Amazon

Amazon Kills NYC Headquarters Plans After Opposition From Local Pols

The details of the sorry saga suggest that corporate subsidies played a minor role in the company's decision.

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Jonathan Weiss/Dreamstime.com

After a week of speculation, Amazon announced yesterday that it would be pulling the plug on its plans to open a new 25,000-person headquarters in New York City in exchange for $3 billion in local and state incentives.

"After much thought and deliberation, we've decided not to move forward with our plans to build a headquarters for Amazon in Long Island City, Queens," read the company's statement.

Amazon's initial decision to open a new headquarters in New York City had been greeted with enthusiasm by both Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill De Blasio, both of whom promised the company some $3 billion in subsidies and tax abatements to seal the deal.

Most New Yorkers seemed pleased with the deal as well, despite the corporate welfare baked into the deal. A Seina College poll from earlier in the week found that 58 percent of New York City residents approved of the plan.

But opposition from a few key local and state officials helped to sink the otherwise popular deal. That includes both New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D–Queens).

Johnson's support would have been crucial for shepherding the promised local incentives, which included nearly $1.3 billion in income and property tax breaks, through the city council. Gianaris, a fierce critic of the deal struck by Cuomo and De Blasio, was appointed in early February to the state's Public Authorities Control Board, a position he could have used to block the $1.7 billion in state incentives, which included $1.2 billion in tax breaks plus between $300 and $500 million in cash grants pegged to job creation targets.

Neither Amazon nor Cuomo were shy about blaming recalcitrant politicians for killing the deal.

"A number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward with the project," said Amazon in its statement.

"A small group [of] politicians put their own narrow political interests above their community—which poll after poll showed overwhelmingly supported bringing Amazon to Long Island City—the state's economic future and the best interests of the people of this state," echoed Cuomo.

Most of the deal's critics were triumphant at the news that Amazon was cancelling its plans.

"Today's behavior by Amazon shows why they would have been a bad partner for New York in any event," Gianaris itold CNBC. "It is time for a national dialogue about the perils of these types of corporate subsidies."

How New Yorkers themselves should feel about the Amazon deal falling through is a harder thing to say. It's no doubt a good thing that taxpayers in the state will be spared from having to give direct cash subsidies to one of the largest, most successful companies in the world.

It is also true, however, that most the incentives on offer were simple tax abatements, meaning the state and local governments are no richer for the Amazon deal not going through. The city will also lose out on the jobs and investment that would have come from the e-commerce giant locating in the city.

What the company itself will do next remains to be seen. So far, Amazon has said that it has no plans to solicit bids from more cities for a new headquarters. Nor will it be shifting NYC-bound workers to its other planned campuses in Arlington, Virginia, and in Nashville, Tennessee, even though both locations offer per-job subsidies beyond what Amazon has already committed.

Last week, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam signed an incentive deal that promises per-job subsidies for up to 37,250 Amazon employees, even though Amazon has said it had planned only to add 25,000 jobs to the area. Should Amazon expand its workforce to that 37,250 threshold, it could reap an extra $200 million in cash subsidies.

Something similar could be said of Nashville. The local government there has yet to sign off on any finalized deal. But the original incentive package offered by then–Mayor Megan Barry in November 2017 promised the company a $500 annual grant per job created for 15 years. That offer makes it explicit that this deal was good for an unlimited amount of jobs.

That Amazon is leaving this cash on the table suggests that corporate subsidies—while obviously appreciated by the company—are not the main force driving its decision.

The Mercatus Center's Michael Farren made this exact point to The New York Times in November when Amazon announced it would be opening a headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, and not nearby Montgomery County, Maryland—which had offered substantially more in subsidies.

"An additional $7.5 billion in subsidies wasn't enough to get Amazon to move across the river. That just says that subsidies were never what mattered in the first place," Farren told the Times.

The same thing can be said for Amazon's initial plans to open up in New York City, which came with $3 billion in incentives, rather than Newark, New Jersey, which was offering $7 billion in local and state sweeteners.

Given that one of the primary reasons Amazon looked to open campuses beyond Seattle was to avoid local politicians blaming them for all the city's problems, it shouldn't be too surprising that the company pulled out of New York after they realizing they'd be getting much the same treatment there.

That corporate subsides seem to have been a minor factor in this whole saga should be a lesson to politicians everywhere who are eager to give away the farm in order to attract the next corporate titan.

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  1. Last week, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam signed an incentive deal that promises per-job subsidies for up to 37,250 Amazon employees, even though Amazon has said it had planned only to add 25,000 jobs to the area. Should Amazon expand its workforce to that 37,250 threshold, it could reap an extra $200 million in cash subsidies.

    See, this is silly. If governments are going to do this, they need to do this for every job creator. Open a bowling alley? You get a a per-job subsidy. Open a nail salon? Per-job subsidy.

