It’s been six months since Feb. 14, a very sad Valentine’s Day, when Amazon, facing relentless false attacks from a handful of posturing parochial politicians, canceled its new Long Island City headquarters, along with 25,000 to 40,000 great-paying jobs. The attacks were based on the fiction that Amazon was getting a big check, rather than tax incentives they and other companies are entitled to under state law.
The retreat of the online giant was — and remains — a huge economic hit for New York. Remember, as we do, that when Amazon and CEO Jeff Bezos said that they wanted to duplicate their main Seattle campus with Amazon HQ2, 238 offers for sites came in, from 43 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, six Canadian provinces and three Mexican states. Everyone wanted the jackpot.
The list was narrowed 20 cities, including New York, which presented four locations; LIC, downtown, the Far West Side and the downtown Brooklyn/Navy Yard area.
Queens won the jackpot on Nov. 13, 2018 and three months later lost it, when Amazon pulled out, chased away by a tiny band masquerading as a popular uprising. The ringleaders were Mike Gianaris, Jimmy van Bramer and Corey Johnson, either inspired by, or fearful of, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Their titles of state senator, councilman, council speaker and congresswoman we are not using, as true representatives wouldn’t have sabotaged their own constituents so totally. Thus far, they have created exactly zero replacement jobs. They have enacted zero reforms to the tax incentive programs they criticized.
The governor and mayor put aside their squabbling to lure Amazon to a barren stretch of the city where there is still nothing. Looking back, one insider thinks HQ2 would have grown to 70,000 Amazon jobs. Oh, that hurts.
Mr. Bezos, please come back.