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Cleaning New York's harbor with one billion oysters (cnn.com)
218 points by gscott 33 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 111 comments



In the Netherlands we, as hydraulic engineers, are working on something called 'Building with Nature'. This is a perfect example of that. If you guys like this, check out https://www.ecoshape.org/en/.


As a part of that there are several projects underway trying to get oysters to return, using artificial reefs:

https://www.platteoester.nl/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Overv...


https://99percentinvisible.org/episode/oyster-tecture/ is an excellent podcast about this project. It summarizes the history of the ecosystem and the intent behind the project very well.

It's amazing how much of an oyster mecca new york used to be...


Thanks for the link, I had no idea New York was such a popular oyster city. Also led me to the Build Oyster Project on Governors Island


I hope this is as simple as adding oysters...


Mark Kurlansky (of Cod and Salt fame) wrote a book "The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell" which detailed the history of oysters and NYC [0]. Apparently at one time more than 700 million oysters a year were being harvested.

[0] https://www.amazon.com/Big-Oyster-History-Half-Shell/dp/0345...


We should all be freaking out about what we’ve done to the earth, but nobody seems to really be able to compare it within historical context. We just dont know what it was like just a century ago. I’m always surprised by facts like in this story and similar like https://www.npr.org/sections/krulwich/2014/02/05/257046530/b... And https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/28/nyregion/new-york-city-sm...


Freaking out doesn’t seem to be helping? A lot of people have been freaking out for a long time. If anything, it seems to lead to a combination of despondency in allies and stubbornness in enemies. I’d advise working on solutions to specific problems, calmly and deliberately.


>Freaking out doesn’t seem to be helping? A lot of people have been freaking out for a long time.

Have they? I think it's what societies does as a group that shows whether we're "freaking out", and judging by our collective response, it seems like we could not care less...


I think op means we should have zero enemies in fixing our environment. If we were truly all on the same page and freaking out, taking meaningful action would be a lot easier.


"I think op means we should have zero enemies in fixing our environment."

You do. Everybody wants clean air, clean water, etc. The Captain-Planet-Villain model of somebody literally cackling about how much pollution they're going to release into the world today is nonsense.

The problem is people who see a short-term gain of their own, standing against the environmental problems they cause. They may not even believe the environmental problems exist.

Sometimes they're even right; just because someone labeling themselves an "environmentalist" claims some environmental problem exists doesn't mean they are correct. These people are probably as dangerous to the environment as the actual polluters. We don't actually have complete and correct information about the effect of things, and if we did, there's a lot of people who wouldn't want to hear it, on both "sides".

But you gotta solve the right problems. Probably a non-trivial component of the environmental movement's semi-effectiveness is how much of the movement wants to fight alongside Captain Planet against essentially non-existent threats, rather than working out how to address the mismatched incentive issue. But I say "semi-effective" because they're far from ineffective, and there are certainly people directly addressing the mismatched incentive issue. For instance, people discussing "carbon taxes" are definitely on a more effective path.


> The Captain-Planet-Villain model of somebody literally cackling about how much pollution they're going to release into the world today is nonsense.

And yet we have idiots in diesel trucks modded to "roll coal" cackling as they "own the libs" when they spew out soot.


Have you or anyone you know actually seen someone rolling coal?


Drive SF to San Diego a few times a year and there are a few all along the route when going off the main freeway, more in rural areas, but present. See a few while bicycling through Santa Cruz mountains to west of San Jose, there's one house I regularly pass in Pescadero that has two - it only takes a few miles of driving outside of downtown Los Gatos to get to more rural areas.


I have a close friend who spent a lot of money so they could “roll coal” on people. Only one person, but he talks about it a lot. A lot.

He claims that he likes spewing this out onto people he doesn’t like. He’s never mentioned how awesome it is to pollute or anything. It’s the equivalent of spy hunter smokescreen.


Not uncommon in most rural areas, from my observation. I see it weekly, more or less.


I see people rolling coal several times a week here in Texas.


Yes, pretty routine in small town rural Oregon.


Some out of towner in a pickup truck did this to me in SF. I was on a Vespa.


Everybody wants _their_ own air and water to be clean. The problematic people are the ones who don't care if your water/air is dirty because it benefits them.


> You do. Everybody wants clean air, clean water, etc

The current US president* appears to want more coal to be burned and has denied climate change, as well as effected complete regulatory capture of the agency created to protect the environment.


