Start spreading the news; he’s not coming today. He doesn’t want to be a part of it — New York, New York. He doesn’t have to make it there; he’s made it everywhere else.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is not coming to New York, after all, which turns the famous Frank Sinatra song on its head.
The plan for Amazon to build its eastern headquarters in New York City, in northwest Queens across the East River from Manhattan, went up in smoke today. This cancellation comes just three months after announcing it would locate there, and bring 25,000 mostly middle-income jobs and billions of dollars in economic growth to the area thanks to $3 billion in government spending and tax incentives.
Whether you agree or disagree with Amazon’s locating in New York, the reaction by some to the company’s about-face illustrates an ignorant and troublesome direction the country may be heading.
Media-magnet Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez immediately opposed Amazon’s locating in
Queens, adjacent to her congressional district, when it was first announced last November. She’s obviously a very happy politician today with this latest announcement by the company that it’s not coming.
She reacted this way: “Anything is possible: today was the day a group of dedicated, everyday New Yorkers & their neighbors defeated Amazon’s corporate greed, its worker exploitation, and the power of the richest man in the world.”
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez just loves sticking it to The Man, in this case, Jeff Bezos, the wealthiest man (in nominal terms) in world history. What she doesn’t elaborate on is just what constitutes Amazon’s “corporate greed” and “worker exploitation,” particularly as it relates to its locating in New York City?
Polling had more than two-thirds of New Yorkers supporting Amazon’s original decision to locate in the City. Politicians from both political parties supported the company’s location, including New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, both Democrats, and GOP Congressman Peter King, who represents nearby Long Island suburbs. Elected officials in dozens of other locales similarly pursued Amazon to locate in their communities.
Jeff Bezos is wealthy and Amazon as a company is thriving because millions of Americans voluntarily purchase their services. Thousands of Americans also choose to be employed there. It’s that simple. It’s not that the company is flawless, or above scrutiny, particularly its overseas operations. But clearly the company has been an economic engine and tax revenue generator for government at all levels.
At the risk of giving even more attention to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, her knee-jerk, anti-corporate name-calling is emblematic of how many in elected office view the private sector. She and many of these same politicians also are pushing the “Green New Deal.” There is a very real connection to the anti-business sentiment, expressed, in this case, toward Amazon and this Deal, which reads as an anti-private sector manifesto that would shift enormous new power, resources and control to the public sector.
Under the Green New Deal, the federal government would supposedly provide everyone a union job and a guaranteed income (whether you worked, or not), build high-speed trains (California’s failures notwithstanding), take over the entire health care system, and replace fossil fuels entirely with renewable energy in little more than a decade, and so it goes.
If this Green New Deal fantasy could be implemented (it can’t), it’s going to take a lot more Jeff Bezos’ making profits and paying taxes to the government to even get it started. The problem will be that such job creators will be far fewer in such a transformed America.
The Green New Deal also is going to require government taking on new powers that really would exploit American workers, starting with those in the energy and health care sectors, along with every American who drives a car or flies in a plane. They (meaning, we) would lose such freedom in this Green New Deal for America – just for starters.
There were legitimate, sober arguments for and against Amazon locating in New York City. But the mentality against corporations like Amazon, manifested by Ocasio-Cortez, simply because they exist, is the same mentality that would have government completely take over and run everything – and everyone.
When the government takes over everything under the guise of saving the planet with a Green New Deal, there is nowhere else to turn when it inevitably fails.