    1. Whoa whoa whoa. We can’t have normal people just going around starting businesses and creating jobs. At least not without getting permission from — or making a bigger, *ahem*, charitable donation, than their potential competitors.

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    2. I think a meaningful distinction can be made between trying to attract a business with tax (or regulatory) breaks and trying to attract one with actual government spending (such as building a stadium). Neither one is fair, since they both involve the government in picking winners and losers, but tax breaks don’t make other taxpayers immediately worse off than they would have been if the business didn’t come.

      1. no but the invasion of a large new busines always entails burdens on local governments in many ways. So the burden on governments DOES increase when a new business locates within their bailiwick. Thus to allow an increase in load on the government of an area, AND give breaks on the taxes that everyone else pays to provide for the services government are supposed to render is NOT fair. It does give the new entity an advantage, and when that entity is already raking in the terrabux Amazon are, what is the point? Let Amazon find a place where they can carry their own fair share of the load they will incur, AND raise the economic prosperity level of the area at the same time.

        1. I never could figure out why WalMart were so hated and opposed, they simply identified a market area with potential, bought land, built buildings, moved in and opened up shop. I remember when they had grown in the Northwest to the point they needed to establish a regionial distribution centre. Scouted the I-5 corridor in Washington and Oregon, several locations to be examined. Washington made some tax concessions, incentives, etc, which would have been VERY unfair to existing and other start up operations. WalMart settled on a place in Oregon. Main reason? WA imposes state sales tax on EVERY PIECE of tengible equipment pruchased for the operation.. forklifts, pallet racking, truck loading docks, truck tractors, conveyors, computersm and scanning equipment, the cold storage equipment…. the day the Oregon facility opened the company was $Mn4 to the good in taxes not paid, and another $Mn2 every year in annual taxes not due Washington had they located there. Oregon offered no concessions, and gave none, their preexisting structure is just far more friendly to business. Always has been. WA is one of the nastiest to business, especially smaller ones. WA deserved to lose WalMart’s facility. I really think Amazon are better off without New York’s controlling politics pressing down upon them constantly.

          1. I live in Washington, and own a business here. Washing WAS NOT always bad for businesses. The lack of income tax is pretty nice.

            We are becoming that way though thanks to all the progs that moved to Seattle FINALLY tilting the entire states politics hard left instead of centrist.

            But yeah, regular policies that apply to everyone are FAR more useful than trying to dole out special shit to single companies.

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            2. I’m a WA resident too, and must concur. Beyond the sales tax, there is the B&O tax, plus the only source of L&I insurance is the state. Unlike Oregon, where several private option exist and it is substantially cheaper. The King county assholes voted down an initiative some years ago that would have allowed private options here too.

              1. Yeah. The B&O can be almost as bad as an income tax if your business happens to bring in income in ways that make it a big burden, but for many it’s not bad. It depends. Most of the other problems have been more regulatory versus actual taxes. Jacking minimum wage, all kinds of other employee perks being mandatory now, etc.

                It really sucks that the state level is borked now. Back when it was just King County/Seattle passing bad laws, you could feel safe just moving out of there… But now I feel the need to get out of the whole state. Other than the business laws/taxes, there’s all our lovely new gun laws, and other stupid prog shit too. Kinda sucks, as I don’t want to leave western Washington all together, but I just can’t take this stuff in the long haul.

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  2. Then the reverse for further symmetry. Close a bowling alley? You get a a per-job death tax. Close a nail salon? Per-job death tax.

    The funny part would be GM closing a plant. Being so big, the remainder would still be around to tax. But a nail salon? It goes bankrupt or the owner retires to Florida, and who you gonna tax?

  3. I don’t really see a good guy in this. Amazon very intentionally played cities off each other to get line its pockets at the taxpayer’s expense, NY state and city politicians were happy to play along, and some outspoken locals decided to forego economic opportunity mostly because they dislike change and corporations.

    In a better world someone would learn something from this.

    1. Can’t really fault Amazon for shopping aggressively. 25,000 is a big deal, especially when they’re higher end. Obviously they’re an attractive company or they wouldn’t be offered the fat packages.

      I think they were scared (rightfully) by the word Union.

      1. Can’t really fault Amazon for shopping aggressively

        It was in Amazon’s and their shareholders’ financial interests to shop aggressively. That doesn’t mean it was moral.

        1. It would be immoral for a company to squander investors money.

          1. I’m not really on board with the Milton Friedman view that corporations should only concern themselves with being profitable within the confines of the law. Not all laws are moral, and not all morals are reflected in law. So while I agree with you that a company should not squander its investors’ money, I think owners and boards and managers should consider more than just what they can get away with legally when trying to make good investments.

