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The Path Amazon Rejected (nytimes.com)
69 points by crazygringo 29 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 98 comments



I don't understand the outrage towards Amazon.

1. No one forced any of these states/cities to join this bidding contest. They willingly participated. "How dare Amazon put cities against one another in a bidding war?!" Yeah, I put five dealers against one another in a bidding war to get my business the last time I shopped for a car. Amazon can do the same thing.

2. "Jeff Bezos doesn't need our tax breaks!" I bet he doesn't. I don't think Jeff Bezos personally helped elect all the leaders who offered all these tax breaks. At the end of the day, Amazon will create jobs. Will it gentrify these cities? Yes, absolutely. So would Google, Apple, or Facebook moving into a new area. "But those other companies didn't ask for tax breaks." They literally hold hundreds of billions in wealth overseas. I'm not arguing in favor of tax breaks for Amazon. I am saying, however, Amazon didn't stage a coup against these mayors and governors and threaten to hurt them if Amazon didn't get tax breaks. NYC officials (at least some) openly invited Amazon. Good on Amazon for walking out. Private companies don't owe you anything.

The system is broken. Neither party has done anything to fix it. You have a company taking advantage of the perfectly legal rules that the system set up. OH GAWD better grab pitchforks. Yet, all the same lying Congressional leaders get re-elected election after re-election.

This de Blasio character openly invited Amazon. Now that they've backed out, he's angry that Amazon had cities bid against each other and that it was so wrong? Are you kidding me? de Blasio is a prime example of what's wrong with American politics.


"You have a company taking advantage of the perfectly legal rules that the system set up. OH GAWD better grab pitchforks."

People aren't allowed to be upset about something just because it's not illegal?


Reality doesn't allow people to have it both ways. Either be upset that the system incentivizes the behavior, or be upset that the incentives failed.

In both of those cases, the blame lies at the feet of the elected officials. Granted, the implication of that is the blame lies at the feet of those who cast the ballots (George Carlin, we miss you). People always have trouble blaming themselves.

Corporations are jello. They take the shape of the mold they sit in. If they get big enough, the mold is the whole world's economy.


> In both of those cases, the blame lies at the feet of the elected officials. Granted, the implication of that is the blame lies at the feet of those who cast the ballots...

Blame also lies at the feet of those people and organizations who twist the imperfect rules and governmental systems to suit themselves at the expense of others.

To put it another way: all software has bugs, and many of them get exploited. While it might feel just to put all the blame on the software engineer who wrote the code (after all, wasn't he supposed to have done a perfect job?), blame still lies at the feet of those people who chose to exploit the bugs to enrich themselves and/or do harm to others. Hackers are not an impersonal force of nature, they're people who made a choice.


Except the tax incentives aren't bugs in your analogy to software. They're design choices. The system was given specific characteristics to produce the results that occurred (before Amazon backed out). If the system is so designed, then working in harmony with its design choices is not exploitation.

But I'll grant you, I'm just arguing the analogy.

The real problem seems to me to be that de Blasio is being a weather vane of sorts. He was a cheerleader for Amazon, doing the work to get them into the city. When that failed and political gain was to be had, he changed his tune to "OMG! I can't believe how evil they are! I'm a victim!"

Amazon didn't twist the rules, they played by them (unsuccessfully, as it happens). Nor was this at the expense of others. Whether Amazon got to build a headquarters in NY or not didn't preclude others from doing so. Whether Amazon got tax incentives to go to NY or not, didn't take money away from anyone else. Additional tax revenue that might have been collected is not money that _belongs_ to someone else.

It is reasonable to expect moral behavior from individuals. History tells us that corporations almost never display moral behavior. Partly this is because they permit decisions where each person in the corporation may assume that someone else will be moral; a very ordinary human failing. (Forward thinking beyond the framework of advantage for self and company is rare.)

Corporations as a whole don't have a conscience. That's why we regulate. That's why we create laws with which the harm corporations might do to people is reduced and minimized so that the benefits corporations can bring may still be realized. Anthropomorphizing corporations is only useful for generating anger, which, in turn, is only useful for political gain. (Discounting First Amendment goggles.)

