Amazon said earlier this week that it had abandoned its plan to set another of its headquarters in New York, therefore scrapping its intention to deliver 25,000 jobs. Activists and some politicians had been vigorously campaigning against the move, which would commit the city to provide Amazon, one of the wealthiest global corporations, with a $2.8 billion tax break, writes replyua.net.
The announcement came as a surprise to city and state’s governors, not to mention New Yorkers. NY Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo were lobbying fiercely against other 200 regions, that flooded the retail giant with lucrative offers, to secure the deal with Amazon. Cuomo channeled his anger onto other politicians, arguing that the Amazon project would have brought a wealth of jobs to the city and provided the much-needed funding for public schools, transportation and housing. He also added that certain politicians, who prioritized their specific interests, were to blame.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrats campaigning intensely against the Amazon deal, took to Twitter to express her celebratory mood. She referred to the HQ as the one of “corporate greed” and said it was a victory for the ordinary New Yorkers.
Political experts say that anti-movements against the tech giants are characteristic of the new age. Many oppose the powerful positions, often monopolistic, that these companies hold. Activists also argue that it is exactly this power that allows global tech companies to keep salaries to their employees down and meddle with politics. The Amazon case, therefore, is an illustration to those concerns manifesting themselves in powerful civic action.
Amazon planned to open its HQ in Long Island Beach, bringing 25,000 jobs to New York. The construction of the office was expected to cost some $2.5 billion. However, the opposition was very tough, with activists arguing that a huge tax break would not pay off and the company’s extended presence in the city would not benefit most ordinary New Yorkers. Residents of Long Island Beach have also been concerned that rentals and the general cost of living would go up, once Amazon would come.
In the poll, over 50% of New Yorkers said they wanted Amazon HQ in their city, but they turned out to be almost equally divided as to whether the massive tax break was justified.