You have to agree with the Wall Street Journal editorial on Amazon’s deal in New York. Well, at least with one of them.
“These handouts to one of the richest companies in the history of the world, with an essentially zero cost of capital, is crony capitalism at its worst,” the paper editorialized on November 14. It noted that Google and other tech companies had set up shop in New York without such subsidies, and suggested that Amazon might well have done the same thing, given the workforce the city attracts. The paper added, “We rarely agree with socialist Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, but she’s right to call billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies for Amazon ‘extremely concerning.’”
If you don’t agree with that take on New York’s $3 billion tax-incentive deal with Amazon, then maybe a second Journal editorial will be right for you. “It’s a testament to New York’s toxic business environment that even $3 billion in subsidies wasn’t enough to keep the company in town,” the paper editorialized on February 14, after Amazon withdrew from the deal it had reached with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio. And there would be no more agreements with Ocasio-Cortez:
Liberals love to conflate corporate welfare with capitalism, and these kinds of deals help promote their narrative that the American economic and political systems are rigged. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted that “everyday New Yorkers & their neighbors defeated Amazon’s corporate greed, its worker exploitation, and the power of the richest man in the world.” Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren declared, “How long will we allow giant corporations to hold our democracy hostage?”
Like their friends at the Wall Street Journal editorial board, the New York Times editorialists also condemned the deal with Amazon after it was announced in November. In a piece headlined “New York’s Amazon Deal Is a Bad Bargain,” the paper complained, “We won’t know for 10 years whether the promised 25,000 jobs will materialize. We do know that for decades states and cities have paid ransoms in the tens of billions of dollars to attract or ‘keep’ jobs only to find themselves at the losing end of the proposition when companies moved on after the taxpayer freebies ended.” The Times called for Amazon to pay the city and state, rather than the other way around, by investing in schools, affordable housing, and the subway system.