The more I read about how Amazon rolled taxpayers in New York and Virginia, the happier (and more relieved) I am that North Carolina did not "win" the Amazon "HQ2" project.
The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board calls it "crony capitalism at its worst."
The worst actors here are the politicians who pose as job creators but are essentially job buyers. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo once famously said he’d change his name to Amazon Cuomo if the company located in New York, but he didn’t need to pay such a Queens ransom. Google and other companies have created thousands of jobs in New York without similar subsidies, and Amazon might well have done the same given the city’s intellectual capital.
Mr. Cuomo says the state will make money from Amazon despite the subsidies, but that depends on Amazon’s decisions and long-term success. The Governor also says he had to offer subsidies to compete against states that don’t have an income tax, though that admission underscores the state’s lack of tax competitiveness. Mr. Cuomo taxes New Yorkers at confiscatory levels, giving himself more money to spend. Then he turns around and takes credit for sparing powerful interests from those taxes.
Buzzfeed has a rundown of some of the most... unique offers that politicians made - with other peoples' money. Including:
- Atlanta -- $2 billion, the “Amazon Georgia Academy,” an Amazon Executive lounge at Hartsfield-Jackson International airport, an Amazon-only car on Atlanta’s MARTA train
- Boston -- zero-interest mortgage loans for Amazon employees
- Columbus -- creation of task force to reduce murders
Of note, Toronto offered nothing. As in... absolutely nothing. Toronto fared as well as the other 235 cities that threw themselves at the company.
Pete's Prep Sheet: Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018
- Mike Rusher says North Carolina Republicans have a lot to be excited about after the election. But also a lot to be concerned about.
- North Carolina lawmakers are hiring a private investigator to examine what appears to be a pay-to-play deal Gov. Roy Cooper cut with energy companies seeking to build a natural gas pipeline through the state. The liberal NC PolicyWatch site has a write-up. Here is the News & Observer's.
- Asheville City Council approved a change to an affordable housing project to allow for condos. The Citizen-Times has the story.