            1. Yeah. It’s a tough issue to think about.

              Personally, I think it comes down to what the deal was when you setup the company or take on investors. If you say explicitly that we will consider moral obligations, not take government subsidies, etc it would be fine. Many closely held corporations can and do this sort of thing. I own businesses and I’ve never tried to get free money, because I find the idea morally repugnant, even though I probably could have got stupid grants or other bullshit over the years.

              But when it’s a big public company that has no such provisions… I think they are almost obligated to go for the free money.

              1. But when it’s a big public company that has no such provisions… I think they are almost obligated to go for the free money.

                Obligated by what or by whom, though? Their board or their shareholders are individuals and we as individuals should expect them to act morally. The catch is, as you say, that it’s a tough issue — morality is easy to talk about in black and white terms but in practice there are all kinds of gray areas, just like this. There is subjectivity here. That’s one of the reasons I don’t expect or even want the law to try and capture and enforce morality — the law is black and white and government is just not equipped to deal well with these types of issues.

                That’s where civil society and the accumulated actions of many individuals becomes important. We shouldn’t let Amazon off the hook just because they are a public company with a profit motive. We (again, as individuals speaking alone or through voluntary associations) should demand better.

                If those of us who think that it’s wrong for either an individual or business to leverage their power to carve out special exceptions for themselves in the law are in the minority, then our condemnation isn’t going to have any impact.

                But if there are enough people who share our morals on this issue, then that condemnation may lead to cultural norms that discourage these types of behaviors.

                This messy cacophony of public discourse is part of the emergent process that leads to those cultural norms.

                1. That’s one of the reasons I don’t expect or even want the law to try and capture and enforce morality

                  That was a little sloppy. The law is obviously going to reflect some moral code. What I meant to say was that the law can’t possibly reflect all the various moral gray areas that exist in the real world, nor can it enforce differing moral codes at the same time, and it shouldn’t try. It should take a more minimalist approach and leave as much space as possible for norms to emerge and be enforced through other means, consistent with some simple foundational values.

                  1. I mean in a way you’re right… Essentially people bitch about things, and on some issues a consensus appears… People/businesses usually then bend to that consensus.

                    But as it stands now, there is a legal duty in black and white to try to make the most profit possible, unless stated explicitly otherwise. I don’t know if other countries have such laws, but the US does.

                    Even if one states such things up front, which i think is the best thing to do because it leaves no assumptions… There’s also the issue of what about if a company wants to change its direction. Say go from being all about the money, to about “values” as part of their deal… Or vice versa.

                    In a way the endless stream of press releases kind of tells people these things, but it is a gray area to be sure.

        2. I’m still not following why it’s immoral. If I go buy a car and play two dealers off each other is it immoral to get the best deal possible?

          You keep saying lining their pockets. I guess it depends on if you believe it’s the company’s money or the government. NY wasn’t giving them 3 billion dollars to go spend. They were taking that off their tax bill.

          So to you what is their fair share?

  4. Given that one of the primary reasons Amazon looked to open campuses beyond Seattle was to avoid local politicians blaming them for all the city’s problems, it shouldn’t be too surprising that the company pulled out of New York after they realizing they’d be getting much the same treatment there.

    For those not keeping score at home, there’s some good news on this front. A fourth incumbent Seattle Council member will not be seeking re-election. He ran a poll in his own district and found his approval rating is hovering around 22%, lower than Donald trump’s in one of the bluest, progressivistest cities in the universe. And there was no one even running against him.

    The chickens are coming home to roost.

    At a community rally in Ballard last year, residents told O’Brien they had too much crime in their neighborhoods, and that he was enabling it with his lax policies toward drug vagrants. He told them to “call 911.” The residents started shouting at him because they all knew that 911 wasn’t even responding to calls due of all the crimes out there.

    I believe his district is one that has seen a ~40% increase in crime over the last couple of years.

    Anyhoo, I suspect the anti-Amazon sentiment in city government might just be somewhat tempered after the next election.

    1. It won’t be good news until that commie cancer Kshama Sawant is harassed back to India where she belongs.

    2. Does “call 911” equal “learn to code”?

      1. No! You have to be more subtle to get past the Twit’s censors. I recommend using the formula “A” != “B” because there aren’t many reporters who will recognize != as not equal because “reporters != coders”. Easy peasy for calling out the for-th “S”-tate.

    3. I live in Seattle too… The thing that worries me about this is that all the people that replace them will be EVEN WORSE.

      All I run into anymore is retards who say “I’m a life long Democrat, and very liberal… But gee whiz these guys are just too crazy!” But then when election time comes, they won’t vote for anybody sane in the primaries, if they even pay attention at all. By the time the election comes it’s all Dems anyway.

      I do wonder if somebody ran as an Independent around here with an explicitly “I’m not a lunatic like the rest of these people, I’ll clean up crime and stop wasting money on dumb stuff” platform if they might actually win. It seems possible, but they’d surely have to virtue signal most of the leftist BS to get anywhere.

