Also, Amazon wasn't forced to leave by the people, they chose to leave because of a toxic minority voice. The majority of voters wanted Amazon's development.
I wouldn't say this toxic minority is scary but they're certainly something to think about going g forward.
Finally, seems like I remember tech. on the East Coast was always a losing deal because of unions, taxes, and red tape. Isn't that why silicon valley started in the first place?
I don't think that logic makes sense. The absence of Amazon doesn't mean that the land is razed and the earth salted. It means other companies, without the $3B in concessions, can grow there instead. They could be other giant tech companies, they could be small businesses, they could be anything, but someone is likely to move forward with the land. It may or may not be $3B, but it certainly will be more than zero in the short term and the long term.
The land isn't either barren or occupied by Amazon crabgrass. Different things can grow there.
But talent is a plane ticket away from SF or Seattle so if SF or Seattle company pays more than NY company, the talent will move there.
If there are 10 thousand jobs created in Seattle instead of NY, the talent will leave NY for Seattle. Seattle will gain 10 thousand highly paid residents and NY (and other areas) will loose them.
That's the magic of a positive feedback loop: more employers mean more employees which means more employers.
Yes, it does create a more competitive market for both jobs and people.
Programmer A has to compete with programmer B for that great job.
Company A has to compete with company B for that great programmer.
Counter-intuitively, it leads to more stronger companies and programmers in a given area.
This is great for the overall ecosystem, less great if you're a weak programmer or company.
Also, if that's your argument, it makes a lot more sense for Amazon to open several small new offices through the country instead of a single new HQ in one city. (In fact another commenter is trying to argue against me on the grounds that people would be moving to NYC to take these jobs, and the lack of such moves is harming the NYC labor market. Perhaps the two of you should argue with each other.)
Many of them went in as soon as Amazon figured out how to charge local sales tax in those states and happened in 2014-2015.
Of Amazon's total dev population about 25% is college age. Much more is 5+10 years out of college and where Amazon is looking to recruit.
That's laughable. Charging local sales tax was always a trivial excercise for Amazon. They fought it until they knew they couldn't win any more and then embraced it knowing that they would want to try to control the discussion and try to force any smaller competitors to comply as well to eliminate any advantage for their competition.
In other words, they never would have started charging local sales tax if they thought they could get away with it.
I think you're thinking too short term. If all the most lucrative markets are dominated by the same few tech employers, then maybe they'll end up with another moat around themselves. That moat might be one that might actually be good for both the employers and the employees, but bad for everyone else.
The market position of the competitors matters.
I work at a small graphic/web design agency. My bosses moved from Los Angeles (where they grew up) to New York in order to start the business, because they believed there would be more opportunities here. Now, this was a decade ago, and maybe had they tried they would have done fine in California, but it's not nearly as clear cut as you're making it out to be.
There's a pretty healthy market for data scientists in NYC. I work at a well-paying (probably better-paying than Amazon, honestly) NYC tech/finance company that hires tons of data science people, and we're certainly not the only one. I don't think that the existence of some Amazon data science jobs in Seattle (or Nashville) instead of in NYC is going to meaningfully hurt the data science job market here.
> "There's a pretty healthy market for data scientists in NYC."
NYC does have a good data science sector, although as a data scientist, you have to admit the prospects are no where near as good as west coast. the finance sector is awful to apply to because they are those companies that force you to sign up for websites, repeat everything you put in your resume, etc, but that's off topic.
My point above was that there were many talented people that would have been coming to NYC from Amazon, that would have been much more available, the complete opposite of a 'talent suck'. As we have already seen time and time again from cities like pittsburgh, jobs get more jobs. more specifically, when you increase the number of available jobs of a job category by a single company, there are even more of those type of jobs created by other companies.
This isn't true in my experience btw - we use Greenhouse for hiring same as basically any other tech company. (And my manager^3 is ex-Amazon, as it happens.) If you want to write off the entire finance sector, that's your choice, but it is and will continue to be a significant part of the labor market in NYC so I think you're relatively non-representative in doing so. We do attract lots of non-NYC people to move to NYC to work for us.
Right, and truly the best off cities for companies that need programmers are places like Tulsa or Phoenix, that have virtually zero tech companies of renown competing.
...OR, that's actually the opposite of the case, and network/ecosystem effects mean that the more talent you have, the easier it is to attract yet more talent.
How is this any less laughable than the position you're chastising? LIC was already booming before the Amazon investment. The idea that Amazon will be replaced by nothing at all is ludicrous.
I don't know man?
