"I am very angry that New York, under Cuomo, is willing to give up to $ 3,000 million taxpayer money without consulting anyone." What's the Senate's meaning with the progressive democratic majority that we work so hard for in New York, if not can we stop a man from donating $ 3,000,000 taxpayer's money to the richest man in the country, "the planet?" said Ron Kim, a member of the New York State Legislative Assembly
Why? Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan
This week, Amazon issued a long awaited message: revealing where its second seat will be located, called HQ2 (abbreviation in English). The selection process included more than 200 cities that competed for the opportunity to fill the company's new campus, which promised to create 50,000 high-paying jobs. In the rivalry for offering the company so many tempting public subsidies and attractive tax breaks, politicians fell face to face with the online sales giant as well as the founder and general manager Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world. Each of these local authorities hoped that the winning city would prosper with the increase in tax revenues and the emergence of a thriving technology center that could compete with the Silicon Valley itself. Finally, Amazon announced that the new headquarters would be divided into two smaller locations: one in Queens, New York, and the other in Crystal City, Virginia. While the details of publicly funded subsidies that will be granted to Amazon remain undisclosed, what is known to date is enough to confirm the worst concerns of many Amazon critics: the HQ2 tender was better, waste. Another example of corporate well-being in which the money of the working-class taxpayers is passed on to the business giant and the owner of the multimillionaire.
The next day, Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo and Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, announced the details of the city's winning bid on Amazon's reduced headquarters, Ron Kim, a member of the New York State Legislative Assembly and progressive Democrat, said in an interview Democracy now!"I am very upset that New York, under Cuomo, is willing to give up to $ 3,000 million taxpayer money without consulting anyone." What sense does the Senate have with a progressive democratic majority for which we work so hard in New York State, we can not stop a man from donating $ 3,000 million taxpayer's money to the richest man in the country, "the planet?" Kim's representative refers to the victory of the Democratic Party in the state of New York in the last week's elections that allowed him to take over the state senate for the third time in during the last 50 years. Kim is an optimist and believes that between generous Senate membership and the National Assembly, of which he is a part and which is largely controlled by Democrats, generous subsidies can be set aside.
Warehouse Time He estimated that Jeff Bezos, Amazon's general manager, only took nine seconds to earn $ 28,000, which the average Amazon employee earns in one year. Greg LeRoy from the organization defending business and government responsibility in the economic development of working families, "Good Jobs First", has long been monitoring what he calls "permanent megatransactions" ", just like the advances that New York and Virginia introduced to the headquarters of the company Amazon in HQ2. In an interview with Democracy Now !, LeRoy explained: "This is a new example of Amazon getting paid for what he would do anyway. I wanted to be in the financial capital of the world, the country and the political capital of the country, so there is no surprise in the chosen location. Once again, we subsidize the company so that it does what I wanted. "
Mayor Bill de Blasio welcomed Amazon's decision to locate headquarters in Long Island City, Queens: "Here we will have the opportunity for tens of thousands of ordinary New Yorkers, children attending our public schools, young people's environmental colleges and four-year universities." Before these words Greg LeRoy replied: "We know that in general, four out of five new employees in this project will not be present residents of New York or Arlington. [Virginia], They will be people who move to this area from outside. And that means there is a lot of expansion that many schools need to be developed and infrastructure and public services built. "All this is paid by taxpayers, not Amazon.
LeRoy also said: "Most of the profits that cover all profits for several years come from their cloud services, from Amazon websites." This is the largest online computing company in the world with a market share of around 40%. Among the most lucrative clients in this space are the Pentagon, the CIA and other US federal agencies, Amazon is aggressively lobbying for more control of federal supply lines and state and local supply lines People do not realize that the HQ2 headquarters location in Crystal City, Virginia is very close, just a few meters away, to the Pentagon. "
"Amazon not only wants to dominate the market, it wants to become a market," says the article's headline in the weekly Nation written by Stacy Mitchell from the Institute of Local Self-sufficiency. In an interview with Democracy Now !, Mitchell said: "Currently, Amazon is intercepting one of the two dollars that Americans spend online." Also, eliminate small businesses. "We're losing about two retail locations for each order generated in the Amazon store, but I think instead of seeing Amazon as the dominant player in these markets, the way to understand what this company really means is that Amazon is looking for the necessary infrastructure, which other companies have to use to reach the market.On a half of all product searches on the internet, now more than half of all product searches on the internet now start on the Amazon website, which means that for a company that manufactures or sells retail, if you want to be able to reach to consumers, you must increasingly resort to selling on the Amazon platform, which means that Amazon now controls these companies. "
Initially, Jeff Bezos called his company "Cadabra", as in "abracadabra". However, according to legend, his lawyer told him that it sounded like a "corpse". It will remain to see if Amazon's new headquarters will launch the Queens High-tech magical era or whether it will eliminate small businesses by shooting rents high into the sky and leaving only the corpse of this district to the working class.
© 2018 Amy Goodman
Spanish translation of the text in English: Inés Coira. Edition: María Eva Blotta and Democracy Now! in Spanish, [email protected]
Amy Goodman hosts the Democracy Now! Program, an international news program that broadcasts over 800 radio and television stations in English daily and over 450 in Spanish. She is the co-author of the book "Those who fight against the system: ordinary heroes in extraordinary times in the United States", edited by Le Monde Diplomatique Cono Sur.