      1. How about Seattle’s complete unwillingness to deal with occasional snowfall because spraying, salting, etc. on the roads is ‘bad for the environment’? Didn’t you guys just get paralyzed by two inches of snow?

        1. Haha. It was a lot more than 2″. We got anywhere from 12-20 inches in the Seattle area! But it shut down. We DO salt sometimes, but I don’t think they do the chemical spray stuff ever. But we don’t have enough salt for more than a day or twos worth of salting at any given time, so it’s always a shit show. The hills are what really make it a mess when it snows.

  5. How can progressives deny Bezos a few billion dollars. He is a great guy, despite having asymmetric eyes.

    Does anybody else experience ASMR when looking at AOC?

    1. Does anybody else experience ASMR when looking at AOC?

      In my pants.

      1. word. mackenzie bezos too since it’s thread-topical

    2. No. I experience significant shrinkage.

    3. Wood not.

  6. “An additional $7.5 billion in subsidies wasn’t enough to get Amazon to move across the river. That just says that subsidies were never what mattered in the first place,” Farren told the Times.”

    No, you lying POS. It just means that it was not enough.

  7. “I think their stance on unionization reflects a different time,” Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat, said of Amazon at an unrelated press conference. “Now that people are more and more concerned about decent wages and benefits, I think Amazon’s gonna have to reconsider that.”

    His words echoed previous statements he made in support of a unionized Amazon workforce and came a week after City Council members grilled the company’s executives and the head of the city’s Economic Development Corp. at a hearing over the $3 billion in tax incentives that are part of the campus deal. At the hearing, an Amazon executive said the company would oppose unionizing efforts of its New York City employees, as it repeatedly has at its facilities around the world.

    . . . .

    The mayor said he didn’t push Amazon on its labor policy during the negotiations over the campus because it could have scuttled the deal. But he said he believed the company would change it mind from public pressure in New York.

    “I was mindful strategically of the fact that Amazon felt a tremendous amount of pressure nationally and gave in on the $15 minimum wage before we got to this deal,” he said Tuesday. “I felt strongly if they came here, the pressure to unionize deeply would win the day.”

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/de…..1549410415

    1. No need to read between the lines.

      New York was coming after Amazon to unionize just as soon as Amazon invested their $25 billion in NYC. If you’re going to use the fact that we can’t recover $25 billion in sunk costs to come after us and make us unionize, then we’re not willing to sink $25 billion into your city. Simple as that.

      1. The company didn’t get rich by being stupid.

        1. It was stupid to consider NY in the first place, much less make plans to open shop there.

          1. They REALLY blew it by not going for at least a shit lib city in a deep red state. I mean seriously, why not go for Austin, Atlanta, Miami, etc. They would have had ZERO issues getting workers to move to those places, and would have saved a TON in real estate costs and operating costs over time.

            All the supposed business reasons these tech giants give for locating 95% of their workers in a couple trendy coastal cities are bullshit… They’re just prog tools who want to be in those cities. PERIOD. There is no business case to be made.

            1. Amazon is building a facility just outside Spokane. The progs moving here are slowly flipping the city blue. I hope the addition of Amazon doesn’t make it worse.

              1. Oh shit, I’ve actually wondered where you were in Washington. I’m probably going to take a trip over that way in a couple weeks!

                That’s the general area I’m planning on moving to, so I’ll help keep things centered once I’m over that direction! Gonna scout areas out a little more on this next trip as last time I checked out CDA and other areas as well just to get a broader feel for the area, this time I’m going to mostly checkout Spokane proper.

                I wouldn’t worry about this Amazon facility much. As I understand it it is just going to be a distribution facility, not a white collar office with proggie programmers. So whoever ends up working there will be normal-ish people, not 95% leftist yuppies.

                From my reading of stats and things it seems like the city of Spokane is already kinda centrist, or even center-left, not really conservative, but the area overall is pretty right leaning. Is that about right?

                It’s a messed up thing where a person is being reasonable to be worried about awesome jobs coming into a city, because it’s a college educated profession bringing in the jobs, and the colleges do such a good job of brainwashing the people that they might do more harm than good on net because of their insane politics! What a state the world is in 🙁

      2. I completely agree this bait and switch was the state and cities plan. There were 2 things against that plan: 1) these were to be higher paid “management” type jobs, not line level employees like thier warehouses….2) Why didn’t the communist city councilman and state reps follow along with this plan? Would it have been that hard for Deblasio to collide with them to keep their mouths shut?

  8. The politicians actually wanted Amazon to come, but they had hoped to extort them to fund various programs for homelessness, rent subsidies, and other social services. Which of course would only make every problem worse. Amazon called their bluff. These politicians will lose public support, and despite their gloating, inside they are crying.

