Well of course the socialist hates amazon, they hate all successful businesses.


It's not often I get to use this word, but what a ruse.


There is absolutely nothing insightful in this article at all. Just more anti-Amazon drivel.


@3 These people think there's a better return on putting junkies in wood huts and slapping some happy paint on them.


@3 Right, but why get low-balled? They aren't objecting to the move, but to the subsidies—Amazon needs New York more than New York needs Amazon. Top young talent isn't clamoring to move to Tulsa.


@4 Yup..


Maybe if The Stranger paid their writers better, they wouldn't be so angry at Amazon.


I wonder how much the OP spends on Amazon every year?


@9, you’re right. When Jeff feels that the city council is getting out of line. And the mayor and governor isn’t stepping in. Jobs will move. Then the council will shut on themselves and do a collective “Doh!”


@6 agreed. I don't know why they even offered Amazon anything. In the end the governments in NYC & Alexandria will make more money than they are giving away.

Also Amazon is not a trillion dollar company anymore. Market Cap = 797.59B


1, Amazon has been straight up good for Seattle. I used to work in South Lake Union in the late 90s and early 00s. It was an absolutely shithole and more than half of the buildings were abandoned and decaying.

2, The municipalities and states will be getting their cut of roughly $5 Billion in paid wages to employees. Why shouldn't they be paying to get their grubby mitts on that cashflow? It's a literal impossibility for the discounts to outpace the taxes generated. Maybe they're getting a bad return on that money, but it's a bad return on free money. The alternative is 0%.


"...Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Socialist darling who will soon represent the Bronx and Queeens in Congress."

Specifically, the 14th Congressional District, which covers parts of Queens and The Bronx.
Long Island City, although part of Queens, is not in New York State's 14th Congressional District. So, why do we care what the person who does not yet represent the district where Amazon HQ2 will not be located thinks about it?

"...New York's Democratic Assemblyman Ron Kim..."

Ron Kim represents the 40th Assembly District in New York State, which covers part of Queens. However, Long Island City is not in New York State's 40th Assembly District. Why do we care what he thinks about a business development miles away in Long Island City?

"Seattle’s experience shows that becoming dependent on Amazon did not lead to broader wealth; it has pushed up home prices and led to increased homelessness. Amazon also threw its political weight around in the city, spending millions in a brutal campaign to resist corporate taxes in Seattle."

Good thing we have the knowledgable Assemblyman from Queens to tell us these interesting facts about Seattle, because I live in Belltown and had no idea the drug users sprawled on some of our sidewalks are here because of Amazon. (In fact, I distinctly recall a Belltown which had no Amazon HQ and yet plenty of drug users.)

Also, the naked fear an elected official has of actual voters is pretty damned amusing. What was "brutal" about it -- the way union-represented iron workers told CM Sawant her tax on their jobs was a bad idea? How could something which -- according to the Stranger, at least -- never even happened be described as "brutal"?!?


I sincerely don't know why most posts like this here have comment sections filled with incensed moderates/right wingers. Obviously you don't like the politics of this rag, so why return? Go find your news somewhere that is palatable to you. Maybe you just like getting frustrated and wasting your time, I suppose.


@14 - Late 90s and early 00s was when Paul Allen already had a large ownership stake in South Lake Union, it was abandoned and decaying because he was purposely letting it decay in preparation for a whole-sale transformation. You don't fix up the house you are about to tear down.

What is most galling here is that a local government took an action that will actively harm most of the current residents, to benefit the richest man in the world. They will face rent increases, outright displacement, and service cuts or increased taxes to afford Amazon's tax-breaks.

Meanwhile, the HQ2 jobs will not go to current residents, and Amazon uses contractors for all support staffing so all locals' jobs will be inconsistent and poorly paid. Amazon has shown no interest in investing in training or education in the places it inhabits. They have been here 20 years and there is no Franklin High School to Amazon pipeline - or even Ballard High School to Amazon pipeline.


Yeah, Queens has no tech bros now. What a paradise lost.

