New York hates Amazon

New York hates Amazon
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Imagine winning the lottery and failing to show up with your ticket to collect your millions. That is exactly how many New Yorkers are feeling, or should be feeling, now that Amazon has suddenly left the Empire State at the altar and is moving on to a new suitor. It looks like this catastrophic loss for New York could likely turn into a rewarding gain for Tennessee.

This is 25,000 jobs down the drain where they were needed in Queens. What a stain on New York and a case study in the incompetence of its political class. The biggest economic development project in years all came crumbling down when unions, state legislators, and the likes of the new voice of progressivism, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezPlaying the Green New Deal numbers game Ocasio-Cortez calls out elite Stuyvesant High School for admitting only 7 black students Personal responsibility is not enough to fix climate change MORE, started throwing political sticks into the business spokes of this deal.

Amazon would not genuflect to the idiocy of the escalating progressive demands of the left. Instead, the company bolted and liberals celebrated. You could almost hear opponents hiss, “We never wanted your stinking 25,000 jobs and $20 billion in tax revenues over the next two decades.” What does Ocasio-Cortez care? She has a nicely paid job in Washington.

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Meanwhile, victims of this economic debauchery are the unemployed, the minorities, the least trained workers, the young adults, and the cash poor seniors who would have gladly been winding around all the new Amazon buildings, waiting in line in hopes of landing one of these jobs at which progressives and unions snub their noses. I thought these were the folks that the sanctimonious progressives loudly profess to be looking out for!

Even Cher, hardly a right winger, blasted out a tweet scolding liberals in New York for looking a gift horse in the mouth and ruining the potential of so many thousands of needed jobs. Amazon officials are telling the story of how this gigantic jobs program got squashed. The political demands had become increasingly outlandish. Labor groups insisted every job be unionized, environmental groups wanted green policies, housing groups wanted more affordable rent, and state legislators wanted more transit.

Amazon chief executive officer Jeff Bezos is clearly one of the wealthiest crusaders for liberal causes. When the company started to object to the political demands, the left huffed that how could Bezos possibly object to the ransom demands? He is worth tens of billions of dollars after all. So we have here a front row seat in the class warfare derangement of the left. They do not want Amazon jobs because Bezos has made so much money. The Ocasio-Cortez followers hate Amazon almost as much as Walmart.

The intellectual shallowness of the left is now exposed for all to see. Can anyone think of two companies that have raised the living standards of the poor in this country by lowering prices other than Amazon and Walmart? These two companies have done more to reduce poverty than the federal government ever will. The left had one legitimate argument against the Amazon deal. The city and state had agreed to a $2 billion to $3 billion package of tax abatements and other handouts to persuade the company to come. Both liberals and conservatives cried out, “Corporate welfare!”

But New York has to do that because it has the highest income taxes in the country and is so hopelessly uncompetitive that the only way to win these sweepstakes is with golden handshakes. So Albany, which has been busy spending tens of millions of dollars on television ads around the country to persuade companies to move to the Empire State for its new “business friendly” policies, has just chased the biggest fish away. Business friendly?

The Empire State has to be the most business hostile place in all of North America. The Federal Communications Communication should demand that New York pay a fine for false advertising. Even the New York Times could not resist remarking on the irony of this messy divorce. “Amazon can deliver toothpaste in traffic snarled Manhattan on the same day an order is placed,” the newspaper noted. “But when it came to navigating the politics of New York,” the company failed. Any chief executive officer would be insane to want to be the next to traverse this economic maze.

The left seems disturbingly unfazed by these developments. On CNN, a liberal commentator whom I debated sniffed that New York is better off without the likes of Amazon. Ocasio-Cortez celebrated the withdrawal of the company as victory over greed. Meanwhile, conservative Tennessee is pleased as punch to steal away those jobs and warehouses. Liberals now believe that no job at all is better than any low paid starter job, just as they have concluded that no health insurance at all is better than an affordable plan that does not provide vision, dental, and mental health coverage.

In a report I prepare every year with Arthur Laffer and Jonathan Williams for the American Legislative Exchange Council, we found that New York ranks dead last in new jobs, with a net 1.3 million jobs leaving the Empire State over the past decade. Thanks to that exodus, New York will likely lose two House seats during the 2020 election. In the aftermath of this economic debacle, New Yorkers can be excused if they hope that one of those two lost House seats is the one now occupied by Ocasio-Cortez.

Stephen Moore is a senior fellow with the Heritage Foundation and an economic consultant with FreedomWorks. He served as an adviser to the 2016 Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpDem lawmaker says Electoral College was 'conceived' as way to perpetuate slavery Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals to visit White House on Monday Transportation Dept requests formal audit of Boeing 737 Max certification MORE campaign. He latest book out with Arthur Laffer is “Trumponomics: Inside the America First Plan to Revive Our Economy.”