    1. They don’t have any of that kind of static in Nashville.

  9. Well, AOC is promising to pay people for not working, so why bother with an employer?

    1. Well, Sandy O is gonna haffta get a VERY high paying job to be able to afford to pay all those OTHER people for NOT working. But she’s too blind to realise that yet.

  10. “…had been greeted with enthusiasm by both Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill De Blasio, both of whom promised the company some $3 billion in subsidies and tax abatements to seal the deal.”

    Gee, Gov. Baby Killing Cuomo surely must not be running a 2.3 billion shortfall when willing to enthusiastically spread such government largess. But, “Yesterday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo made a pilgrimage to the White House to beg President Trump for money.” -redstate.com

    Only gubermint math would support this crony capitalism as a win for New Yorker taxpayers.

  11. Bezo is a bozo, and everyone should tell him to go fuck himself in his ugly-ass bald skull.

  12. I laughed and laughed and laughed at Amazon when they announced they were picking NYC because these dumb people don’t understand just how much NYC hates and loathes and despises capitalism and now I’m laughing and laughing and laughing at NYC because they’re whining and crying that their would-be mugging victim has run away.

  13. It’s no doubt a good thing that taxpayers in the state will be spared from having to give direct cash subsidies to one of the largest, most successful companies in the world.

    Ummmmmmm…..

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but my understanding of tax incentives mean that the company pays less to the government than they would without the incentives. So that is not a cash subsidy. It’s not taking, not giving. But I guess to some people not taking equals giving. Fucking Tony logic.

    1. My understanding as well.

      All other things being equal, shouldn’t we be happy when a business pays less in taxes? The business has more incentive to put the money to good use than the government does.

      1. I stole this from someone on CafeHayek. He said “Profits are the price we pay for efficiency.” The socialist types feel that government does thing more cheaply than the private sector because government doesn’t waste money on profits. What they don’t understand is that government is the least efficient way to get anything done because it doesn’t have a profit motive. As a result waste is rampant. Which of course costs a heck of a lot more than profits, because profits encourage efficiency. But for them it’s all emotional, not logical. They hate the rich, and because the rich reap the profits, profits must be bad. Because rich people are bad.

        1. Great blog.

      2. The problem is that these are an exception to the tax code that only applies to the targeted company. They are a 2ay of playing favorites by making an unequally applied tax code.

        1. Walk into a car dealerships and announce you will buy 10 cars.
          Do you think you will get a better price than someone buying one?
          Is that unfair?

          1. It’s a bit different with tax payer money…

            Personally, I think I draw the line at industry wide carve outs. For instance if they had passed a thing that any e-commerce company got XYZ perks, that would be legit. But the way they structure these things legally is usually using objective stuff like that, but tailoring all the specifics so it can literally only ever apply to the one company.

            That’s just kinda bunk. Funny thing is, a broad law that applied to any e-commerce company probably would bring in 50,000 jobs from 100 different companies! But progs are retards sooooooo…

    2. but if Company A has to fork over the $Bn3 in taxes, and company B does not, and they are otherwise similar, then Company B, in real terms, is now gifted in the amount they don’t have to pay out. Their bottom line is the same as if they had been given cash up front. In other words, by giving grants, subsidies, rebates, concessions, the government entity unfairly burdens all other entities in that they will have to produce more to cover the tax burden, while the favoured company is not so burdened, thus can charge less for its product, an unfair advantage in the marketplace. The ONLY fair and equitable course would be for every company to recieve no concession or gifting from government. Play NO favourites, government MUST keep its thumb off the scale in every case, even Amazon. They are NOT too big to fail.

    3. Per this and other articles they were to receive between $300-505 million in development grants to build the campus in addition to the tax incentives.

  14. Not feeling much sympathy for Bezos and Amazon, nor the rest of the billionaire class. They insulted and alienated the political right, who should have been their natural allies. Turns out that conservatives aren’t very eager to campaign for tax breaks for companies who turn around and wave rainbow flags in their faces.

    So now they’re at the tender mercies of the left, who hate them for being successful, no matter how much they ape the party line. They have no friends left, nor do they deserve them.

    1. I can still hardly understand how the billionaires have all gone left… It’s nuts.

      I mean I understand rent seeking and all that… But it seems so much more straight forward to just push for lower taxes and lower regulations across the board. Once you’re already on top, you have a lot of natural staying power for keeping out competition anyway.

      I sometimes wonder if many of these types are ACTUALLY true believers because of all the indoctrination, and not just power hungry assholes who don’t believe a word of it like the Clinton’s or whatever.

      1. When successful businessmen take a left turn, it means that now they’ve climbed the ladder, they want to pull it up after them. They know that in a free market, small businesses can grow into large businesses and out-compete them.

