Spokane people who went to Seattle to work in war industries reported that the cost of living was so high that it was barely worth it.
“Rents, rooms, food – in fact, all of the necessities of life – have gone sky high in Seattle,” according to the Spokane Daily Chronicle. The higher wages were more than offset by the higher cost of living, reported several Spokane business men. They were appalled at what they found.
“People in Seattle who never had any money find themselves with money in these boom days and are spending it like drunken sailors,” said a Spokane banker. “They are buying pianos and automobiles and what not, and are creating a very unstable condition.”
A visiting banker from Seattle said that the prices had gone so high that “the laboring men and the middle men actually find themselves worse off, in spite of the better salaries which are being paid in the shipyards and other wartime industries.”
“I have been told that you can’t get a house for less than $50 a month in all of Seattle,” said one business man. “And these houses are so far from the center of the city where the wartime industries are located, that it requires from an hour to an hour and a half each way, to and from work.”
The upshot? Most people would be “better off in Spokane with a smaller salary and where the living is reasonable.”
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