New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio lashed out at Amazon, Sunday, for withdrawing from its plans to base half of its new “HQ2” headquarters in New York City.
“This is an example of an abuse of corporate power,” claimed de Blasio in an interview with NBC. “Amazon just took their ball and went home. And what they did was confirm people’s worst fears about corporate America.”
de Blasio also attacked Amazon in an article for the New York Times, Saturday. “A project that could’ve opened a path to the middle class for thousands of families was scuttled by a few very powerful people sitting in a boardroom in Seattle,” he expressed. “In the end, Amazon seemed unwilling to bend or even to talk in earnest with the community about ways to shape their project. They didn’t want to be in a city where they had to engage critics at all.”
“Amazon’s path in New York would have been far smoother had it recognized our residents’ fears of economic insecurity and displacement — and spoken to them directly,” de Blasio concluded. “We just witnessed another example of what the concentration of power in the hands of huge corporations leaves in its wake. Let’s change the rules before the next corporation tries to divide and conquer.”
Amazon withdrew from the New York HQ2 deal on Thursday following heavy criticism.
The deal, which would give Amazon $1.5 billion in tax credits, $1.2 billion in tax breaks, and other incentives, was criticized by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT), and Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
The deal had also faced criticism due to Amazon’s development of its facial recognition technology “Rekognition,” which has been shopped to government agencies, including ICE.
On Saturday, the New York Times published an article explaining why Virginia’s deal with Amazon was for the second part of HQ2 was better for workers.
“Virginia offered Amazon $550 million in job-creation grants, which the company will receive only after delivering the proposed 25,000 jobs, with additional subsidies available if the company creates as many as 37,850 jobs. Virginia’s relatively small offer to Amazon reflected the state’s very few as-of-right incentives,” proclaimed columnist Amy Liu. “Virginia threw into the package more than $1 billion in additional taxpayer funds to build a pipeline of technical workers and improve transportation. This portion of the ‘subsidy’ will not go directly into Amazon’s pockets but into Virginia schools, universities, and local agencies.”
“It is nearly twice the amount offered to Amazon, a signal that investing in the local work force is more important than offering sweeteners to Amazon,” Liu explained, noting, “Finally, the governor’s office, key state legislators and city and county council officials worked together to address anticipated concerns from their constituency, whether from rural areas or in the neighborhoods surrounding National Landing, the proposed site for the new Amazon facility.”