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Calling Promises of Jobs 'Smoke and Mirrors,' Outraged New Yorkers Confront Amazon at City Council Meeting on HQ2


Calling Promises of Jobs 'Smoke and Mirrors,' Outraged New Yorkers Confront Amazon at City Council Meeting on HQ2

Julia Conley, staff writer

After being kept in the dark about New York's $3 billion deal with Amazon, allowing the trillion-dollar corporation to build its new headquarters—complete with helicopter landing pad for CEO Jeff Bezos—in the Queens neighborhood of Long Island City, concerned New York City Council members and scores of angry New Yorkers on Wednesday angrily confronted company representatives over the plan.


“You’re worth a trillion dollars,” New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson said bluntly to Amazon officials Brian Huseman and Holly Sullivan. “Why do you need our $3 billion when we have crumbling subways, crumbling public housing, people without health care, public schools that are overcrowded?”

I believe the simple answer is “because you were stupid enough to give it to us.”

The politicians have no one but themselves to blame. They’re the ones who fell all over themselves to attract Amazon. Amazon did not hold a gun to NYC’s head and say “Give us $3B”, rather Cuomo and DeBlasio took bags o’money to Amazon and said “please oh please come to our fair city, and we’ll happily make everyone sacrifice their first-born for you!”


You’d expect dirty tricks like this from Cuomo, but I thought DeBlasio was a good guy, not a sellout. Who can you trust nowadays?


Sigh. Perhaps that $3 billion factored in to Amazon going there in the first place. These protestors should realize multiple cities were competing for the placement.

You’re going to get thousands of new high paying jobs who will each pay a chunk of their income to NYC. In turn, Amazon will have to pay these workers more than they would elsewhere if they want to attract out of state talent to pay for the higher taxes and higher cost of living.

Maybe the real question is why NYC can’t manage its city despite record tax revenues. I bet you would find way more savings by looking into corruption and waste that is always inherent with local city governments.

But the answer is always more more more. The city can’t collect enough taxes.


Although $3 billion in corporate welfare sounds like a lot, consider the $8.7 billion that Washington State Governor Inslee gave Boeing, only to see Boeing move jobs OUT of the state.


When “the means of production” are surrendered to a handful of peoples that have accumulated those pools of Capital which comes about because Governments have passed laws and implemented Policy to encourage the same , then that small handul of people with pools of money will dictate policy. They become more powerful than the Government. Their power extends across borders and into the Parliaments and Congresses of every Country on the planet. Everything form Social spending Programs to laws passed to protect the Environment must be done with their approval.

It a stupid and fundamentally un-democratic system. It has to be torn down.

That peoples with net worths of a hundred billions of dollars is not a sign of a successful socio-economic system , it is the sign of one that has failed.


So your comment revolves around New York collecting more, more, more in taxes in response to an article about New York collecting $3 billion less, less, less in taxes?

You should sigh, Eugene. Being clueless is worth sighing over…


.0029% and .000069%. Those are the numbers I got when I compared what Bezos said he was offering to the New York community. About 8.6 million people live in New York. If he started 25000 jobs, that’s about .0029% of the population of the city, not the state. And 600 children, is about .000069% of the population, but that is total population. That number is much smaller if only compared with people under 18. I think that benefits to communities, just like I think that lawasuits against corporations like Monsantos or banks should be based on percentages, not dollars amounts, or whole numbers. If for instance Bezos was helping just 5% of New Yorkers, that number grows considerably and would be helpful to the case of how much the company should save in their legalized tax evasion. But ultimately, I think tax evasion should be recriminalized instead of decriminalized. But that’s just me I guess.


The Federal government’s power to regulate matters affecting interstate commerce would allow Congress to outlaw this process in which states bid against each other to entice corporations with tax breaks and favors.

All states must stop this, together, or it will just allow some to game the system against the rest, to the benefit mostly of corporate welfare.


Crumbling Mass transit is already a nightmare and with Amazon this would create a total overload for all commuters. He has a Helicopter pad. The rest will have to suffer. The blame falls on Cuomo and DiBlasio for allowing the deal to go thru in an already overcrowded part of Queens, affecting Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx and Long Island. So much for trusting these 2 Mobsters to do the right thing for New Yorkers!


Certainly no one from either Political Party.


The numbers are interesting

25,000 jobs x $125,000 (assuming this is really an HQ) x 10.5% for NY state, plus 4.3% for NYC = $462.5M / year in taxes. So, it’s about a 6-7 year payback for the state and City. Of course the other question is, in a more-or-less full-employment economy, what is the actual incremental benefit to the City and State. So, there’s probably a 10 year plus payback period.

The other question of course, is one of transfer of money. The bigger problem is that Cuomo and DeBlasio are robbing Peter to pay Jeff. Those tax benefits come out of the pockets of all New Yorkers for the direct benefit of Amazon. This is as much of a ripoff as subsidies for stadiums and sports team. You screw everyone a little bit to give a whole bunch to someone you want to favor.

This is why governments should be as limited as possible. One more reason why Kelo was such a bad decision.


Only Democrats and Republicans would allow a scheme like this to happen.


Of course they are nearly the only ones friend, the other half of the country has their head in a cloud of one thing or another and don’t give a rats ass about where we are headed.
A friend and I were arguing about greed one day. I was pointing out the greed of the rich and corporate’s in the country. He got through to me that we all have a level of greed that we practice even though we may refer to it as selfishness. We are, and sometimes have to be, selfish for our basic survival. Only the devout non-material being could be unselfish to the point of having nothing.
How do you reason with someone who is negotiating with a one trillion dollar chip on the table?


Interesting that you think $15 bucks an hour is a high paying job.


Oh, but I might!


Mr Bezos is attempting to co-opt the market and inflict on everyone a monopoly wherein we must pay him a rent if we wish to access any goods or services at all.

he and his collaborators should be receiving prison sentences… not tax breaks and subsidies.


It’s simple. It is the government that is giving the money to Amazon.

The government that decided it was a good idea to take $3B of money from all the little taxpayers and give it to Amazon, so that the government officials got the bragging rights, and political donations, and payoffs.

If the government didn’t have the power to go “poof - eminent domain - we’re taking your “rundown” brownstone and store front because we want Amazon to build a helipad” we wouldn’t have this. It’s one thing for the government to take property for “the public good”, it’s another entirely to take it to give it to someone you like better.

The government we have today is a far cry from what those “brilliant men” created (for good or ill) in terms of the reach and power of the government relative to where it was when we started.


The empty promise of “jobs” seems to be part of every unsavory corporation’s handbook for subjugating a population to its agenda of greed—a steaming pile of excrement between two thin slices of nothing, and calling it “progress.”


It’s absurd that anyone has even considered this as a possibility.

This, is well beyond greed.