Oh, good lord, here we go again, debasing ourselves sucking up after Amazon, promising huge subsidies with the promise of jobs, using already-weary taxpayers to underwrite a new campus for the richest corporation in the world – even as our Legislature is investigating how our own Economic Development Authority (EDA) dished out millions in corporate welfare, apparently without making sure they created the jobs they promised for all that loot. I mean, the irony …
Oh, Newark, not again. Amazon just pulled out of NYC for HQ2, and according to Fortune magazine, Newark just threw its name back into the hat as of Tuesday. And we promised them even more than NYC did – $7 Billion in public funds, which was approved by the Legislature during the ass-end of Christie’s 2nd term. And we’re simply rolling out that same offer again to Jeff Bezos’ gigantic, rich company.
And, I mean, I appreciate Newark’s aim to reinvent itself by attracting business investment, and showing off what its workforce is capable of. I have all the love for that. But good gravy, does nobody in authority in New Jersey realize we are really bad at this here. We listen too hard to the gauzy promises of already-rich businesses, we let them spin us, and we don’t reliably make sure they even honor their commitments. And its our WORKERS who get screwed. Twice – because those jobs don’t always materialize and they’re underwriting companies who, let’s be real, are getting a cushy deal they usually don’t even need.
Amazon already rejected NJ – Months ago, Amazon chose Long Island City in Queens, New York, and Crystal City VA over several bids from New Jersey and other states to build a headquarters it called HQ2. Today, Amazon pulled out of its NYC location, after Mayor Bill deBlasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo put aside their differences as recently as a few days ago to save the deal. And that was over objections from many New Yorkers, notably Queens congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who built a national reputation for herself asking such questions as, Why should our taxpayers subsidize the wealthiest corporation in the world? Objections to Amazon’s campus build ranged from lack of oversight by NYC’s city council (uh, NJ should pay special attention to that one), Amazon’s union-busting record, its talk with ICE about facial recognition technology, and how Amazon’s requirement a helipad be built would impact local residents.
NYC promised Amazon $3 Billion in subsidies; looks like Amazon would be into Newark for more than twice that. Amazon is about a trillion dollar company. Is this the best we can do?