        1. I know that’s the theory… But that’s why I threw in the line about them having a lot of staying power anyway. Google really doesn’t have a lot of regulatory capture going on, their near monopoly is actually based on market conditions. But they have had no problem buying out the competition they couldn’t crush, even in a fairly free market environment. It seems to me Google, and most other big businesses, would be better served overall by pushing for fewer restrictions, and just take what comes.

          Regulatory capture can’t completely save a failing business or industry at the end of the day anyway. See the auto industry (Japanese and Korean cars), steel, etc etc etc. They’ve all been kicked in the balls HARD even with protections.

  15. Elizabeth Warren
    ? @ewarren


    .@Amazon ? one of the wealthiest companies on the planet ? just walked away from billions in taxpayer bribes, all because some elected officials in New York aren’t sucking up to them enough. How long will we allow giant corporations to hold our democracy hostage?

    Yes, defending yourself from parasites like Elizabeth Warren who openly claim that stealing your shit is good and noble and a moral imperative for an insatiably greedy government is “holding our democracy hostage” – in precisely the sense that democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what’s for dinner. The sheep’s running away is a horrifying betrayal of our most sacred and cherished principles of democracy, ain’t it, Elizabeth? What an evil, evil cunt.

    1. Politicians hate hate hate the fact that capital is mobile.

    2. The word “democracy” occurs exactly zero times in the Constitution. And there is a reason for that. The founders understood that democracy is mob rule. That’s why they created a democratic republic, and that’s why the Senate was elected by state governments. They were the check against the mob. Now the mob rules,

      1. Two wolves and a lamb voting what’s for dinner.


  16. Most New Yorkers seemed pleased with the deal as well, despite the corporate welfare baked into the deal.

    For the last fucking time, tax breaks are not corporate welfare unless you’re a Progressive. The more you say this, the less libertarian street cred you should have.

    If you’re going to oppose this, oppose it because it’s an uneven playing field not because it’s somehow stealing food out of the mouths of career bureaucrats.

    1. I think that IS the reason most don’t like it. If the changes applied to all businesses I don’t think anybody would have an issue.

  17. I think AOC will bring the parties in New York State together on this when they gerrymander her district out of existence. She’s pissing in everyone’s rice bowl.

    1. It will be easy to do since New York is losing a couple of seats in the House along with those rich people and their 2.3 billion in taxes.

    2. I think the establishment dems will invest efforts into a candidate to beat her.

      AOC, Job killer.

  18. It seems funny that it took so little for Amazon to back out. It wasn’t like the governor or the mayor we’re complaining, just a state senator. If they were that sensitive to political talk, I mean this is New York City, that’s what they do.

    If they wanted political indifference they should have moved to Texas.

    1. “”just a state senator. “”

      Noooooooo. Two state senators, One federal congresswoman, and a shit load of her followers. AOC et al, has done protest rallies giving a loud voice saying Amazon is not welcome here.

  19. Local politics played a lot of role in this decision. People need to chat with politicians and candidates to make sure their thoughts are heard. One way is through Opinioner. https://opinioner.org

  20. NYC and Amazon corp both suck, so I am puzzled as to whom to cheer for. I suppose I will root for local folks having a mini uprising and getting what they say they want, since none of the consequences can affect me.

  21. “Local Politicians”
    They can look forward to a primary battle at their next re-election attempt then.

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  24. “Reason Foundation advances a free society by developing, applying, and promoting libertarian principles, including individual liberty, free markets, and the rule of law.”

    And yet once again, with this gibberish, the largely billionaire-funded reason.com proves it is more aligned with CORPORATOCRATIC principles than true “libertarian” or “free market” ideals.

    Reason favors a shift away from corporate taxes and towards citizen-supplied taxes.
    They claim adherence of individual liberty, but oppose the same when up against corporate liberty.

    They claim support for decentralization, favoring more local control, but then criticize local politicians whom try to protect their Constituents from corporations that try “to avoid local politicians blaming them for all the city’s problems”.

    THIS WHOLE “ARTICLE” SMACKS OF EXTREME HYPOCRISY.
    THIS IS THE MAIN PROBLEM OF NEO “LIBERTARIANS”.

    THEY ARE MERE CORPORATOCRATS, UNDER GUISE OF “FREEDOM”.

    THE FREEDOM OF NEO-FEUDAL CORPORATE LORDS TO INFRINGE ON THE LIBERTIES OF CITIZENS, IS NOT TRUE LIBERTY.

    YOU MORONS!

    1. This idiotic “article” states that Amazon is one of the “most successful companies in the world.”
      YET IT REFUSES TO OUTLINE HOW AMAZON HAS SECURED OVER $1.5 BILLION IN GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIES (and that number is PRIOR to these HQ2 deals).

