Amazon and A Simply Disastrous Day for New York City
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Amazon and A Simply Disastrous Day for New York City

I have lived in New York for about 22 years and that is long enough to have seen some awful days here.

The magnitude and human impact of Amazon’s reversal and departure from Long Island City cannot be compared to some things in our recent past. But, today's decision by Amazon stands apart in that it was perpetrated by people claiming to have the City’s best interests at heart.

The politicians who just caused Amazon to pull out of New York have in fact accomplished something excruciatingly dumb. In one fell swoop, 25,000 well-paying jobs were lost to a part of the city that desperately needed those jobs. And, the residents of Long Island City saw their net worth reduced to a fraction of what it would have been had Amazon gone through with the deal.

I certainly cannot blame Amazon or Jeff Bezos for pulling out. And, I cannot even blame Alexandria Ocacio-Cortez as she was pretty quiet after the Washington Post leaked the news last Friday that Amazon was considering bailing out of its New York plans.

Two New York politicians certainly were overly vocal and never had the sense to pull back or the wherewithal to realize how damaging their actions were becoming.

First, New York City Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer appeared on Monday with David Faber. (I found myself squirming in discomfort at the stupidity of Van Bramer’s comments).

And then State Senator Michael Gianaris, who represents Long Island City in Albany, also made an aggressive, albeit seemingly half-hearted argument against Amazon all over the media, including here:

And, he too never had the sense to pull back.

Many have said Van Bremer and Gianaris did what they did because they were socialists. But, I grew up in France and I have lived in Russia, and I never saw the socialists in either place act in a way so damaging to the interests of their constituents. Others have suggested that these politicians may have felt slighted by Bill De Blasio and Andrew Cuomo for cutting the Amazon deal without them. I’d only say that when you tell a company that wants to invest $25 billion in return of a $3 billion tax break to go to hell, it is just an abomination.

Ari Socolow
Ari Socolow: Ari Socolow is the Chief Economist and Editor-in-Chief at BestCashCow. He is particularly interested in issues relating to bank transparency and the climate crisis. Since co-founding BestCashCow in 2005, Ari has been frequently cited in the media as an expert on local and national savings accounts, CD products, mortgage and loan products and credit card rewards products.

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