>You do. Everybody wants clean air, clean water, etc. The Captain-Planet-Villain model of somebody literally cackling about how much pollution they're going to release into the world today is nonsense.

Actually it's totally sensible and compatible with the actual actions of the various actors involved.

Companies continue to plunder the ecosystem in ways that knowingly damage it (fracking, rainforest depletion, etc), we have cheaper air fares than ever, every major company does only token moves while continuing the damages, and so on.

And of course for decades important agreements weren't signed because of financial interests...


That's different. The comment you're responding to was talking about people who want to pollute more even if they don't make any money doing it.


Does not making money, and even spending money, but polluting for the luxury it affords, count?

E.g. people wanting plastic bags, even if they have to pay $0.20 for them, over the hassle of bringing their own hard bags to the supermarket?

Or people preferring more polluting ways to commute (e.g. car with one passenger over metro/bus) because of the convenience for them?


The idea is that doing something because it benefits you (selfishness) isn't the same as doing it out of spite (to hurt someone else).

Though sometimes it can be both, or hard to tell.


A major segment of the US populace is supporting policy to remove all polluting regulations , dismantle the EPA, and would scream murder over a Carbon tax the same way “conservatives” in Canada are over Federal plans.

They’re not evil overlords cackling, but rather they’re in mass denial over a zero sum scientific equation, and have created a cult around their disbelief that’s as strong as any environmental group. If you understand science, from that sense, they’re definitely acting like tragic villains.

I wish it were so easy, that all environmentalists would need to do is admit they’ve overreached sometimes and been alarmist on the timeline etc, and people will see the reason in ideas like carbon taxes.

That’s not the experience I see out there. People are treating carbon taxes as the equivalent of communist invasion and an immoral affront to free society, rather than a conservative policy idea. (Similar to the healthcare debate)

I suppose there will always be people in the middle that could swing either way, they’re our main hope.

But I think it’s not helpful to scold “both sides” as you do above, equating over-eager environmentalists with those that want to accelerate our pollution and use of fossil fuels for short term gain. One is a misdemeanour, the other is quite literally contributing to global destabilization. Global warming in the next 75 years is leading to a wave of refugee immigration the world has never seen before (that a large segment of the populace also currently would reject and let starve). Germany has been poltically destabilized by 2 million Syrians. What happens when 1 billion or more are knocking on Europe and the US’s doors? I only wish I was overstating this for effect.


A carbon tax is actually the conservative solution to climate change.


A carbon tax is really the only immediately workable and impactful solution to climate change. We can't flip a switch and have the change activists want overnight. That both parties have abandoned a revenue-neutral carbon tax (sell it to the people as a replacement for other taxes, like payroll, rather than a new tax) is of the worst policy realities we have found ourselves in.

"Green New Deal" is a bunch of hysterics going nowhere fast, and the counter point are a bunch of idiots that think a snowstorm is proof global warming doesn't exist.

We've lost the boring middle ground solution that works, just like so many other areas of policy.


One problem is that the public "sales pitch" for a new tax is almost always a lie when compared to what the money is actually spent on and loopholes and exemptions that are never disclosed up front. Nobody believes that a carbon tax will achieve or change anything other than taking more of their money.


But see, that's a misunderstanding of what a carbon tax is for. The federal government could burn that money and the carbon tax would still be effective. It's about pricing carbon into the market for goods and services, full stop. We are otherwise subsidizing our own self-destruction (or, more specifically, the heightened risk of destruction of our coastal cities, heightened risk of extreme weather, and forced migration of a billion+ brown poeple that live closer to the equator).

In other words, it absolutely is a money grab. That's the point!

Would it be better if that money went to useful programs? Absolutely! Same as the rest of our tax dollars.


That's why you pass it with a measurable, visible reduction in other taxes -- "revenue neutral"

Which is generally what Democrats don't want to do b/c its not raising taxes, and Republicans don't want to do b/c its not lowering taxes… but it'd sure go a long way to actually incentivizing heavy CO2 producers to change their ways that multilateral, international agreements have so far failed terribly at actually accomplishing anything about.


At the same time we have people like Greenpeace who actually contributed with global warming by fighting against nuclear


Freaking out is the opposite of what we need. I am not worried about the consequences being so severe we cant handle them, there are other quite scarier scenarios. Freaking out gives us the opposite of solutions,just a lot of noise and premature solutions such as focusing on inferior solutions such as solar.