That lands things squarely back on the voter's back in the system here in the U.S. If we go back to your analogy, voters are the ones hiring the designers and not invalidating the contract when the design goes off the rails.


> “all software has bugs... blame still lies at the feet of those people who choose to exploit the bugs...”

Nice analogy!


Using this logic, people aren't allowed to be upset at anything, as long as it's a rational action within a system. This is a weird way to look at things!

You can justify all sorts of reprehensible behavior this way. "Either be upset that the system incentivizes slavery, or be upset that the incentives against slavery failed." But definitely don't be upset at the slaveowners!


> Using this logic, people aren't allowed to be upset at anything, as long as it's a rational action within a system. This is a weird way to look at things!

That's not what was said, at all. Be upset at your politicians. This is a democracy despite what the cynics say. The vast majority of people mad at Amazon don't even understand that they weren't being given very special treatment. Most of it came from existing state incentive programs.


Why not also be upset at Amazon? They're doing something many people consider unethical.


Exactly. Realistically, most large-scale businesses will amorally fill whatever set of incentives exist around them, and the most effective way to keep them from being destructive is to regulate. However, businesses are made of people, and those people still have a moral obligation to society, even if most of the ones at the top ignore it. Actions beyond moral shaming need to be taken, but one doesn't preclude the other.


Please explain what moral obligation you think Amazon was shirking by bringing massive tax revenue to NYC and far above average pay jobs.


Not everyone voted for the ballots which supposedly led to these decisions. Moreover, politicians lie. When government policy doesn’t reflect the desires of the public in an ostensible democracy, I find it odd to blame the people who are ruled instead of the rulers. I don’t know much about George Carlin, but from what little I’ve seen of his political commentary, I doubt he would so quickly jump to blaming the ruled instead of the rulers.


Jeff Bezos, Amazon, billionaires and mammoth corporate entities in general, are not some inert goo. They actively shape the system to work to their own benefit, and they have massively more power and influence than the average citizen and even the average elected official.


Most of the tax breaks Amazon used are open for pretty much any company, and have been around for a very long time. But no one seems to want to repeal or fix these laws. In all of this, I haven't seen a single person talk about them. You can't agree to a set of rules then complain when someone actually follows them.


Many people may not even know about them. Encouraging people to channel these feelings into the ballot is well and fine, but let's not pretend there's anything close to a direct coupling between the will of the people and the will of their representatives, much less preexisting laws. People are allowed to be dissatisfied; they don't have to simply lie in the bed that they only had a partial hand in making.


You do have to be logically consistent in your voting though, and you should be as well informed as possible.

You can't have people vote for anything shiny with "JOBS" written on it, and then get outraged when corporations get tax breaks.

Continuous outrage leads to the same results as continuous praise: Leaders who don't feel bound to the laws that their constituents have created.


Don't defend them when they are criticized for complaining about something they put absolutely zero effort into researching. Anyone complaining about Amazon and not the state government and/or the tax break programs is being ignorant and shouldn't be coddled.


I don't think anyone saying people shouldn't be dissatisfied. It's just that targeting Amazon with that ire is ineffective when it's the laws on the books that are the problem


Ineffective without other action, but not misdirected.


Be mad...

at the people who made it, "not illegal".

That's not Amazon. The anger, to the extent that it's justified, is misplaced.


>Private companies don't owe you anything...

Money quote.

These are businesses, not charities. So they have to make business decisions. Amazon was right to walk away. (And yes, I realize that the same business reality will oblige Amazon to put several more thousand jobs in NYC in any case. But guess what? I'd bet any money they won't put as many as they would have. They will put several more thousand in DC instead.)

Before anyone gets mad at Amazon for behaving in this manner, yell at your political leaders for making these offers in the first place.


It is exploitative.

Any company founded in the US is going to use the resources US provides - roads, trade & economic power, the USPS, the talent pool etc for Amazon. When their success is built on that foundation, they owe it to the government (& taxpayers) to return the favor and show some goodwill.

