment for running a business and to live in. According to Smead, “my colleagues [in Phoenix] can pick the socio-economic rung of life that they want … live their lives, build their households and have a family if they’d like.” In contrast, Smead commented, “where we’re coming from just wasn’t like that.”
Unsurprisingly, the investment firm—which manages over $1.5 billion in assets—might not be the only company fleeing the effects liberal politics. Smead shared that he had been “hearing rumors of 40-story buildings that will only be 20-percent occupied by October.”
It seems that CHOP is meeting at least one of its goals: so-called gentrification will almost certainly stop or reverse when the high-paying jobs all leave the city.