In most places I might agree with you, but in places like NYC and Silicon Valley?
Yeah, I'm pretty sure it means more of something else. Sometimes it can be easy to underestimate the size and dynamism of those two economic engines.
The usual way of solving this problem and continuing to scale a city is that you use tax revenue from new jobs to build additional public infrastructure. But the HQ2 deal made a point of giving up that tax revenue....
But the subsidies will largely still be available to the next people to move in right? Meaning, you’ve effectively accomplished nothing, right?
(If you just mean "Amazon proved it's negotiable," I think Amazon pulling out equally proves that it's a political quagmire to try to negotiate it.)
So a pile of 'something else' jobs would be replaced with shotty Amazon jobs - and the stories from their corporate offices and from their warehouses have been harrowing.
Economics isn’t a zero-sum game, but neither is it a completely uncorrelated bag of stuff.
If they decided downtown Buffalo is the hq the state should have thrown money at them because that would change the area and provided space for many offshoot businesses. Win-Win
You'd be reluctant to develop community infrastructure if your "community" had no qualms about arbitrarily deciding to take more of your property, by force, year over year.
There's also precedence for Amazon to convert as much of their workforce into non-employees dependent on 2nd jobs and 3rd jobs so their supposedly high paying jobs probably weren't going to last anyway. They're not in the business of creating high paying jobs, they pay highly while they must.
There's a strain of thought that says that part of the reason tech is able to grow so wildly and create so much value is that it's too new to have been fully integrated into the wider, corrupt system of having profits from innovation regulated away and profits from regulatory capture built up. As you point out, California has historically been a refuge from things like this:
Its distance from the historical seats of institutional power on the east coast (and the cultures of corruption that grew out of them) has provided an alternative for industries like Hollywood, Silicon Valley, etc. I don't entirely know how I feel about this theory, but it's certainly self-consistent.
Obviously, California isn't magically immune to the rent-seeking BS that sunk its hooks into other regions of the country a century ago, and as it becomes a more clearly dominant part of the economy, this is probably a temporary state of affair (anyone who's been in tech for longer than a decade has noticed how the rest of society suddenly woke up and went "oh shit, there's a lot of money over there, better start paying attention"; you can still find people throughout the industry with oldschool tech culture and values, but at least IME they're drowned out by the recent entrants chasing the money)
That's one interpretation. Another interpretation is it's more evidence of the inefficiencies and corruption created by the current unions.
The truth is probably somewhere in between.
Would it be Amazon demanding an office worker travel the day after her miscarriage?
> The Times has uncovered several cases where workers who were sick, grieving, or otherwise encumbered by the realities of life were pushed out of the company. A woman who had a miscarriage was told to travel on a business trip the day after both her twins were stillborn. Another woman recovering from breast cancer was given poor performance rankings and was warned that she was in danger of losing her job.
Would it be Amazon keeping ambulances at their warehouses rather than paying for air conditioning? Or working people hard enough that they had to pee in bottles and most people have to quit after 6 months because of the strain on their bodies?
It hurts your credibility to fail to acknowledge any legitimate critiques.
So acting like having no unions is a good thing is not actually true.
I am saying "there are drawbacks as well, and this 'evidence' points to the drawbacks as much as it points to the advantages". It's disingenuous to argue otherwise, and perhaps more importantly, isn't going to convince anyone who doesn't already agree with you because they will just take the other interpretation.
An engineer is never negotiating their employment conditions with HR or with senior executives. It's with their direct line manager. Who often has no power to ask for anything like parental leave or some other workplace condition.
Unions negotiate at the VP of HR level and so they can demand significant changes.
I've worked in multi-thousand person orgs with both unions and non-unions. I've been tasked with everything from installing satellite dishes on top of downtown office buildings to writing code in a climate controlled office.
I don't have an MBA in HR, but I do have my personal experiences and those of my coworkers. When I was installing satellite dishes it was great knowing I had union backup (even if work rules like carrying a geiger counter seemed a little over the top). When writing code the biggest risk I face is a repetitive stress injury, and a coder's salary goes a long way to buying my own ergonomic equipment.
And it's definitely not all companies. Just the top tier ones.
At any rate, Amazon is worried about a snowball effect of other areas unionizing in New York's wake.
Please provide evidence of this statement.
Not wanting to subsidize one of the wealthiest companies in the world, and not wanting to drive up real estate prices even further, isn’t toxic. It’s compromise. Not everyone wants their city flooded with tech jobs and the problems it brings (see: SF and Seattle).