Instead, taxpayers subsidize them when they're growing, then they want to cheat as much as legally possible on their taxes when they're grown up.

If you advocate letting Amazon get those tax breaks, yet yelling at the politicians who allow them, thats a basic mismatch between what you say and your revealed preferences. Don't blame politicians when they cater to those preferences.


> exploitative

That isn't an appropriate word. Clearly, the City of NY, or whoever is negotiating with Amazon, is big enough not to be pushed around if they don't want to be. It is a negotiation.

It the political system is screwing over tax payers, that flat out isn't Amazon's problem. It is the voters' problem.

> When their success is built on that foundation, they owe it to the government (& taxpayers) to return the favor and show some goodwill.

The philosophical point of a corporation in a capitalist system is to create goods and services as cheaply as possible. In theory, it would be nice not to charge corporations any tax, to keep prices low, and only tax the income and capital gains of the owner as money flows out to them from the company.

I doubt that absolutist approach works in practice; the situation isn't simple enough and the capitalists would figure out some sort of creative accounting scheme to avoid the money ever making it to them (actually, pretty sure they already do that in America, since American corps usually don't pay dividends). But in theory corporate tax is just bad for everyone.


The City of New York and the executive of the City of New York are not one and the same.

The executive of the State in conjunction with the executive of the City tried to do an end-run around the City Council by using power in laws that people forgot existed. But this law required an approval from the State Legislature, which was not willing to grant it unconditionally. The political system is working as intended.


> then they want to cheat as much as legally possible on their taxes when they're grown up.

If it's legal, it isn't cheating...


Only if you believe there is no difference between whats legal and whats moral.


So why isn't your outrage with the government that adds tax incentives for businesses? It's like being pissed off at people who live in section 8 housing for not paying enough rent...


I do think the government giving preferential treatment to some businesses is anti competitive, didn't say otherwise.

That doesn't mean those who take advantage of unfair laws are completely absolved of blame either - they made a choice. You/grandparent seem to be saying businesses (and the real people who make these decisions) have zero responsibility to society besides what is legally forced upon them.

To put your logic back to you, if someone hacks your phone, steals all your data and blackmails you, you should be "outraged" only at the engineers who let the security vulnerability go through (i.e created the incentive), but not the hacker who is actually exploiting that vulnerability.


> Yeah, I put five dealers against one another in a bidding war to get my business the last time I shopped for a car. Amazon can do the same thing.

Surely the reason most upset people are upset is that these deals with governments tend to involve tax breaks, and taxpayers have every right to concern themselves with tax policy. I doubt many of those people would also be upset with your car negotiations.


They offered Amazon $3B tax breaks, while the city would have profited $27B. The city would have a net gain of $24B.

Now the city doesn't gain anything.


That seems overly simplistic. I doubt that Amazon are the only ones with any likelihood of bringing new jobs to New York in the near future.


That jobs would come with or without Amazon (more likely with Amazon, since Amazon HQ would be a huge business attractor for smaller companies) - nobody would say "well, we're going to open office in NYC but since Amazon is already there we won't". Other companies would open anyway, yes. But Amazon won't. It's not a fixed pie, it adds up. And NYC just took a huge piece of this pie and threw it into the river. To spite Bezos. Hope it's worth $24B to them.


> I doubt that Amazon are the only ones with any likelihood of bringing new jobs to New York in the near future.

Not anymore. Why would a company want the hassle? Go to New York and have an idiot bartender trash our goodwill or go somewhere else where they roll out the red carpet for us.


> No one forced any of these states/cities to join this bidding contest. They willingly participated.

This lacks context. Bill de Blasio and Andrew Cuomo participated in the bidding context, basically by themselves. They didn't have a mandate to do this from anybody, since no one ever mentioned groveling on their feet to shovel tax breaks at a corporation. (In fact, Bill de Blasio was pretty much elected on a 'soak the rich' platform, which is a line he is more than happy to push when he knows there is no realistic chance of it actually happening.) They then conspired to do an end run around the legislative branches of their respective jurisdictions, and almost succeeded.

