The NYC/Amazon Deal

Posted by: jgw

The NYC/Amazon Deal - 02/17/19 05:48 PM

I watched the mayor of NYC, this morning, rank on Amazon about pulling out of their 'deal'. I also watched Cortez explain what a really bad deal it was and what a victory for "the workers" the Amazon pullout was.

I have never really understood what Amazon was doing but that was their business, and they seem very good at that. The mayor said that Amazon went back on their deal and its all on them. On the other hand I have also watched the 'progressives' of NYC hammer the hell out of Amazon since the deal was struck. During that entire time I didn't see any real support for Amazon just a constant hammering by the progressives that had won their elections and seemed to be in charge. Nobody, obviously, sat down with these folks and explained the facts of life. Cortez, for instance, thinks that NYC was giving cash money to Amazon - not true, they were given big tax breaks predicated on the expected tax income increases they figured would occur (I think I read that those would be something like a 7 fold increase even AFTER the Amazon tax break) The mayor also said that the majority were for the Amazon deal - again, that may be true but there was deadly silence from everybody but those trying to "take down Amazon". If I had been Amazon I would have done exactly the same thing.

In this particular incident an ignorant segment of the 'progressive' movement got their way and are dancing in the streets over it. This is a really great example of apparent collusion, between media and a progressive movement. If the majority was for it the either media didn't cover it, or media did cover it but stood firmly behind the progressives in their efforts to sink the deal. They won, they are victorious and delighted with the outcome.

If these people continue down the path of hating all capitalists they will, eventually, bring it all down. Then we will be able to say something like; "Gee, who would have guessed this would happen?" Hopefully the Democratic party will spend a little time with their new crop of progressives pointing out who the real enemy is (Jackass). From what I can see there seems to be no interest in that which, I think, should engender a bit of concern?
Posted by: NW Ponderer

Re: The NYC/Amazon Deal - 02/17/19 08:27 PM

Really, jgw, I think this is another example of the pols having a different view than the populace. Amazon spent 18 months getting cities to vie for their largesse, being predominantly, jobs. It was a thorn in the side of progressives everywhere that one of the largest corporations in the world with the richest CEO in the world, and that is decidedly anti-union, was using its size to bribe cities to participate in a fawning contest that rivaled a Trump cabinet meeting. Ambitious governors and mayors were willing to jump in regardless of the merits, so they could tout the "jobs", but community activists have a different agenda. They worry about housing, and cost of living, and tax breaks for the best-to-do, and long-term issues that will outlast the current office holders. It is entirely possible, but speculative, that the jobs Amazon was promising would bring in more revenue than the tax breaks, but that was of little import to the right-now impacts it would have on the community.
Posted by: Jeffery J. Haas

Re: The NYC/Amazon Deal - 02/17/19 08:33 PM

Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
It is entirely possible, but speculative, that the jobs Amazon was promising would bring in more revenue than the tax breaks, but that was of little import to the right-now impacts it would have on the community.

All Bezos had to do was sweeten the pot a little more, give some hope to the folks who would be toiling away endless hours for crap wages.
Had he been a bit more willing in that regard, he probably would have won.
Of course people wanted Amazon's HQ, but in the long term, they also want a future. And if that future turns out dismal, it's the pols they will blame.
Posted by: NW Ponderer

Re: The NYC/Amazon Deal - 02/17/19 08:59 PM

Originally Posted By: Jeffery J. Haas
And if that future turns out dismal, it's the pols they will blame.
Unfortunately, it will not be the pols that are responsible that will be blamed, but their successors - just ask EVERY Democratic President of the last century.
Posted by: jgw

Re: The NYC/Amazon Deal - 02/17/19 09:12 PM

Bezos did win! Then he changed his mind, after months of getting beat up. We live in a capitalist economy, whether you like it or not. Its unlikely to change. This means, basically, that jobs are provided by the capitalists. That's a given. If you goto war with the capitalists then you are, at the same time, going to war with jobs. This too seems a given. Not a good idea, I think.

