“This causes me great indignation at the fact that New York, under the leadership of the Government of Cuomo, is ready to provide up to $ 3,000 million in taxpayers' money without consulting anyone. What is the point of having the majority of Democrats in the Senate Progressive, we work so hard in the state of New York, if we can not stop a person transferred $ 3,000 million taxpayer money to the richest man in this planet? "- said Ron Kim, a member of the Legislative Assembly of the State of New York
by Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan
Amazon published its long-awaited announcement this week: disclosing the location of its second headquarters, called HQ2 (for its abbreviation in English). The selection process faced more than 200 cities that were competing for the possibility of locating a new company campus, which brought the promise to create 50,000 high-paying jobs. In an effort to offer the company as much tempting government subsidies and attractive tax breaks as possible, politicians have spread to the Internet sales giant, and its founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world. Each of these local authorities hoped that the victorious city would flourish with an increase in tax revenues and the emergence of a thriving technology center that could compete with Silicon Valley itself. Finally, Amazon announced that the new headquarters will be divided into two small places: one in Queens, New York and the other in Crystal City, Virginia. Although the details of state-sponsored subsidies that will be provided to Amazon have not yet been disclosed, what is known so far is enough to confirm the worst fears of numerous critics of Amazon: the HQ2 tender was in better, waste. Another example of corporate welfare is when the working class taxpayers' money is transferred to the business giant and its multimillionaire owner.
The day after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced details of the city’s winning bid for Amazon’s reduced headquarters, Ron Kim, member of the New York State Legislature and progressive democrat said in an interview Democracy now!: “This causes me great indignation at the fact that New York, under the leadership of the Government of Cuomo, is ready to provide up to $ 3,000 million in taxpayers' money, without consulting anyone. What is the point of having the majority of Democrats in the Senate Progressive, we work so hard in the state of New York, if we can not stop a person transferred $ 3,000 million taxpayer money to the richest person on this planet? “Representative Kim is referring to the victory of the Democratic Party in the state of New York last week’s elections, which allowed him to take control over the state senate for the third time in 50 years. Kim is optimistic and believes that between the new members of the Senate and The State Assembly, of which it is a part, and which is largely controlled by Democrats, may be generously abolished.
Magazine time He estimated that Jeff Bezos, the chief executive officer of Amazon, only takes nine seconds to earn the $ 28,000 that the average Amazon worker earns in a year. Greg Leroy, an organization that protects business and government responsibility for the economic development of working families, Good Jobs First, has long controlled what he calls “persistent megatraces,” Like the courting that New York and Virginia did at headquarters Amazon HQ2 Apartment. In an interview for Democracy Now! Leroy explained: “This is a new example of what Amazon gets paid for what it would have done 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 place. Once again, we are heavily subsidizing the company to do what I wanted to do anyway. ”
Mayor Bill de Blasio welcomed the decision of Amazon to locate its headquarters in Long Island, Queens: “Here we will have the opportunity for tens of thousands of ordinary New Yorkers, children attending our public schools, youth visiting our colleges and four-year universities ". Before these sayings, Greg Leroy replied: “We know that, as a rule, four out of every five new workers in such a project will not be current residents of New York or Arlington. [Virginia]These will be people who move to this area from the outside. And this means that there is a big expansion, that many schools should be expanded and infrastructure and public services should be built. ” All of this is paid by the taxpayers, not by the Amazon.
LeRoy also said: “Most of the profit, which includes all profits for several years, comes from cloud computing services, from Amazon’s Internet services. It is the largest online computer services company in the world. Its market share is about 40%. And among its most profitable clients in this space are the Pentagon, the CIA and other US federal agencies. Amazon is actively lobbying for greater control over federal purchasing lines and state and local purchasing lines. People do not understand that the location of the HQ2 headquarters in Crystal City, Virginia, is very close, literally a few meters from the Pentagon. "
“Amazon doesn't just want to dominate the market; wants to become a market ", – stated in the title of the article in the weekly Nation written by Stacy Mitchell of the Institute for Local Self-Sufficiency. In an interview for Democracy Now! Mitchell said: “Currently, Amazon is taking one of every two dollars Americans spend online.” Also, eliminate small businesses. “We are losing two retail jobs for each job created in the Amazon warehouse. But I think that instead of seeing Amazon as the dominant player in these markets, the way to understand what this company really means is that Amazon seeks control of the necessary infrastructure that other companies should use to enter the market. . With its online platform, more than half of all Internet searches now start on the Amazon website. And this implies that for a company that produces or sells retail, if you want to have access to consumers, you must increasingly resort to selling on the Amazon platform. And that means Amazon now controls these businesses. ”
First, Jeff Bezos called his company "Kadabra", as in "abracadabra." However, according to legend, his lawyer told him that this is very similar to a “corpse”. It remains to be seen if this new Amazon headquarters of the magical high-tech era will open in Queens, or if it eliminates a small business, take the rent high and leave nothing but the corpses of this area working class.
© 2018 Amy Goodman
Translation of the text into English: Ines Coira. Edition: Maria Eva Blot and Democracy Now! in spanish [email protected]
Amy Goodman is the presenter of the international newspaper Democracy Now!, Which is daily broadcast on more than 800 radio and television stations in English and over 450 in Spanish. She is the co-author of the book Those Who Fight the System: Ordinary Heroes in Extraordinary Times in the United States, edited by Le Monde Diplomatique Cono Sur.