American states and cities are not authoritarian or run by a single emperor. There are built in checks and balances, and quite frankly everyone involved misjudged the pushback they would get by openly trying to ignore all of that.


I also wanted AMZN to come to the city. Yes you are right its doing whats best for them by taking advantage of the tax code. However you can’t just say that the system is broken and Amazon is just a bystander taking advantage of it. Amazon is partly responsible, through lobbying, for why the system is broken.


> I put five dealers against one another in a bidding war to get my business the last time I shopped for a car

Now try the same trick with five Bentley dealers. Nope, no discount because they know you can afford list price.

I don't mind that there are incentives for SMEs. I do mind that behemoths like Amazon can drain the pool to the detriment of others.


I don't buy de Blasio's outrage. If he was truly worried about Amazon being a "bad neighbor," why did he have a carte blanche policy until the very moment they backed off? In fact, it took regular citizens asking the hard questions for Amazon to back off in the first place. Aren't we electing mayors to fight these fights for us?


It's not outrage, it's spin. He represents one of the two parties that was prepared to engage in a deal that ordinary people get very angry about. (i.e. massive corporate tax breaks) So if the media plays along with the spin, he will succeed in shifting a lot of the outrage away from his administration and on to Amazon.


Well, in fairness, the outrage wouldn't be on his administration in any case.

One thing he's conveniently not mentioning is that he was opposed to giving Amazon any tax breaks or other concessions from the start. The state politicians overruled him.

Although his position, I suppose, is that Amazon should move to NYC, without any concessions. Which is not altogether off the wall. That's how it should work for ALL companies and all places. Corporate welfare is out of hand in this country. It's just a little idealistic on his part, that's just not how things work in reality. He's gonna get overruled by the higher ups every time on that one.


>Corporate welfare is out of hand in this country.

That's certainly one view. Another is that these are just breaks on excessive taxes by one government to compete with other governments that have sane corporate taxes in the first place.

I don't understand how tax reductions are considered welfare. It's not money the government has already being passed out to Amazon. The government would have still made money in this scenario, just less.


It’s unfair to the companies that don’t get the tax breaks. Politically, I’m not sure having an environment where special rules are granted or exempted by government officials on a selective basis is healthy either.


One of the incentives was a $505 million dollar capital grant. That is literally money that state government was going to pass out to Amazon. This is the same state government that appropriated $118 million dollars of the MTAs funding back in 2010. This helped propel NYC's transit system into the dire straits it's currently in.[1]

The money for these sorts of capital grant giveaway always comes from "somewhere."

[1] https://nyc.streetsblog.org/2010/03/09/albany-didnt-cut-the-...


>Another is that these are just breaks on excessive taxes by one government to compete with other governments that have sane corporate taxes in the first place....

Only they're not. That's not always the case.

For instance, Wisconsin has no corporate tax at all. So they made a deal to just hand over giant boxes of cash to Foxconn at each of several milestones. Think about that. ZERO tax, was just too high.

And I've discovered that Wisconsin is not the only place that has made deals like that. Look at it anyway you like, if corporations are at the point where they are openly saying:

"Paying no tax is not enough, we want you to give us money."

Something is out of place.


But why does amazon get to pay less than existing businesses, unfair tax laws or not?


Amazon would not pay less NYC tax than other businesses. The NYC tax breaks that Amazon was planning to take advantage of are open to every company that qualifies:

https://www.nycedc.com/program/relocation-and-employment-ass...

https://www.nycedc.com/program/industrial-commercial-abateme...

These programs are designed to encourage specific behavior, like companies moving to and making capital investments in particular areas of the city. Any company that does so qualified for a formulaic tax break. NYC did not offer any tax breaks to Amazon beyond its existing incentive programs.


Interesting, thanks for sharing!

It does appear to be a "don't hate the player, hate the game" scenario which I do think is worth looking at. I would love to see real discussion with details like the link you presented from both side, and not these emotionally charged garbage opinion pieces presented almost as articles with no sources or credibility.