      AMAZON IS THE EPITOME OF STATE-CAPITALISM, I.E. CRONY-CAPITALISM.
      HOW IN THE HELL CAN THAT POSSIBLY BE CONSIDERED “FREE MARKET”?

      This idiocy herein is EVIDENCE of how PROPAGANDA is utilized.

      A Seina College (a Roman Catholic liberal arts college) poll is not a definitive indicator of citizens wishes.

      PEOPLE/INSTITUTIONS CAN CONSTRUCT POLLS IN ANY MANNER THEY CHOOSE, ACHIEVING THEIR DESIRED OUTCOMES.

      “That corporate subsides seem to have been a minor factor in this whole saga”
      JUST BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T TAKE THE LARGEST SUBSIDIZED OFFERS, DOES NOT MEAN SUBSIDIES ARE A “MINOR” FACTOR.
      Amazon’s existence has depended on government subsidies.

      State to state, Amazon employees exist as among the largest recipients of food stamp assistance.
      COURTING A CORPORATE BEHEMOTH THAT RESULTS IN EVEN MORE GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS & SPENDING, IS NOT “FREE MARKET”.

      REASON HAS ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA THE TRUE MEANINGS OF “FREE MARKET” NOR “LIBERTARIAN”.

  25. ? For over 20 years, Amazon carefully skirted sales taxes in most other states too. The effort was worth it. Not having to collect sales tax gave Amazon, in effect, a price advantage over brick and mortar retailers, who, by virtue of their physical presence, had to charge sales tax?even for online purchases.

    PROTECTIONIST LEGISLATION FOR CERTAIN MEGA-CORPORATIONS, IN NOT A FREE MARKET.

    ? Between 2005 and 2014, Amazon built 77 fulfillment centers, which were funded by subsidies totaling OVER $613 million in government provided subsidies.

    GOVERNMENT PROVIDED MONEY FOR FOR A FEW MEGA-CORPORATIONS, IN NOT A FREE MARKET.

    ? Amazon subsidies now look to pick up giveaways totaling more than $4.6 billion.

    THE CATO INSTITUTE HAS ESTIMATED THAT CORPORATE WELFARE SUBSIDIES NOW TOTAL OVER $110 BILLION, EVERY SINGLE YEAR.
    THIS MONEY LARGELY GOES TO SOME OF THE LARGEST CORPORATIONS IN THE WORLD.

    STOCK MARKET MANIPULATIONS ARE OCCURRING LARGELY DUE TO THESE CORPORATE SUBSIDIES.

    THAT IS NOT A FREE MARKET!

    I suggest EVERYONE critical of this anti-Amazon sentiment READ ABOUT TRUE FREE MARKET CONCEPTS.

    It’s interesting how the .001 percent keep the “left” and “right” busily distracted fighting each over ideals they share in common.
    THIS IS HOW A PLUTOCRACY/OLIGARCHY WORKS!

    1. philoeleutheria, meet jello.beyonce:

      “And yet once again, with this gibberish, the largely billionaire-funded reason.com proves it is more aligned with CORPORATOCRATIC principles than true “libertarian” or “free market” ideals.
      […]
      They claim support for decentralization, favoring more local control, but then criticize local politicians whom try to protect their Constituents from corporations that try “to avoid local politicians blaming them for all the city’s problems”
      From idiot #1…

      “For over 20 years, Amazon carefully skirted sales taxes in most other states too. The effort was worth it. Not having to collect sales tax gave Amazon, in effect, a price advantage over brick and mortar retailers, who, by virtue of their physical presence, had to charge sales tax?even for online purchases.
      PROTECTIONIST LEGISLATION FOR CERTAIN MEGA-CORPORATIONS, IN NOT A FREE MARKET.”
      From idiot #2…
      You guys ought to swap tin-foil hats.

  26. it’s fascinating that Amazon, run by the “devout” catholic Bezos, an individual whom betrayed the vows made by him to his god by cheating on his wife, is so reliant on a poll from the Roman catholic college Siena.

    A lying, cheating state-corporate created CEO billionaire whom is a member of a church embroiled in abuse scandals.
    CLASSIC!

    The catholic church has NEVER engaged in manipulation, nor propaganda.
    Thus this poll must be trusted.

    One should also take note that some of the largest corporate partners of Siena are among the largest investors of Amazon.

    1. jello.beyonce|2.16.19 @ 12:43PM|#
      “it’s fascinating that Amazon, run by the “devout” catholic Bezos, an individual whom betrayed the vows made by him to his god by cheating on his wife, is so reliant on a poll from the Roman catholic college Siena.”

      It’s not really fascinating that an imbecile like you has a tin-foil hat that is receiving the WRONG SIGNALS!
      Yes, the WRONG SIGNALS!
      The transmission was really telling you about the secret meeting between Nixon and Hitler in Paraguay! And you, you fucking ignoramus MISSED THE MEMO!!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. Sooo as a long time Seattle resident I have mixed feelings.