Disclaimer: Not an Amazon supporter. They’re a “toxic” corporation.
>A significant majority (56 percent) of all New Yorkers approved of the plan while 36 percent disapproved. Among New York City residents support was slightly stronger at 58 percent.
>Support was most pronounced among minorities: 70 percent of black voters approved while just 25 percent disapproved, and 81 percent of Latinos approved compared to 17 percent who disapproved.
Not sure about LIC in particular.
I think what the OP is referring to by "toxicity" is the intense hatred and lowered standard for truth that's typical for so much of politics.
The idea that the jobs are the problem, rather than the cities' willingness to accommodate newcomers, could also be considered quite toxic.
It's been really funny to see Seattle lumped in with SF on these things. Seattle's problems are nowhere near the scale of SF because SF has refused to accommodate even a tiny fraction, whereas Seattle is trying much harder and building up infracsturcture and allowing housing to move forward.
Popular doesn’t mean right though — not in general and not in this case. It will be less splashy in the headlines, but those spaces can now be used for businesses which actually pay taxes.
I think there's significant sampling bias in telephone polls - and especially when the results of the poll seem to disagree so sharply with political sentiment as measured in other ways, we should probably be asking more questions about better ways to measure sentiment accurately.
(One simple option would have been to put the proposed HQ2 concessions on the ballot last November....)
Accommodate newcomers with huge subsidies could be considered quite toxic? Or did you mean something else?
Silicon Valley owes its existence to Stanford University and the Department of Defense. Spending on research, and on technology at such places as Hewlett-Packard gave the Valley its start.
And what are the long term consequences of cities competing against each-other for corporate favor?
High paying jobs (by the bucket-load) bring a ton of benefits to the community.
I really think thd next cycle has the potential of being a referendum on socialist/progressives versus blue Dems.
Bezos is a Dem ally but thd socialists see him as a billionaire to be vilified and taken down on behalf of the downtrodden.
(It is worth noting that Amazon would still have claimed other subsidies made available to all companies in the state of NY - however now claiming a plus of 3 Billion is simply incorrect. More so, even with the 3 Billion tax break I don't think there is an argument that Amazon would have been a net-negative - quite the opposite in fact)
1) There was $300-500 million in the deal that was just straight up cash to help them build the HQ area. That’s cold hard taxpayer money that can now be spent on subways or housing or anything else.
2) The idea that there will now be “0” taxes is ridiculous. First of all Amazon itself will likely still expand in NYC anyways, since there were clearly reasons why increasing their presence here was in their interest. And regardless, this is New York, we’re not short of development. Other businesses will just take over that area instead, like they do in every corner and crevice of this densely packed city, and they’ll pay their share of taxes instead.
There are basically two possible answers: because they thought they were uniquely in a place to salvage and redevelop it, or because it's currently in a state where it's getting active growth and popularity among the sort of workers Amazon wants to target. If the latter, that's going to continue with or without Amazon.
If the former - which is also the only reason an Amazon-specific subsidy and tax exemption is justifiable - I'm curious why, and I'm also curious if they would have believed that in the 1990s or early 2000s, too.
I grant that the Chinese food was very bad.
That's not true for a few reasons:
- Amazon will still be growing in New York, as confirmed by their press release: "There are currently over 5,000 Amazon employees in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island, and we plan to continue growing these teams." They just won't get the benefits of the HQ2 deal. So, they'll still be paying taxes.
- Other companies will be able to move in to the land and hire the people that Amazon would have hired. They're not the only employer in town. Those companies will pay taxes, which will go to the same government coffers, even if the money doesn't come from Amazon.
- I've seen the second argument a few times, including this page, but I don't quite get it. These companies haven't moved in yet, leaving Queens as one of the economically weaker areas of NY. Why would they move in now that Amazon doesn't? What changed for them?
2) LIC is booming. Have you seen all the new construction there? The same reasons that now make it attractive for Amazon (different from 10 years ago) also make it attractive to other companies. They just don't get press.
Amazon paid $0 in federal taxes this year, and is extremely tight-lipped about their taxes paid at the state and local levels. There's no particular reason to believe that they'll treat NYC any better than the rest of the country.
A tax break and a subsidy is exactly the same thing. Amazon is a large and profitable company. The idea that tax payer money should go to subsidies to Amazon is just very insane.
The whole thread is worth reading (note he links to a counter-argument at the end).
It just feels very hypocritical to the extreme, from a political/philosophical standpoint.
It also feels like they just want the system to always work in their favor, wherever, whenever. Which seems unrealistic and borderline childish.