Nonsense. If he was against the deal, he wouldn’t have mended fences to be a face of it.


Yeah I'm leaning on the same side as the author in terms of blame... but this article is really bias and heavily spun.


Not to mention the tax breaks that the city was giving Amazon are still available for pretty much any company.


This line that "any company" could get these incentives from the city is being parroted and its simply not true. Of the 4 sources of incentives only two were city programs:

City: Relocation and Employment Assistance Program (REAP) and the Industrial Commercial Abatement Program (ICAP) programs. REAP credits for instance are not available to retail or hotels. Retail is particularly sensitive subject in NYC as it has been visibly blighted. Also it only applies to business relocating to either above 96th street or the outer boroughs.

State: The $505 million capital grant and $1.2 billion in “Excelsior” credits are most certainly not available to "pretty much any company." The eligibility guidelines are actually very specific[1]

[1] https://esd.ny.gov/excelsior-jobs-program


You've misunderstood what I meant. People talk as though Amazon is getting a sweetheart deal from NYS and NYC. However, what they're getting is (mostly) a predetermined set of tax breaks for relocating to LIC.

And I know about the state programs, that's why I specified about the city grants.


Amazon screwed up when they made choosing a place into a reality contest. That came off as egotistical and people took notice. They brought the attention on to themselves. I think they finally realized that walking out of it and letting it die down is the best way going forward.


That seems to be the popular opinion (that this is Amazon's fault) but I disagree. Amazon coming to LIC would have been a net benefit for everyone. 25k jobs that pay a minimum wage of $15/hour...who would reject that? Sure they get a $3b tax break, but they would have paid far more than that in state taxes over the long term. The people on the city council did not represent the the best interest of the citizens, instead trying to spin this as a stand against corporate greed. It's too bad they couldn't work this out. I think this will hurt NYC in the long run.


>"The people on the city council did not represent the the best interest of the citizens, instead trying to spin this as a stand against corporate greed."

It sounds as that you haven't spent any amount of time in Long Island City then. LIC is is home to the NYCHA housing project called The Queensbridge Houses. It has the distinction of being the country’s largest public housing project[1]. It comprises 26 buildings in various states of decay and 60% of 7K residents live on food stamps. I would say Corey Johnson et al were very much looking out for them. This is the same NYCHA that was sued by the federal government last year and ordered to invest $1 billion in repairs to the dilapidated housing stock and submit to a federal monitor.[2]. LIC's Queensbridge Houses have been very much a poster child for authority's dereliction.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queensbridge_Houses [2] https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/31/nyregion/nycha-federal-mo...


How much did amazon pay in federal and state taxes in 2017 or 2018?


Even if Amazon paid no corporate income tax at all, their 25,000 employees would still be paying many millions of dollars a year in state and local income taxes, real estate taxes and sales taxes. And both Amazon and its employees would be buying lots of goods and services from local businesses, generating even more taxable economic activity.

Some of these employees might even eventually leave Amazon and found new startups in NYC.


Massive amounts. Whoops, I think you forgot to qualify your statement with "corporate income tax".


> Amazon coming to LIC would have been a net benefit for everyone.

Only in NYC, if you average over the whole country, far more poeple benefit if amazon don't get massive unfair tax breaks.


> Just days before, I had counseled a senior Amazon executive...

Can pretty much stop there. I think Amazon saw a mayor and governor who thought they traded tax breaks for a say in how Amazon runs its business.

This was a huge loss for the city. LIC will be toxic to big business for years. And now the mayor is passing the blame to the very corporations who would come in and create jobs.


>"LIC will be toxic to big business for years"

You mean like Citibank, JetBlue, Fresh Direct and Steve Madden who all moved to Long Island City years ago and continue to flourish? Or like Ralph Lauren who just signed a lease for 19K square foot of space and Cornel University's building of their Techion campus? Yeah right.