I know this goes against the accepted narrative, but I know several locals who lack college degrees but have well-paying jobs with Amazon. Most of them were poached from the hospitality industry.


“Giving Jeff Bezos hundreds of millions of dollars is an immoral waste of taxpayers’ money when it’s crystal clear that the money would create more jobs and more economic growth when it is used to relieve student debt,” Kim said. “Giving Amazon this type of corporate welfare is no different, if not worse, than Donald Trump giving trillions in corporate tax breaks at the federal level. There’s no correlation between healthy, sustainable job creation and corporate giveaways. If we used this money to cancel distressed student debt instead, there would be immediate positive GDP growth, job creation and impactful social-economic returns.”


@20 Out of curiosity, what kind of work are they doing for Amazon?


@17: “I sincerely don't know why most posts like this here have comment sections filled with incensed moderates/right wingers.“

Let me be a good liberal, and help the less fortunate. Read Herzog’s post again, with an eye to the following questions:

How many facts about “the”
Long Island City does the post present? (NOTE: Opinions stated as if they were actually facts do not count.)

How many elected officials representing Long Island City does this post quote?

How many current residents of Long Island City are quoted in this post?

Of the elected officials quoted on Seattle’s experience with Amazon, how many have ever actually spent a single day in Seattle?

Please note how multiplying those numbers together would produce a value far larger than the value of this post.

You’re welcome.


Numbers are good

Population of Seattle proper, 725k
Population of Seattle metro area, 3.7 mil
Jobs at Amazon HQ Seattle 40k

NYC population 8.2 mil
NY metro area 20.5 mil
Potential Jobs at Amazon Long Island City, 25k

So in a place with 10x the city population and 6x the metro population giving half the jobs is somehow going to let Bezos pull the strings in NYC? Bezos won't be able to South Lake Union Queens let alone NYC. Seattle was an easy mark for him because they wanted the attention and money. He's not going to have the grease in NYC that he has in Seattle. The whole premise that he's going to roll through NYC like he did through Seattle is laughable.


so the author's advice is....speculate on land and make money while you can? and how does that help the local populace? lol


@24 Exactly


Corydon, three women I worked with at the Olympic are now event planners for the recruitment department. They travel all over the world, and stay at beautiful resorts and hotels. Another woman is a secretary for a Senior VP in finance.

A woman from the Sheraton got hired to develop launch events for new products. She also travels extensively.

One guy works in facilities, setting up meeting rooms at the various buildings, for about four times what he was making at The Westin.

Another guy and a woman from The Renaissance are college recruiters and spend a lot of time in Asia.

They’re making a lot more money than they made in hospitality, and are a lot more engaged in their jobs. I’m proud of them. If I wasn’t old, fat, and eagerly looking towards retirement, I’d want to do that also.


Ah yes. I was waiting for Katie’s hot take, what with her 3 years of perspective living in Seattle. Good luck in Queens when you move there next year and start telling them how they’re doing everything wrong.


Well written, Katie.


I've never worked for Amazon, but the first Seattle tech boom was good for me, I grew up here on a farm in fall city, dropped out of high school and got hired in tech in the 90's when a degree wasn't critical, But I see in my friends and family the flip side. Many of them are objectively poorer as the cost of living has grown much faster than their incomes, and many have to live farther from work and spend longer in traffic. I have a brother who's a farmer married to a teacher, they can no longer afford to live in King County. She drives almost an hour to her teaching job.

I've been a big customer for 20 years, but I've decided to take an Amazon break this year for Christmas. The news about poor working conditions in their fulfillment centers, their push against the head tax (without offering alternative solutions) and finally the pay changes that gave everyone $15/ hour but might have actually been a pay cut all put a sour taste in my mouth. I'm not sure they realize what a bad look it is for the richest man of a nearly trillion dollar company to be neglecting their community and workers. I stopped shopping at walmart years ago for similar reasons.