The jobs that came with the deal, I am told, paid over 100,000.00 each. If you read the deal there was also a lot of stuff Amazon was also going to provide which included support for the schools, etc. If the mayor had explained the deal the same way he did this morning then I suspect many of the capitalist haters would have backed off - he didn't.

I am not a real big fan of hate, from either side. In this case it was hate against a company which was offering jobs. Not fast food jobs for minimum wages but jobs that paid considerably more. If the mayor was not lying each one of those jobs would have provided 7 times the tax breaks in tax income. I am not sure what is wrong with that. Obviously many here seem to think it was more important to stop a company, apparently because it was a capitalist company and little else. I also understand that there would be problems with influx, housing, etc. but that had been addressed.

The progressives got their dream, they 'won'. My problem is what they won and I really can't figure it out. As far as I can tell they won a battle that they were the only side on. In other words their winning made the feel better and little else. This is, as far as I am concerned, the real problem. Our politics, right now is all about winning. What they are winning, apparently, on both sides, is winning and little else. It goes something like; "I won and you lost" with nary a consideration as to what the argument was all about, other than winning. Normally that kind of winning is stopping something. In this case it was jobs and some other stuff, like increased tax income to solve other problems as well as jobs. Its a little like a community blaming everything on another community with no thought that there might be responsibility for whatever to go around. Nobody really wins anything for the community but they feel better if they 'win'. In the congress, these days, its all about who wins and very little about what doesn't get done. Winning itself has become the prize - screw the results, or lack thereof. Claiming victory is the important thing! (this is, incidentally, how Jackass does it and now, it seems, everybody else is jumping on that bandwagon).

We currently have a problem with immigration. Everybody, on both sides agrees with that statement. Everyday somebody wins in regards to immigration. Hurrah! The problem is that immigration gets lost in all the winning and is rarely actually addressed and sure as hell isn't getting fixed. They just passed a spending bill, they increased immigration judges by 94 (I think). How is this increase of 94 going to fix a problem where there are close to 1 million people awaiting adjudication? We are, basically, fixing nothing, just losing or winning nothing and then bragging on it. Seems a little crazy to me.
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: The NYC/Amazon Deal - 02/18/19 03:41 AM

I blame it on the American obsession with sports. Gotta be a winner and one (or more) losers. That insidiously works it's way into every aspect of some people's lives. The worst aspect of the NYC/Amazon fiasco is that nobody ever asked the people who would have worked for Amazon how they felt about it. A 100K per year job is nothing to sneer at. And now those jobs will go someplace else. What exactly did "the winners" win, again?
Posted by: Jeffery J. Haas

Re: The NYC/Amazon Deal - 02/18/19 06:01 AM

Sorry folks, even as AOC is being hammered on every other story on Bloomberg...

...the truth is, despite Republicans getting in their hits on the gal, she isn't the one who killed it.

It wasn't AOC who killed the Amazon deal.
From the right wing rag NY Post, no less:

"This is the man who delivered death blow to Amazon deal"

Posted by: NW Ponderer

Re: The NYC/Amazon Deal - 02/18/19 11:56 AM

Originally Posted By: jgw
I also understand that there would be problems with influx, housing, etc. but that had been addressed.
I think, my friend, that is exactly the opposite of what the local organizers were saying. They think those issues were not addressed. And, I really don't think that they "won" at all, nor were they responsible for Amazon's action. Honey Badger don't care. Amazon is using that kerfuffle as an excuse to take an action they took for bottom line reasons. They realized they didn't need a NY headquarters (e.g., buyer's remorse), so they unilaterally nixed the deal and used the protesters as scapegoats. The press (and others) merely fell for the head(quarters) fake.
Posted by: jgw

Re: The NYC/Amazon Deal - 02/18/19 07:19 PM

You may well be right. As usual we will probably never know the truth. On the other hand it seems to me that beating up on anything related to capitalist endeavor is being attacked. Amazon, for instance, set a minimum wage of 15.00 for any employees they have. They hire a lot of temps (kindofa seasonal thing, I think). If you google "amazon social responsibility" you will also find things of possible interest.