I'm amazed on the number of people who appear be not only unfamiliar with Long Island City as a neighborhood but also of NYC and it current economic well-being in technology jobs. And yet these same folks feel compelled to make comments about what a "huge loss" this is.


Those companies pay garbage.


Your comment as is as uniformed as it is absurd. Many of those are fortune 500/publicly traded companies. That not withstanding, the comment was that that the business environment would somehow now toxic in LIC which has exactly zero to do with salary ranges.


NYC doesn’t need their jobs.


Right. The State Government is running a huge surplus:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/tax-shortfalls-widen-new-yorks-...


de Blasio tweeted this after Amazon cancelled: https://twitter.com/NYCMayor/status/1096110674613358593

"working with the community" is code for "bribe" among the community organizer types.


That's an incredibly uncharitable insinuation. Do you think community organizers do it for the money? There are a lot of reasons people choose to advocate but regardless of weather you think they're right they generally do it because they actually believe in something. It's unlikely fighting Amazon is a very profitable venture.


They certainly do it for the power (the majority of them). Very few people put themselves in that position without an eye for moving into politics to continue their power growth.

Remember, the vast majority of people do not do things long term for altruistic reasons.


It's unprofitable if you drive them out of town. If you can position yourself as a community liaison rep, it is a sweet gig.


I don't read it like that personally.

I mean, judging by some reporting[1] it sounds like the final meetings involved a framework for unionization efforts which to Amazon was probably unpalatable enough to pull out entirely just based on that.

I guess if you consider "working with the community" to equal "greasing the local union bosses" then maybe. But it's just more logical to just imagine that Amazon doesn't want to exist a blueprint for other unionization efforts nationwide.

1: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/15/amazon-held-11th-hour-meetin...


Sounds about right.


Sounds like he's projecting a bit. Pot and kettle...


Why would Amazon try to make things right in NYC, when they can just go somewhere else that welcomes them with open arms and no complaints? NYC didn't offer them anything of particularly great value that they couldn't get elsewhere. I wish they were being better about helping the communities they are moving into, but I can see why they would just leave.


>"NYC didn't offer them anything of particularly great value that they couldn't get elsewhere."

You mean like access to a very large and very skilled labor pool? A 24 hour transit system, 3 major airports? 1 million square feet of available office like they were going to take in Citicorp tower that has a train stop at the bottom of the building? Sure.


Amazon doesn’t need a large local labor pool. They get far more applicants than they need and plenty of people willing to move to work there.

There are lots of cities with empty office space. And in most cities parking isn’t a problem so the transit isn’t necessary.

You gotta think like Amazon — most of those things weren’t huge benefits to them. They were benefits to their future employees but only in that city.

The main things they are looking for are tax breaks and rapid development without a lot of red tape. NYC was proving that rapid development was out of the picture and so was the lack of red tape.


>"Amazon doesn’t need a large local labor pool. They get far more applicants than they need and plenty of people willing to move to work there."

Nonsense. It's far more efficient to be able to tap a local labor pool. Google, FB, et al set up shop in NYC for this ver And there are always people who don't want or can not relocate. Or who simply do not want to live in New York City.

>"And in most cities parking isn’t a problem so the transit isn’t necessary"

Please name just one top tier city where parking isn't a problem and mass transit isn't necessary.


Dallas.


Sorry Dallas is not a "top tier" city. Not by any measure - population-wise, ethnic diversity, diversity of industry or culturally. Nobody sets up shop in Dallas as a selling point to attract the world's top talent.


If any of those things truly mattered, Amazon wouldn't have walked away so quickly.


Here let me invert that for you - If any of those things didn't matter Amazon would not have chosen NYC in the first place.


They chose NYC because of the incentives offered. They didn’t care about the rest obviously.

When the environment became hostile, the incentives were no longer worth it. So they left.

If you don’t want to believe that then that’s fine. It’ll just happen again.


Basically, a plea for everybody else to make it more difficult to do business in their local community, so NYC can be more competitive. I'm sure there is a tragedy of the commons somewhere in the "pitting cities against one another" as he mentioned. But perhaps it isn't ideal to think that a large corporation needs to come to your city and fix your problems either, and that it's not fair that they don't want to.

