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Amazon’s Decision To Pull Out of NYC Is a Massive Blow To Corporate Welfare

Amazon’s Decision To Pull Out of NYC Is a Massive Blow To Corporate Welfare

David Dayen

Amazon announced Thursday the company has canceled its bid to acquire nearly $3 billion in public dollars to locate a facility in New York City—the most substantial setback for corporate welfare in recent memory.

Dayen sez:
“… (Amazon) would proceed with its other HQ2 site in Crystal City, Virginia, as well as a 5,000-employee ‘Operations Center of Excellence’ in Nashville, Tennessee. Politicians in those locations have been generally hospitable to the deals, which will yield close to a billion dollars more for Amazon.”

In long-distance competition, you will periodically see a runner bolt too fast from the starting line and build an impressive early lead. Invariably, s/he will fade, be overtaken by the field and, ultimately, veer off the track and call it quits.

NYC is that runner. The race to the bottom, meanwhile, continues apace.

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From the article:

"If you want to make good public policy, you have to include the public.”

Given the rightward drift of the US since the passage of the National Security Act of 1947, that quote would make a most ironic epitaph for small-d democracy.

That being said, any victory, however small or transitory, should be celebrated.

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NYC just said No to corporate welfare. Good for them.

There are lots of ways to attract business to an area – good schools and hospitals, an educated labor force, a stimulating cultural environment, infrastructure to be proud of and that business can leverage, etc, etc. But taking money out of your pockets and mine and using it to fill the pockets of millionaires and billionaires has got to stop.

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Recall the trust busting Roosevelts were from New York. Trust busting during the first half of the 20th century played a big part in creating the strong mid-century middle class.

Saint Ron ascending the throne in 1981 and the 1985 Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) formation put anti-trust regulations and enforcement into a downward spiral that accelerated when Trump and the GOP controlled Congress took over in 2017.

Amazon, the Walton empire, and rapidly growing too-big-to-fail banks are the 21st century’s three most egregious examples of monopoly.

Seeing how there are a lot of other venues Amazon WILL succeed in its pursuit of corporate welfare, lets at least hope that New York pushing back on Amazon represents a turning point in reversing nearly four decades of monopoly building in the US and abroad.

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Predictably, Andy Cuomo, "the best politician money can buy", attacked opponents (including his perceived political enemies) of the behind-closed-doors billions of dollars deal with Amazon that “pulled-out” of the deal. Many from communities that opposed the deal as struck and wanted - demanded - further oversight, and details, and negotiations, that were denied to the public and the communities affected most. Bezos took his marbles and left, Cuomo, as always, attacked opponents of his deal in his brand of vindictive ugly politics and centrist corporate model of governance, and de Blasio seemed to place the blame on Bezos for not negotiating in good faith with the community or opponents on issues and threats the project posed to communities in the crosshirs, statewide taxpayers and infrastructure…

Cuomo played his role as ugly, vindictive, tool of big-money and powerful interests as always that he would have benefited from!

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Let’s add the telecom/broadasting cartel to your list.

As for Amazon, they aren’t even going to pursue a second HQ. It almost seems like they were merely interested in wresting billions of $$$ worth of data and tax concessions from cities dumb and desperate enough to go begging.

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Good on the grass roots of Queens and The Bronx that called out this boondoggle and stopped it from happening. I hope this is a big lesson to politicians who try to grab political victories by making these economically wrongheaded economic decisions in the name of bringing jobs. Work at the community level to support small businesses that support a vibrant local economy, not handing out corporate welfare…

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Finally, some good news.
As if Amazon was going to create a large # of high-paying jobs.