Amazon is not a candidate for the kindness and light award. On the other hand they have done some good stuff. Now, however, it just don't matter amongst many - instead they exist, they are corporate, they are bad, greedy, evil and do the devil's work.

Its interesting. There are videos, going back to the 1930's about people rioting over the dirty capitalists tearing down elderly buildings and replacing the with bigger, better, and more expensive housing. In other words this kind of stuff has been going on for a very long time and, as far as I am concerned, its part of the natural order.

On the other hand, if folks want subsidized housing for all then they gotta get gov to do something about it. Now add in that there are two main groups that don't vote - the poor and the young (the young are trying to address it, to poor - not so much). I am not sure what the fix is for this one. There is one, simply overriding fact - if the group you belong to doesn't vote the it WILL get screwed over.
Posted by: Greger

Re: The NYC/Amazon Deal - 02/19/19 03:00 AM

Amazon, for instance, set a minimum wage of 15.00 for any employees they have.

But they took away other benefits which were worth more than the $2 raise most employees got.

Amazon pays pretty good and the bennies are excellent. They hire unskilled uneducated labor, pay them more than most other jobs they can get, are flexible with hours, generous with paid time off, offer regular raises and promotions. They provide health insurance, a generous 401k, and prior to the $15 minimum wage they gave Amazon stocks(which are quite valuable) to workers as an incentive. They will help pay for college classes.
If you are unhappy working there they will give any worker a $3000 buyout package if you promise never to work for Amazon again. There were contests, gifts, and free meals.

But they make their employees work pretty hard and hold them to high standards.

Seriously. My kid worked there for several years, she hasn't found anything vaguely comparable since then.

I heard my kid's daily report of how awful Amazon was and all I could think was how easy her job sounded compared to my career in construction. If I was still physically able to work, I would love to work for Amazon.
Posted by: pdx rick

Re: The NYC/Amazon Deal - 02/19/19 04:45 AM

Those jobs weren't for the Long Island City residents. The jobs paid $150K a year. The whole plan was to gentrify the place.
Posted by: Greger

Re: The NYC/Amazon Deal - 02/19/19 05:14 AM

Yeah, headquarters aint the same as a fulfillment center.

Gentrification, huh?

Amazon pays too much to open a business there...I get it!
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: The NYC/Amazon Deal - 02/19/19 05:19 AM

Yeah, horrible place to work because you have to actually get up and do stuff, instead of sitting in front of a screen all day. That's what I liked about embedded system programming: The job DID consist of sitting in front of a screen all day. Sometimes in my office, sometimes in a lab, but still sitting.
Posted by: NW Ponderer

Re: The NYC/Amazon Deal - 02/20/19 07:23 PM

I think, someday, we'll learn the truth of what happened. I just don't happen to believe that Amazon pulled the plug over some minor friction from some local protesters. That would be completely inconsistent with their operations over the last dozen years or so, and there is plenty of evidence that the move was popular(ish) in New York, generally.

OTH, I think that the protesters are basically right about what they are complaining about: pricing local residents out of the housing market, impacts on local infrastructure (e.g., crowded commute corridors), and "tax breaks" for location. I do think, however, that in the long run, it would have been a net positive for the community - but I don't live there.
Posted by: Greger

Re: The NYC/Amazon Deal - 02/21/19 12:06 AM

Pushing out poor people and replacing them with richer people is always good for the community. Not so good for the poors that get pushed out though.

But isn't that kind of the natural order of things? How poor do you let a community get before you start allowing people of means to move in. Is it a choice of gentrification vs ghettofication?

With Amazon(and practically everything else) it's all about the money.
If I was Bezos I'd be hunting some cheap land in the exurbs where some soybean farmer has gone bankrupt and building my own city around my new second headquarters campus.