Georgia Just Shot Itself

Georgia Just Shot Itself

Georgia has been at the forefront for a long time now as the leading Southern state in America, proudly representing the new South.  For well over three decades, Atlanta has served as a window into a progressive, modern southern city, a destination for increasing numbers of young people, families and retired folks.  Many have referred to it as the hub of the new South, and it is a favorite on bucket lists.

Until recently Atlanta had been viewed widely as the best choice for Amazon’s HQ2, a search that has captured the attention of Americans everywhere.  Were Amazon to come to Atlanta, it would be a definitive moment for the State and confirmation that the city was truly representative of the 21st Century South.

But, all that was true last week.  Today, things are very different.

In a single moment, Atlanta lost its luster, its role as a new southern city, and its shot at becoming Amazon’s second headquarters. 

Following the horrific Parkland school shooting, Delta, one of the biggest American companies in Georgia, quickly shed its ties to the pro-gun-rights NRA.  A good number of other major American companies with similar connections to the National Riffle Association (e.g., United, MetLife, Chubb, Symantec, Hertz, Avis, and Visa to name only some) did the same. 

Almost as soon as Delta announced its principled response to the Florida tragedy, the head of the Georgia Assembly responded with vitriol, saying that he would see to it that the State withdrew its substantial tax subsidies long provided to Delta.   While this has yet to happen, the legislature’s pathetic response is sufficient proof that Georgia is still in many ways a backwater Southern state, not worthy of joining the ranks of 21st Century American states. 

As important, Georgia’s threats aimed at Delta were surely noticed by Amazon.  It is absolutely certain that Atlanta is now out of the running for designation as Amazon’s HQ2.

Image: Courtesy: Dentons

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