This is the right way to do it, deal with the problems you see and can deal with.


The biggest problem is that people don’t see the problem, because they can’t see it in historical context.


Yep. This is known as "shifting baselines syndrome" https://oceana.org/blog/daniel-pauly-and-george-monbiot-conv...


See what problem? That's the question here.

Climate change is not a problem, it is a phenomena which have consequences. Some of them we see today some are 100 years into the future.

We don't know what the right solution for the consequences in the future is as we don't even know what the consequences are and we don't even know what the problems are going to be.

We can speculate but we can be wrong and so its much better to solve the problems we have today in ways we know how to solve and then invest in R&D to develop better solutions than to chase a future that might or might not be here.

Alternatively I fear the current scenario were people have panicked and spend more time arguing on the internet than actually doing anything constructive about the problems right in front of them.


That’s my point exactly, people don’t see a problem as they can’t compare our current situation with what it was like in the past.

We’ve completely and utterly destroyed nature, seas are empty, air was unbreathsble at some point, all oyster banks completely gone, most wildlife going extinct and people are asking “what problem”?

Thank you for proving my point.


I am assuming you consider yourself part of "people" which means that you are subject to the same problem unless you believe yourself to be enlightened.

So the question still is what is the actual problem and how do you know it's correctly defined?


Wow, this makes me really sad. If you are so unable to see the problem I have no hope we'll ever fix this problem.

As I wrote in the top comment, I'm often surprised when reading articles which compare our current state with the past, the amount of life we've destroyed, the amount of pollution we're producing. So yes, subject to the same problem, but open to learning the facts...

You sound like the person that gets invited to a party, brings 100s of uninvited friends, completely trashes the house, kills a lot of the other invitees, and then is surprised when somebody thinks it's a problem:" you still have something resembling a roof, you can still sort of live here, what is the problem?"


So in other words words you considder yourself enlightened and not part of the people. Well that explains a lot.

I know the facts, thats why i am not concerned.


I think the OP meant "freaking out" as in "putting a universal sense of urgency behind our efforts at correction and remediation". There seems to be zero sense of urgency behind a lot of these issues today, especially at a policy level, even for issues that have a time horizon of just a few years. It's bizarre and frustrating. It looks very much as though if we were faced with the CFC/ozone problem today we would fail to meet the challenge as we did in the '80s/'90s. It's easy to forget that the ozone challenge required a tremendous amount of complication international diplomacy and required some real compromises.


Sometimes I think our only options going forward are a world where all natural habitat has been completely decimated, or an eco-fascist regime enforces pollution (and thus effectively population) control on the whole planet.


> a world where all natural habitat has been completely decimated

That's probably the way we'll have it, but there will be artificial-natural habitat, eg. "reservations", that could grow to even be country-sized or half-continent-sized if we manage resources right. (Though probably they'll be smaller since we're going to have to some pretty large scale heavily-engineered-and-very-unnatural-agriculture to prevent famine in the face of climate degradation.)

The second option sounds somewhat enticing... but it would likely severely diminish speed of technological progress, hence diminish our even-longer-term changes of survival (think encounter and warfare with alien civs etc. - the universe is huge and if we/our-mostly-artificial-descendants survive long enough we'll have to compete with strains of life much more virulent than ourselves today).


If the only thing stopping the structural changes necessary to prevent ecological collapse was a fear of aliens, then I think we'd be doing better.

Also, the kind of technological delay you're talking about there would be a couple of decades at most, when it looks like you're talking about thinking in terms of centuries. If anything, we're slowing down necessary technological advances to maintain the status quo long past the point where it's tenable.


There is reason to believe we may have already hit peak farmland or may in the near future: http://freakonomics.com/2012/12/21/why-peak-farmland-is-good... https://www.forbes.com/sites/billconerly/2015/05/26/peak-far...


Lots of current farmland is due to become unproductive with climate change, so we'd better hope we don't need as much.


Those are ridiculously extreme alternatives.


We're currently well on our way to the first alternative, and I don't know if we can find a way out of it without the second

"Climate change" is a red herring; we can "fix" the increasing temperature problem and yet deforestation, pollution, and overpopulation will still destroy every natural ecosystem on the planet.


