How big of a victory was it for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that Amazon pulled HQ2 out of NYC?
Victory. Big.I will say again what I’ve said many times - AOC is like the Democrats‡ version of Trump. This kind of thing endears her more to the base, and to the party as whole. That corporate, establishment Democrats are upset, and especially that Republicans are upset, does not matter.Have NONE of you listened to the base of the party over the last three years? They are tired of privileges and sweetheart deals given to the rich and powerful at the expense of the rest of us. That was a big part of Bernie Sanders’s appeal, and also Trump’s (his whole “I was one of the riggers of the system so I know how it’s rigged).Let’s look at the deal as objectively as I can using this article which is pretty good: Amazon’s HQ2 deal with New York, explainedWhat Amazon would have gotten:4 million square feet of property, partially owned by the city, so gifted to Amazon.The state would override local land use, environmental, and zoning restrictions.$897 million from the city’s Relocation and Employment Assistance Program (REAP)$386 million from the Industrial & Commercial Abatement Program (ICAP)$505 million in a capital grant and $1.2 billion in “Excelsior” credits if its job creation goals are metOpportunity zone designation, meaning more tax breaks separate from the city and state subsidies in the futureAbout 1.4 Billion was in direct subsidy.How many small businesses or normal people do you know that can just get regulations hand-waved for them, special designations granted and also get paid in the process?What New York City would have gotten:An efrom the state, that Amazon will generate $27.5 billion in state and city revenue over 25 years.There was no guarantee of that. It might be more or it might be less than half that. This was not even an efrom Amazon.Predicated on the assumption that after the company begins hiring in 2021. Amazon will create 25,000 jobs over the next decade (with up to 40,000 when all is said and done), with an average salary of $150,000. The state estimates the project will facilitate 1,300 construction jobs and 107,000 in total direct and indirect jobs.Again, no guarantee any of that would actually occur. No guarantee that the jobs would be filled locally. In fact, they almost certainly would not be.Amazon would pay in 650 million over 40 years into the city’s PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) program fund for local infrastructure. The specifics would be worked out by “community engagement.”There is no way to guarantee that would actually happen.$5 million for workforce development and to host job training sessions and job fairs at the nearby Queensbridge Houses.Excuse my language, I don’t usually curse on Quora‡ but this pisses me the hell off. $5 million for workforce development is a fucking PITTANCE. An elementary school has a bigger budget than that. The operating budget of the nearest community college is $137 million. Per year. So how much “workforce development” do you think is going to happen for $5 million total?Oh, don’t forget that “no hiring guarantees were made in the memorandum” about the job training sessions at Queensbridge Houses.Amazon will also build a new school with as many as 600 seats on its campus.Oh! 600! Again, elementary schools are larger that that. Also no indication that it will train locals.Along with a “tech startup incubator.”WTF does that even mean? That could just be a coffee shop with wifi for all we know.So it looks like the deal is fairly one sided. There were $2 Billion dollars worth of hard cash and deferred regulatory requirements going right into Amazon’s pockets, with another $1 Billion on the way. In return? A bunch of vague promises that Amazon could decide not to keep.I’m no economics expert but I do remember learning the lesson about “Time Value of Money” - money now is always worth more than money later. New York was giving money and benefits now, Amazon promised to do‡ some stuff‡ much, much later. Who gets the better end of that deal, hm?How was the deal brokered? A behind closed doors sweetheart deal made by the governor with no local input. None.In October, Cuomo met with Amazon execs in both New York City and Seattle, he joked he was so intent on wooing Amazon, he’d name the Newtown Creek the Amazon River if the company came to New York, and he infamously quipped that he would change his own name to “Amazon Cuomo,” if the company set up shop in the Empire State).What could the existing residents look forward to? Gentrification, skyrocketing housing costs, traffic problems, loss of neighborhood identity, increased homelessness, and closure of locally owned businesses. If you doubt me, just read about Seattle’s experience and the omen for Long Island City:Photos show how Seattle’s favorite businesses vanished after Amazon showed up ‡ and it could be an omen for the HQ2 cityHow Big Tech Swallowed SeattleI’m From Seattle. Here’s What Amazon Will Do To New York City.Amazon HQ2 and the ‘Gentrification of Jobs’Gentrification, Alienation, and Homelessness: What Really Happens When Amazon Moves to Town?….kind of looks like hosting the Olympics…It turns out that AOC is actually on the side of her constituents. Perish the thought! And Americans do oppose this kind of deal. They will be happy for Amazon to HQ in their city, but want them to pay their own bills -A new INSIDER poll conducted on SurveyMonkey Audience may help explain why. The poll asked 1,117 respondents what the best use of $3 billion in tax credits would be: giving it to one large company to open a large corporate office, to several mid-size companies to open offices, to existing businesses in the area for growth, or to residents in the area to encourage spending.The style of deal that was negotiated between Amazon and New York ‡ $3 billion in tax credits for a new large office ‡ carried only about 4% of the vote in the INSIDER poll. It was the least popular of all responses, including "I don't know," which earned just over 12% of votes.By far, the most popular response supported giving tax credits to residents, which took the lion's share of the vote at more than 45%. Next was giving them to existing businesses, with over 20%. And giving the credits to mid-size companies received 18% of the vote. The poll had a margin of error of about 3 percentage points. Those results held steady regardless of whether the respondent said they lived in an urban, rural, or suburban area.The style of tax credit that was to be gifted to Amazon is only supported by 4% of the public. AOC is on the more popular side of this issue.Footnotes Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says that $3 billion in tax credits should be given to the public, not Amazon ‡ and a new poll shows that nearly half of Americans agree