As 'Corporate Bribery' Lands Amazon HQ2 in Queens, Outrage is a Proper Response

The idea that Amazon "will receive hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks at a time when our subway is crumbling

"We shouldn't be giving billions away to one of the biggest companies in the world when our schools are already at capacity and our transit crumbling across the region."

—Alex Howe, Democratic Socialists of America

"We've been getting calls and outreach from Queens residents all day about this," incoming Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) wrote in a Twitter thread late Monday. "The community's response? Outrage."

After a year-long race-to-the-bottom competition to determine which city and state lawmakers would most subserviently grovel at its feet and offer the most generous taxpayer-funded gifts, Amazon on Monday reportedly chose Queens, New York and the Northern Virginia suburb of Crystal City as the split locations for its second headquarters, sparking anger among those who believe the online retailer will drive up already soaring housing prices and worsen unsustainable inequality.

Highlighting Amazon's enormous size and wealth—the company recently reached a trillion dollars in market value—Ocasio-Cortez added that the "idea that it will receive hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks at a time when our subway is crumbling and our communities need more investment, not less, is extremely concerning to residents here."

"Amazon's search for a second home (HQ2) on top of its current headquarters in Seattle—where the company has successfully crushed efforts by city lawmakers to impose a small tax to fight homelessness—set off what the New York Times described as a "frenzied bidding war," which produced such debasing stunts as New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo's suggestion that he would be willing change his name to "Amazon Cuomo" to secure the company's presence in his state.

In addition to the public pronouncements of city and state officials, lawmakers have also been negotiating with Amazon behind closed doors and offering tax incentives that have not faced public scrutiny.

"Every year, American cities and states spend up to $90 billion in tax breaks and cash grants to urge companies to move among states. That's more than the federal government spends on housing, education, or infrastructure."

—Derek Thompson, The Atlantic ..."

Read full story at Common Dreams

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