Really totallitaranism for "a good cause" is an incredibly dangerous fiction. Communism was essentially that fiction "for the workers" all they got out of that was torture and death.

The object of power is power and any claims of a cause are illusions and deceptions. React accordingly.


I used "eco-fascism" just because it's really the only somewhat mainstream movement that argues for ecological diversity preservation at all.

There are potential forms of alternative or third position government structures that allow for just as much or more personal freedom than current democracies, and yet can preserve our natural ecology. It just requires an accounting of destruction of commons, where untouched biodiversity is valued by the people of the state.

If we have the power to absolutely destroy the natural environment, we also have the power to protect its beauty for future generations rather than selfishly destroy the earth.


I’ve seen that called the Garden Earth.


I think you should watch the Handmaid’s Tale; it will make you never suggest your latter suggestion again :)


It was a book originally.

Plus that's kind of the opposite of what you're talking about, as most of the women are infertile.


The point of the book isn't the fertility, it's the fascism. When you're doing something abhorrent that is, of course, supposed to save the world/species - that doesn't actually make it ok


Question: Do oysters clean the water by "eating" the pollutants ? If so, after oysters die, wont that pollutant still be in the water? Or is it in a stable form and does not harm us.


Good question! My understanding is that a lot of the pollutants actually end up in the shell, so they don't magically disappear, but they are pulled out of the water, and they end up in the hard sediment on the sea floor.


There was a TED talk on this idea a while back, and the answer to when can the oysters be eaten was “around 2050”.

https://www.ted.com/talks/kate_orff_oysters_as_architecture/...


I think old oysters become rock-like and sediment while new oysters grow on top of them.

"3. In the wild, oysters set on (or attach to) old oyster shells. When oysters grow in the wild in oyster reefs, they typically attach to old oyster shells (for the calcium carbonate — see above). Because of this they tend to grow in clusters and one on top of the other. This is also why wild oysters typically have “gnarly shapes,” says Chris, instead of the nice round shape and deep cup you associate with farmed oysters."

https://www.thekitchn.com/island-creek-oysters-grower-tour-1...


So uh, how edible will these billion oysters be considering the crap they’re filtering out of the river..?


If the goal is to build a reef, eating up all the oysters isn't going to help. So maybe it's actually a good thing that those oysters will be inedible for the first couple of decades?


The video attached to the article says that "they're still not safe to eat" (2:35)


Well, I read the article. They are not suggesting that you should eat the oysters ...


My general understanding about bioremediation is the material has to be removed and put in a landfill.


The "natural" process is that e.g. oysters grab the co2 and bad stuff from the water, die, sink to the bottom and get covered in sediment. That's where major carbon sinks ended up anyway, to be turned into oil/coal/gas over millions of years.


Somehow, I think the pollutants originating from human activity will really be very much quite different from what used to become sequestered in sedimentary rock.

Smoke detector radiological sources, teflon pans, noble gases and refridgerants, cadmium paints and pigments, dioxins, kepone, BPA, hydrazine, sulfur mustards, medication, depleted uranium. The list goes on.


Nice try, Oyster. Back to the NY harbour with you.


Coal comes from dead plant matter that decays into peat and over millions of years into coal. Oil/gas from organic material that are buried under sedimentary rock.


> "Billion Oyster Project partners with more than 70 restaurants in New York City. The businesses save up their oyster shells rather than tossing them, and a collection partner for the Billion Oyster Project rounds them up and carts them off to Governors Island, a small island due east of the Statue of Liberty."

It seems unclear to me whether their deal with restaurants is limited to collecting shells from restaurants or includes distributing oysters to restaurants as well. Hopefully it's only the former. One hopes the oysters being served are not local.


I think works the other way round.

They collect the shells of edible oysters grown in less polluted areas. These are cleaned and used to jumpstart the NYC oyster colony, which are not yet edible.


> One hopes the oysters being served are not local.

Whether you're consuming the local waste or waste from somewhere else doesn't make much of a difference.


Not all regions are equally polluted.


Probably as edible as the clams from San Francisco Warf... tourist trade only.


There is a profit motive for those involved to underplay the toxicity of these oysters.


Whats in the clam chowder?....fish



Wouldn't this invite some kind of oyster-predator or oyster-disease? Biodiversity would be more sustainable ...


Apparently there used to be trillions of oysters in the area. Turns out humans were the predator.


