But vigorous democracy and vigorous capitalism should be able to coexist. That would be an important lesson for Amazon, which pressured city officials in Seattle — its hometown — to repeal a business tax for housing and homeless service.
Those opposed to the New York project — a distinct minority of people in the city and the state — were not without cause for rage. The subways are rickety, the schools are dysfunctional, the rent is too damn high and getting higher. And the deal included $3 billion in tax benefits for a trillion-dollar corporation.
But progressives shouldn’t stand athwart progress, yelling stop. It’s not like that $3 billion can now be applied to city needs, as some seemed to think; it vanished along with the $27 billion in tax revenue that could, in fact, have helped address city needs. If New York has any hope of remedying its problems, it will need a robust tax base spread across many sectors. Real-world progressive governance requires revenue.