    On the one hand NY is already a shit hole. So I don’t think throwing in 25,000 more prog tards would have made much difference. It’s already insanely expensive and filled with morons. On the other hand had they chosen a city that is decent now, the truth is this many people in a short period of time could literally ruin an entire city.

    There is such a thing as too much of a good thing… At least if it’s in too short a period of time. The Bay Area and Seattle are examples. Most people here have a LOWER real standard of living now than 10 or 20 years ago thanks to the rapid spike in tech employment here, despite supposedly having higher income. Income is up around 1/3… Housing is up 3x! It’s been a net loss to everybody in the city really in most ways.

    It may settle down and smooth out someday, but it has basically been ruined as a nice place to live, probably forever because of the other changes. All the character is gone, never to return to this place. It’s a hipster thing to bitch about, and I hate hipsters… But it’s simply true. You’d be lucky to find 1 in 50 long time residents who wouldn’t agree.

    1. My personal opinion being originally from the Bay, and living here for a long time, is that these tech companies are idiots for excessively concentrating their work forces. Older Fortune 500 companies spread their offices around more for logical reasons. The techies make BS arguments why they do this, but they don’t hold up to logic. REALLY they just want to be in trendy prog tard coastal cities, because the CEOs like it, and they assume those must also be the only places their employees all want to live too. If they even give the employees consideration at all.

      The smarter business decision would have been to open more campuses in other major cities that had particular focuses/divisions. They could have lower labor costs (as they can pay less in a city where a nice house costs $200K versus $2 Million), NOT ruined the cities for their employees and already there inhabitants, reduced real estate costs, reduced taxes/regulatory costs, etc etc etc.

      They ignored all that because they want to be “cool” IMO. I know lots of people who moved to Seattle from other parts of the country ONLY because they COULD NOT find decent tech employment where they were from, despite all those places being major cities. Amazon would have ZERO trouble hiring 5-10,000 people each in Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Miami, Atlanta, Phoenix, etc etc etc. None at all. And they would gain a ton of advantages.

      1. But instead they crammed hundreds of thousands of people into tiny ass little areas and tripled or more real estate prices, destroying the value of their own employees salaries, which they then had to jack even higher to compensate, but not NEARLY enough to ACTUALLY compensate for the price rises they themselves created. It’s ridiculous.

        Instead of creating ACTUAL real and realized prosperity, what they’ve done is created areas where people have a paper income that looks impressive, but have an actual lifestyle more in line with somebody who works as a mechanic or carpenter in most of the country!

        So while NY might not have felt it much because it’s already got all the bad things this would bring, if it had gone to a smaller saner city, it would be more of a problem than a benefit in some ways.

        All the shittyness that has come to Seattle is why I am bailing out of this hell hole. It used to be a REALLY nice place to live… But no longer, and the old days are never coming back.

  28. YOU WANT A TRUE FREE MARKET?

    START BY GETTING RID OF ALL THE WEALTH INEQUALITY GAINED BY STATE-CAPITALISM/CRONY-CAPITALISM.

    “LIBERTARIANS” (PSEUDO-LIBERTARIANS) ARE THOSE MULTI-MILLIONAIRES AND BILLIONAIRES WHOM HAVE ACQUIRED MASSIVE WEALTH VIA SPECIAL INTEREST LEGISLATION, AND ARE USING THAT STATE GAINED WEALTH TO BUY MORE PROTECTIONIST LEGISLATION AND PROPAGANDA, TELLING OTHERS IT’S WRONG TO DO AS THEY THEMSELVES HAVE DONE.

    SO, LET’S START FROM A CLEAN SLATE.

    LET’S HAVE A FREE MARKET.

    LET THE PEOPLE RECLAIM THE OVER $110 BILLION GIVEN AWAY IN ANNUAL CORPORATE SUBSIDIES FROM COMPANIES LIKE AMAZON.

    DESTROY THE THIEVING RICH FIRST.

    THEN LET’S TALK FREE MARKETS.

    NO MORE PATENT PROTECTIONS.
    NO MORE TRADEMARKS.
    NO MORE COPYRIGHTS.
    NO MORE PROFESSIONAL LICENSING.

    1. “DESTROY THE THIEVING RICH FIRST.”
      Fuck off, thug.

    2. “NO MORE PATENT PROTECTIONS.
      NO MORE TRADEMARKS.
      NO MORE COPYRIGHTS.
      NO MORE PROFESSIONAL LICENSING.”

      Yikes! Yes, let’s invest billions making a product and than new recoup the cost!

      Plus go take your generic meds!

      By the way the key on each side of your keyboard. The one with the arrow up and says shift. Try using it.

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