With a corporation the size of Amazon, US cities aren't just competing against each other. The US is a whole is competing against other countries. And these companies are competing against other global companies. Of course they are going to want the lowest hassle, highest efficiency, and largest margins possible.

Surely helping the poor and encouraging business don't need to be diametrically opposed. One might think the two go hand in hand.


One way to get Amazon to contribute to fixing a cities problem would be to tax them but they aren't paying any taxes.


That's a problem with the government. Amazon isn't evading taxes. It's using standard government legislated tax deductions and rebates: http://www.newser.com/story/271410/amazon-banked-11b-in-prof...


Mayor of New York: You gotta be tough to make it in New York.

Businesses with lots of money: Let's go where it's easier


Not all businesses with a lot of money... For example, the financial industry is not going to leave New York anytime soon, as New York is their talent hub.


Let them go. New York doesn’t need their business. New York needs to heal its social fabric and see to the needs of the communities. This is often at odds with economic growth and corporate interest.


Virginia thanks NY for those extra jobs. The issue here is NY’s leaders are idiots and don’t understand the fundamentals of economics. Deferred or reduced taxes on Amazon (investment) in exchange for many thousands of good paying jobs (return) and all the down stream economic benefits as those employees pay taxes on good salaries, buy houses, buy cars, and participate in a plethora of other economic activities in the local environment (further returns). Keep electing clowns that want to keep raising taxes, adding regulation, and are unfriendly to business and you get a free market result - companies leave or don’t come to NY in favor of other more business friendly locations. Brooklyn loses a set of very good jobs due to political blundering yet people people want to blame “evil” Amazon. Sorry, that’s not how this works. Good for Amazon.


Big Corp: We don't need to pay taxes, our employees do it on our behalf.


As a non-American, I have a question about two things that stand out for me (and do correct me if I'm wrong): the first is that Amazon pays no federal taxes. The second is that corporations seem to expect locals to pay for things that they can then make money off — Amazon's installation in this instance but also American football stadiums stand out as an egregious example.

What responsibility (if any) do American companies have towards the communities/societies they exist in (beyond delivering value to shareholders -- wherever they may be)?


This is just a face-saving op-ed by a guy who wants to run for President. The fact that they only gave him an hour's notice shows just how gullible he was and how little respect Amazon had for him in the first place. All of those things he counseled them to do - hire people from the public housing projects, meet with labor organizers, etc - should have been concessions extracted before he signed onto the deal.


> All of those things he counseled them to do - hire people from the public housing projects, meet with labor organizers, etc - should have been concessions extracted before he signed onto the deal.

Exactly my thoughts. Though Amazon should have done this in the first place instead of doing that awful HQ2 search spectacle.

Another thing that jumps out when reading this editorial from the mayor is how strange it is to see him acknowledge Amazons behavior with the min wage tax increase in Seattle that they threw a tantrum about, and yet still he invited them to come to NYC with the tax breaks on a silver platter.


What really blows my mind about this is that we are talking about New York City.

NYC is absolutely stuffed with America's best talent. Amazon needs NYC so much more than NYC needs Amazon.

The entire HQ2 shakedown was always just Amazon seeing how much they could fleece NYC. It's ludicrous New Yorkers are having to do the bargaining they elected a mayor to do for them.


Amazon wanted public money to setup their operations - well they got it together with all the rest that comes with it. If they ever take federal money (and going down 0 tax rate is that path), they’ll need to pray they won’t be nationalized.


I'm skeptical of the article. I most want to see a more descriptive summary of "the agreement we struck with Amazon back in November".

Is it public?


Being a sore loser is always a poor strategy. Reflect on mistakes made and opportunities lost and move on.


I think SNL had a good point, Amazon isn't the worst company in NY, the Trump Organization is also there remember.


How much was AOC responsible for this?


Minor bandwagonning at the end by all sane accounts, but she's a convenient face for it, I guess.




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