After spending over a year stoking the dreams of cities across the nation, Amazon has finally decided where it will build its second headquarters. Drumroll please… New York City. And also Northern Virginia. Because when you're as giant as Amazon, one second headquarters won't do. You've got to have two. Still, that's better than the alternative in which they have an HQ in every American city and rename the country the United States of Amazon.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio calls this "…the single biggest economic development deal in the history of New York City." The question is, why did Amazon pick New York City? Especially considering that the Cato Institute ranks New York as the worst state in the country for economic freedom. It's been ranked 50th for years, with government regulations to the hilt. Companies make money there in spite of government's efforts to prevent it.
Calling the other new HQ location "Northern Virginia" is technically correct, but it's really Washington, DC. Amazon boss Jeff Bezos apparently likes DC. He owns a second home there. And he also owns The Washington Post. And Amazon also spent $23 million on lobbying in DC over the past two years. But I'm sure none of that has anything to do with the decision to give an HQ to "Northern Virginia."
Contrary to popular belief, Republicans don't have a monopoly on being in bed with "big business."
Brand new Democratic Socialist Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is not having it with all this capitalism in New York City. Amazon moving to town smells too much like money, which people might use for living expenses and building a better life. She says Queens residents are "outraged." That's understandable, I mean, most communities would be outraged over the creation of 25,000 new jobs with an average salary of $150,000. That's not an exaggeration, that is the actual average salary that is one of the contingencies of Amazon receiving tax incentives from New York state.
But back to that original question – why the progressive bastions of New York City and Northern Virginia when you already had a perfectly good progressive bastion in Seattle? It all comes back to taxes, and the most progressive bastions have no qualms about raising taxes to pay Amazon to move to their cities, which is exactly what happened. Contrary to popular belief, Republicans don't have a monopoly on being in bed with "big business."