Humans reduced their numbers, but human pollution is what wiped them out.


This is alluded to in the article, they want wild oysters to join the population. Most likely to increase genetic diversity.

I would imagine this is a good start, people can identify with oysters and they can then start to use funding to diversify the biosphere down the line.


> they want wild oysters to join the population.

I assumed that these oysters were grown by locating a rare wild oyster, or two, and having them spawn in captivity, producing huge numbers of offspring in a generation or two.

So they would be "wild oysters" genetically speaking. Although less genetically diverse than the whole wild population.


Here's a (pretty recent) interview, in an episode of 'Tell me something I don't know', with the organization behind this project on Freakonomics: http://freakonomics.com/podcast/tmsidk-guarnaschelli-2018/


Zebra mussels might be up to the task as well, apparently they are an invasive species, they will live anywhere and will eat anything

(But they are a freshwater species)


I grew up near Portage Lakes in NE Ohio. For much of my childhood, the water was a little murky, the seaweed wasn't too thick, and the lakes were pretty harmless (and fun) to swim in.

Sometime around 2001, zebra mussels were accidentally introduced (the common theory I've read is by attaching to a boat that had been docked in Lake Erie prior to being brought back to Portage Lakes). The zebra mussels spread very fast and the lake noticeably changed. The water became much clearer. As a result, more sunlight could penetrate the water, and it could penetrate deeper, so much more seaweed grew.

Personally, I hated them because they made swimming at our local park more dangerous. Their shells are sharp and will cut human feet pretty easily.

That being said, in hindsight they did appear to clean up the water a lot. I wonder if they actually made the lake healthier for humans to swim in and live near as a result?


As long as they don't migrate over to where people swim. Those things are insanely sharp and dangerous.


Obligatory 99% invisible reference: https://99percentinvisible.org/episode/oyster-tecture/


It worked for the Great Lakes. :(


In Italy mussel shells are famous to purify the water. It's important to remember though that mussels growing on very dirty waters (like sewers outgoing in the sea) might be contaminated and are not edible. https://e360.yale.edu/features/how_mussel_farming_could_help...


Imagine if the project was given the 5 billion tax dollars handed to Jeff Bezos instead of a measly 4.5 million... This is why the environments a disaster - not because you decide to buy an SUV


> Imagine if the project was given the 5 billion tax dollars handed to Jeff Bezos instead of a measly 4.5 million...

The $4.5 million is money New York has to spend out of revenue. Spending it lowers the amount of money New York has.

Neither of those is true of $5 billion in tax incentives. Look at the cash flow.


We have Bill Gates I think he is probably one of the best chances we have to make some positive real change here on earth. At least I think he genuinely cares. I am remaining cautiously optimistic that some great human somewhere will solve the worlds problems. That some day someone will produce food not for profit but just to help feed the world. And repeat that same sentiment for anything we sell. I do not know how one would replace a capitalistic market but I think it has truly failed humanity.


Why a single point of failure?


Who cares where it comes from. Tax payers are out 5 billion does it matter how?


> Who cares where it comes from

The city gave away $5 billion in tax breaks to ensure billions more in tax revenues. The deal was tax-positive. What those extra billions get spent on is up to us.

The Amazon thing is a massive red herring. Yes, it’s distasteful. But it’s also tiny. Giant political deals are being struck in Albany right now—Amazon is a distraction.


> The deal was tax-positive

i'd like to see evidence of that. Amazon could've have still chosen new york for the HQ building. There's plenty of incentives already.

Therefore, only if there's reason to believe that amazon won't have built it in NY would the 5 billion tax break have been worth it.


I believe the point of the gp is that the money isn’t coming from anywhere. No one is out $5B. There is no budget line item you could point to that identifies the expenditure “$5B for Bezos”.


It still lost income. That money could have gone to New York, or another city, or another country. Instead it remains with Amazon.


That's only true if somebody else wasn't going to give them a big deal. Your premise requires a scenario where all cities work together to specifically avoid Amazon getting a deal, rather than any of them competing. All it takes is one city to breach that and start offering incentives, then it all folds.

Short of implementing a federal law against it, there is no scenario where cities were not going to compete to lure Amazon. Fortunately no such federal law exists, which enables cities great leeway to compete for both citizens and businesses, through tax and regulatory structure, incentives, zoning laws, et al.

