Doug Schoen: Amazon’s cancellation of move to NYC is catastrophic and could hurt far-left Dems at polls

Amazon’s announcement Thursday that it is abandoning plans to construct a second corporate headquarters New York City is a catastrophic loss for the city, New York state and the metropolitan region.

As a New Yorker, I find it immensely disappointing to see the immediate economic impacts and future economic losses of this unfortunate move. I wholeheartedly believe that New York is a global city that should always strive to diversify its economy and compete on the world stage.

Amazon would have created more than 25,000 jobs in New York City with an average annual salary of over $150,000. The company said that within 15 years it could have employed as many as 40,000 workers in the city in 8 million square feet of office space. It would have invested over $2.5 billion in the Long Island City neighborhood in the borough of Queens.

OCASIO-CORTEZ, ELIZABETH WARREN CELEBRATE AMAZON CANCELING NEW YORK HEADQUARTERS AMID BACKLASH

On top of this, Amazon would have stimulated additional innovation and economic development in the New York region in coming years.

Amazon’s unparalleled level of investment and creation of infrastructure would have also benefitted restaurants, shops, real estate, and other businesses seeking to relocate near the new corporate campus.

New York City may never have another major opportunity that would result in such rapid economic development, job creation and increased tax revenue.

Amazon’s plan received mixed reviews from its inception. There was a considerable amount of speculation and controversy over the nearly $3 billion in government incentives that the company was set to receive.

A number of progressive lawmakers and unions argued that the company did not deserve the funds.

But it’s hard to see how depriving as many as 40,000 workers and their families of salaries averaging more than $150,000 per year will save them from “corporate greed” and “worker exploitation.”

One of the leaders of the campaign to keep Amazon out of New York was Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who represents the area where Amazon would have located in New York City.

Ocasio-Cortez sent out a tweet celebrating the pull-out by Amazon, writing: “Anything is possible: today was the day a group of dedicated, everyday New Yorkers & their neighbors defeated Amazon’s corporate greed, its worker exploitation, and the power of the richest man in the world.”

But it’s hard to see how depriving as many as 40,000 workers and their families of salaries averaging more than $150,000 per year will save them from “corporate greed” and “worker exploitation.”

In announcing it would not come to New York, Amazon said in a statement: “… a number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward with the project we and many others envisioned in Long Island City.”

Ultimately, Amazon’s cancellation of its plans to come to New York is a loss not only for those like Ocasio-Cortez who want to redistribute wealth, but also for those who want to grow wealth and expand the economic pie for hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Americans.

Moreover, it is worth noting that polls show a majority of New York state residents saw the benefits of Amazon coming to New York City and wanted the deal to go through.

According to last week’s Sienna Poll, an average of 56 percent of people living in New York supported the deal – including 70 percent of African-Americans and 81 percent of Latinos.

Further, the poll indicated over 50 percent support for the deal among all income brackets, indicating an undeniable and almost stunning amount of broad-based, diverse support for Amazon’s new corporate campus.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio – who are at odds on many issues – worked together to bring Amazon to the city, putting together an incentive package that was part of a national competition to become Amazon’s second headquarters. Amazon is also setting up another headquarters in Northern Virginia just outside Washington, where it has not faced the type of opposition it received in New York.

Cuomo said in a statement that in addition to costing New York up to 40,000 jobs, the Amazon cancelation of a move to New York City would deprive the state of nearly $30 billion in “new revenue to fund transit improvements, new housing, schools and countless other quality of life improvements.”

"However, a small group politicians put their own narrow political interests above their community” by opposing Amazon’s plans, Cuomo said.

“We gave Amazon the opportunity to be a good neighbor and do business in the greatest city in the world,’’ de Blasio said. “Instead of working with the community, Amazon threw away that opportunity.

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It is sad that New York City will not have any comparable economic opportunities like this for a very long time, if ever.

Democrats have traditionally positioned themselves as the advocates for workers and job creation. If the new position of those on the far left of the party is to oppose any government incentives that will bring jobs to an area that will be a major change and could hurt Democrats at the polls.

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