Now that Amazon appears to have been permanently scared away from opening a new headquarters in Queens, someone will need to shoulder the blame for those thousands of jobs not materializing. The Governor has already staked out his own position on the question, blaming Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her cohorts for sinking the deal. But we can’t really place all the blame in one basket here, can we? New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio doesn’t see it that way and yesterday he identified the real culprit in this mess. It’s Amazon’s fault.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) on Sunday blamed Amazon for canceling its planned headquarters in New York City, saying the tech giant “walked away” as soon as there was criticism.
“They said they wanted a partnership. But the minute there were criticisms, they walked away. What does that say to working people, that a company would leave them high and dry, simply because some people raised criticisms?” he asked during an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Amazon last Thursday announced it was canceling plans to open its second headquarters, called “HQ2,” in Long Island.
So just to be clear, the Mayor of New York City is blaming Amazon for walking away from a deal they had already agreed to in principle. That was a deal signed off on by the city and state government. And the criticism of it wasn’t coming from Amazon’s side of the table, either. It was political pressure from the far left.
We’re talking about a business deal here, not a hostage negotiation. Why should Amazon go through with such a massive plan and risk that sort of investment if they were just going to be the target of ongoing protests and accusations? This is not entirely the fault of AOC, by the way, though she certainly helped stir the pot. This project was doomed by a coalition of liberals who were busy venting their anger even as the two sides were coming to an agreement.
And don’t be fooled by the smokescreen of Democrats complaining about the tax incentives that were offered to Amazon. To be sure, these sweetheart deals are frequently bad news and give away too much, but since when do New York’s Democrats care about blowing holes in the budget? No, this was a case of liberal ire and anger being directed, in part, at Jeff Bezos. You see, Bezos has made “too much money” and doing anything to put another dollar in his designer pockets was intolerable to the left, no matter how many people might have gotten well-paying jobs.
The other half of that formula was the ever-present tide of complaints about “gentrification.” The arrival of Amazon would have supposedly made things worse for poor people. But let’s keep in mind what the left actually means when they talk about so-called gentrification. If the poorest residents are living in low-cost, rent-controlled public housing units (where conditions are frequently horrible), and suddenly 25,000 new jobs appear, workers will want nicer places to live. That means that rents and real estate prices will rise. This allegedly is a bad thing, because then those who aren’t working for better than minimum wage will have to move to other public housing.
The bottom line is that liberals view this as a battle between the rich and the poor. And they would rather see the poor remain in poverty than do anything that might benefit the wealthy. In reality, the whole idea is to lift the poor out of poverty with better jobs, allowing them to afford a better lifestyle. But that’s not how it’s being sold on the left, so Amazon was driven off by an angry mob. Great job, folks. Now everything can stay just the way it is.