As you know, your hometown lost the benefits of having Amazon open its second headquarters there. This is also true even if you live in Crystal City, Virginia, or the New York City area where they elected to land.
As you also know, cities basically prostituted themselves to get Amazon to move in there, offering an incredible amount of benefits and concessions, including significant tax breaks. That part annoys the Czar, because it basically admits that the Democrats, who run these cities, know that high corporate taxes disincentivize a business from succeeding. Right? Notice that the first thing municipalities do when trying to lure in a business is lower corporate taxes: which means that raising them, as Democrats increasingly want to do, repels businesses from opening. You can ask yourselves why that is.
But Amazon was a perfect and entertaining lesson in how seriously screwed up our cities are. When Amazon announced, casually, that they were thinking of opening up a second headquarters and bring, maybe, something like 6 billion jobs to the hosting community, cities ranging from Atlanta to freaking Gary, Indiana, saw this as the salvation to their upside-down balance sheets and morals. City after city tore off its clothes, laid down on its back, and flung wide its thighs for Amazon. No taxes at all! Free real estate! Whatever you want! Just please, please, please, please, please open your building here. Take everything! Put a baby in me!
To say the cities prostituted themselves for Amazon is putting it charitably: the cities were basically free samples outside the brothel door.
Had any of these greedy jackasses who run the cities bothered to read the terms of the deal, they might not be surprised to learn that Amazon has much smarter attorneys by far. Amazon reaps the financial benefits promised by New York and Washington even though they are delivering half of the goods to each. That’s right: neither city has a penalty clause changing the benefits if Amazon were to, you know, short-change the deal.
A smart attorney, say one working for Amazon, might have said “Hey, reading through this, what happens if Amazon doesn’t deliver all the jobs and revenue it promised? Can we change the benefits and paybacks?” Not a single one.
So Amazon gets to divide and conquer—through no sneakiness or manipulation or Mephistophelean machinations at all—getting the benefits of both cities while delivering only half to each. Amazon isn’t to blame for this: Crystal City and New York City and their respective greediness does.
You hear a lot of kvetching from the Left about how capitalist greed hurts ordinary people: well, the capitalists in this scenario were the cities, who acted exactly like Depression-era speculators who got hosed by a clever financier. “We thought we were cheating him,” spake the swindlers, as they discover themselves broke and penniless. Crystal City and New York, meet Doyle Lonnegan and Lt. William Snyder. You have much to discuss.
Speaking of Leftists, there’s our favorite congressional dimwit, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who shames, shames, shames these cities for giving Amazon basically $2.6 billion away that could have gone in better directions. She’s right when you put it like that, but the Czar suspects she really wants Amazon taxes 99% of its revenues to buy her better directions, like a huge home and fancy car. Ocasio-Cortez might be right in blasting the cities for being stupid, but her preferences are vastly dumber. Don’t fall for it.