If I'm Detroit and I want to rebuild my collaped city, one great way to do that is to forgo some purely theoretical new near-term taxes - which you're not actually getting anyway because businesses don't want to move there - and offer up incentives such as tax breaks for businesses to go there instead of somewhere else. For a place like Detroit, that also means jobs, luring population to rebuild the tax base, rebuilding the housing stock, rebuilding the small business base that services that population, and so on.


> Short of implementing a federal law against it, there is no scenario where cities were not going to compete to lure Amazon. Fortunately no such federal law exists

i would say that's unfortunate rather than fortunate.

Cities competing for businesses is a net loss to the tax payer. If a business is to build a new HQ or invest, they should do it on the merits of their business needs and general condition applicable to all businesses.

If a particular company gets an unfairly good treatment, then it's very anti-competitive for other businesses. Why should tax payer shoulder any burden for a private business specifically, rather than building general infrastructure that benefits all businesses?

> If I'm Detroit and I want to rebuild my collaped city ... offer up incentives such as tax breaks for businesses

that would be great - if it was a general tax break, rather than a tax break targeted at specific companies that others can't gain access to.


Exactly. Thankfully in Europe, some of these deals can be deemed illegal state aid and the companies forced to give back the money they saved on taxes, if the state given advantage distorted the trade between Member States.


> Cities competing for businesses is a net loss to the tax payer.

Sure, if the taxpayer exists as an abstract concept. Not when the Taxpayer is a sandwich seller near the new company’s office. Or when the Taxpayer is given a new job at the company. Or when the Taxpayer is the family that can now rent out its mother in-law unit more easily


> Not when the Taxpayer is a sandwich seller near the new company’s office. Or when the Taxpayer is given a new job at the company.

these are not tax payers - these a private individuals.

Why should the sandwich seller from the bronx not be able to benefit from the city's policies, where as the sandwich seller from jersey does under these policies?


It's bad for the cities as a whole because it's a zero sum game, if you attract a company with tax cuts that's a loss on some other city

The EU does this better. EU courts can deem a tax break state aid and require the company to pay back taxes. This disincentives states competing against each other on tax revenue.


To the extent that the taxes impose a deadweight loss, competing tax incentives are a positive sum game, not a zero sum game.


It's all semantics - I don't understand why people want to defend a multi-billion dollar corporation, but, lets say, that NYC didn't write off 5 billion to Amazon. Could the city have budgeted more for the failing subway and nasty harbor given that they received more in taxes? Maybe.. if they really cared for the city.

All these corporations do with their profits and tax-incentives is hoard them overseas and spend them on stock buy-backs.

https://www.barrons.com/articles/2018-record-stock-buybacks-...


> "lets say, that NYC didn't write off 5 billion to Amazon. Could the city have budgeted more for the failing subway and nasty harbor given that they received more in taxes? Maybe"

You do realize NYC is not collecting less taxes because Amazon came? If Amazon goes to another city, they collect 0. if Amazon gets a tax break, they collect 0. now you could argue that Amazon provides some sort of extra burden on city resources, though they would also collect more taxes from the employees and other services rendered.


The problem with that logic is that you're predetermining your conclusion by picking the baseline that you're comparing against.

You pick your preferred baseline, fair enough. But since we're talking about a discriminatory tax break here, it's perfectly reasonable to choose as baseline a world without discrimination. And in that comparison, NY de facto pays the 5 billion or whatever it is. Of course, this is also choosing an ultimately arbitrary baseline for comparison.

You can ping pong this discussion indefinitely because there is no absolute, divine baseline to compare against.


No. There is no discussion, the answer is absolutely no.

NYC is not PAYING 5 billion dollars. they are simply not taxing it, therefor you can not say 'what else could they have used this money on instead'.

Its like me hosting a website for many charging 100$, and one person comes to me and says they will pay me 0$ but do other stuff, but otherwise they will not use my services. I can not say 'gee, if I charged them 100$ I could do these other things with the money', because I am not paying them 100$ to use my site.


It’s not semantics. The tax write-off comes from new tax revenue. You simply do not have it otherwise. It is not taken off an existing budget.

Argue as much as you want about corporate motives (and I agree with you on incentives being not ideal, even though Amazon doesn’t “do” profits), it has no bearing on how tax write-offs work.


No, the environment is a disaster because we all consume way more than the planet can support.



I don't.




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