I’m really upset. And I’m upset not because I was on the losing side of what I think is a fair debate. I really believed this would be good for the people of New York. It would be a strain on the specific neighborhood, Long Island City, that Amazon was going to go into. But I know that what defeated this deal was mostly asinine misperceptions and ignorance. I would have loved to sit down with de Blasio and Cuomo and give them a little communications advice.
We have a PR problem here. All we need to do is educate people about a fact: Most New Yorkers think their taxes actually go to Amazon: that when they write a check at the end of the year to New York City, or New York state, or when they get some of their paycheck money withheld, some portion of that would go to Amazon and Jeff Bezos’ helicopter. We know that’s not true.
Maybe we make fun of Bezos and his helicopter, vilify him a little bit. Maybe we say: Your taxes are not going to woo Amazon. That’s not how it works. What we did is we gave Amazon a coupon or did what a bar does for happy hour.