I hope Amazon decides to engage in city politics beyond just pushing back against taxes, they owe the city help in coming up with solutions, and think of how much better the offers from HQ2 cities if Seattle had been not part cautionary tale, it's not too late for them to engage with Seattle on homelessness, the cost of living, and traffic. They may not solve it but they are the best logistics company in the world, surely some of that brainpower could be put into a public private partnership to make progress. Amazon has an opportunity to do a better job with their HQ2 cities.They have the advantage of a bigger cities and smaller impact, but mostly hindsight and the opportunity to address these problems before they get unmanageable.


@30: "...their push against the head tax (without offering alternative solutions)..."

Plenty of citizens pushed against the head tax, from union-represented iron workers to the ~47,000 who signed the referendum petitions. The alternative solution is already underway; it's called "implementing the recommendations in the Poppe Report," and it's producing visible results. The number of tents and broken-down RVs I see has fallen dramatically.

The EHT was a re-tread of a failed solution we'd dropped during the failure of our ten-year plan to end homelessness. CM Sawant and her followers re-named it the "Amazon Tax," picking a needless fight with a local employer, which they quickly and totally lost. Ever since their humiliating, self-inflicted defeat, they've been pounding the drums about Amazon's supposed failure to provide alternate solutions, without mentioning Amazon's continued patronage of Mary's Place, a shelter for families made homeless by domestic violence. They're just sore losers, and should be given the cold shoulder unless they grow up a little.

You are, of course, free to shop (or not) wherever you like. I kindly ask you make your choices based upon actual facts, not upon propaganda pushed by losers with an axe to grind.


No city or state giving billionaires tax breaks is doing anything good. If you believe that in any way you are kidding yourself and buying into a line of BS right along with "trickle down economics."

This person is more eloquent than I am, so I'll use their words to make the point.

Giving corporate welfare and relocating workers is not job creation. We need to stop giving hundreds of millions of dollars in corporate welfare to companies who don’t need it. Jeff Bezos makes $191K per minute, again does he really need our money? We need to do better and stop letting politicians use our money to bribe super rich companies while neglecting the overall needs of the people.


@31 Ultimately I was against the head tax too. I felt it would penalize medium sized companies - I don't want the cost of hiring more employees in a grocery store to throttle job growth in those sectors. I think it had good intentions but ill conceived. I think it would have reduced hiring for lower wage jobs but not really the high paying tech jobs. I also didn't like a tax with no planned spending. I will probably never support a tax that isn't designated for a a specific program.

As for Sawant as I don't feel she's about real solutions vs. just being combative, I had hopes for her early on before she was elected but I now turn her out.

patronage of Mary's Place is commendable, but that's not really what I'm talking about. I'd like to see Amazon my a real effort to tackle some of the societal problems which are a side effect of their growth. Especially when asking host communities for money. Specifically traffic, cost of living (housing) and it's contribution to homelessness, and poverty/cost living issues for low earners. I'm not saying it's on them to solve these things, but they should be an active participant in solving.

You ask me to make my choices based on actual facts, but I read your post thoroughly, and the facts as I understand them are still
1) Amazon is doing very little to partner with Seattle to mitigate the side effects of it's incredible
growth here.
2) The just secured billions in tax payer subsidies from other cities
3) There have been numerous reports of poor working conditions of their low wage workers and contract workers
4) The recent raise to $15 for employees was offset by a cut in bonus/stock awards that may actually be a pay cut for some.

So while I haven't completely stopped using Amazon, I cut back drastically. I am watching closely. I love the company and I'm optimistic they will do the right thing. If they don't though I will ultimately see them as just an online Walmart, bad for employees, bad for communities, bad for society.


@33: “'s contribution to homelessness,”

What evidence is there for this?

“Amazon is doing very little to partner with Seattle to mitigate the side effects of it's incredible growth here.”

I lived in Belltown before Amazon was founded, and I returned around the time when construction began on the Spheres. The “side effects” for Belltown have been restaurants, apartments, traffic improvements, and an overall huge increase in quality of life for residents. There is a charter-bus service to bring workers to Amazon HQ, which helps with rush-hour traffic. Other than that, I really don’t see any problems of the kind you’re implying.

Your continuing to purchase from Amazon says more about the situation than do any of your unsupported claims about the company.

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