Amazon pulls out of NYC

Discussion in 'The Slant Political Board' started by nick77, Feb 14, 2019.

  1. nick77

    nick77 All-Conference
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    Do any of the proponents know anyone who grew up in Seattle? Didn't think so.
     
  2. nick77

    nick77 All-Conference
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    San Fransisco, 1980s. Probably not either.
     
  3. jt212713

    jt212713 Senior
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    Actually, why do you think governments created new market tax credits or opportunity zones? It's to incentivize job creation and investments in underserved areas as a way to create opportunities to solve the very problems you're describing.

    And just like I don't know you and your hardship, you don't know me so stop ascribing your world view to my motives.
     
  4. jt212713

    jt212713 Senior
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    Do you know what makes housing cheaper?

    More housing.

    Do you know what incentivizes a developer to take the risk to deploy large amounts of capital to develop a large housing project? TIF and tax abatement incentives.

    It's hard to believe people are complaining simultaneously about the problem and the solution. But it's happening.
     
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  5. floydmaster

    floydmaster All-American
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    Cities competing to offer more generous tax breaks to megacorporations is absolutely a race to the bottom. It is the same thing as certain states repeatedly slashing state taxes, leaving vital services underfunded, in the guise of attracting more business opportunity.

    "Coercion" has nothing to do with anything. That's a strawman.

    We can blame Amazon for negotiating the best place to put its HQ2 when those negotiations involve pitting cities against each other to see who can lower their taxes the most. It's unsettling how some people will absolve businessmen or corporations of any moral or ethical responsibility whatsoever so long as they're chasing a buck.

    This is a very complicated issue with lots of moving parts, and reducing it to "What's wrong with offering tax incentives or chasing proftis?" is the same kind of oversimplistic ignorance you accused the opponents of this deal of embracing.

    For the record, I was in support of Amazon moving to LIC -- granted, I don't live there -- but felt that the city should not have offered them tax incentives, as it implies that Amazon has more to offer NYC than vice versa (and because cities need to stop doing that altogether).

    I completely agree with cwobrien that this wasn't some slapped together giveaway to Amazon (so much as you can "agree" with cold facts), but it's also assuming a whole hell of a lot of goodwill on the part of a corporation that, as jt has now repeatedly said, is only loyal and accountable to its shareholders, not the citizens of NYC or LIC.
     
  6. floydmaster

    floydmaster All-American
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    Local governments offer tax incentives to make themselves more attractive than other locales with presumably less generous tax regimes. And then sometimes they do it because highly paid lobbyists have influenced them to do so for reasons that often go beyond "doing what's best for the community."
     
  7. jt212713

    jt212713 Senior
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    This is true.

    In either case, those individuals decided that it was a rational way to incentivize investment.
     
  8. floydmaster

    floydmaster All-American
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    I live in northwestern Brooklyn. In my decade in the area, I have seen multiple high-rises full of luxury apartments go up within a 15 minute walk.

    Guess what hasn't gotten any cheaper.

    Developers are primarily incentivized by the prospective profits generated from their projects. Tax abatements and TIF just amplify their targeted margins.
     
  9. floydmaster

    floydmaster All-American
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    Is somebody arguing that lowering costs of entry to incentivize investment is irrational?
     
  10. nick77

    nick77 All-Conference
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    They have TIF in NYC? Thought that was just a Chicago thing!
     
  11. cwobrien11

    cwobrien11 All-Conference
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    I did. Lived there before and after.
     
  12. jt212713

    jt212713 Senior
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    YES. That is the central premise to the opposition to HQ2 in NYC.
     
  13. nick77

    nick77 All-Conference
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    If you've read what I posted you'd understand I don't have any hardships.

    Dude, I can afford a condo that is more expensive then any house in Lawrence. I pay college-level tuition for daycare. Of course you would look at those words and think it's a hardship; I look at it and consider myself grateful to have the ability to afford it.

    Fact remains, these deals displace entire communities and you don't GAF because you aren't affected by it and if you were you'd change your tune.

    Can you admit it, even to yourself?
     
  14. nick77

    nick77 All-Conference
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    Good then you can empathize with people being displaced out of homes and jobs, mom n pop shops being shuttered because literally Starbucks and Amazon.
     
  15. jt212713

    jt212713 Senior
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    I'm trying to have policy / econ discussion with you. Quit assuming every comment is some attack or judgement. It is not. At least not from me.

    I have said repeatedly in this thread that I don't know you and am not judging you. So stop playing that game with me. It's tired and I'm signing off.
     
  16. floydmaster

    floydmaster All-American
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    No, it's really not. For someone accusing others of acting in ignorance, this is a discouraging thing to post.
     
  17. floydmaster

    floydmaster All-American
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    I actually don't know if they have it specifically in NYC. There are all kinds of crazy tax incentives for developers here, though, that lead to all kinds of BS when it comes to new housing developments. The real estate and development lobby is extremely powerful, both at City Hall and in Albany.
     
  18. nick77

    nick77 All-Conference
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    In the next year we're off to either some place on Long Island (Queens or Brooklyn) or Boston.

    No escaping the machine in this life. Corrupt city, county, and state establishments that knows no party bounds. All in bed with developers.

    If there is one place more corrupt than Chicago it's Albany.
     
  19. floydmaster

    floydmaster All-American
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    No doubt. Here's a decent editorial outlining how the Amazon deal effectively became a proxy for anti-Cuomo/corruption sentiment and the larger class war that's escalating in NYC and nationwide.

    http://gothamist.com/2019/02/15/amazon_cuomo_albany_democrats.php
     
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  20. nick77

    nick77 All-Conference
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    I too am discussing policy. I don't see what the problem is; you're advocating for the forced removal of rooted families and established communities at the expense of real estate speculators, upwardly mobile tech workers (disclaimer: I am one of these people), and enrichment of corporations whereas I dissent; I say $3B spent on improving the existing community is a better investment for the people already there.

    All the improvements cwobrien listed and much more can be had for far far less than that sum. And yes I understand that difference between capex and tax credits. A dollar spent is a dollar spent in the end.

    It can all be had, it's just not profitable for a select few.
     
  21. nick77

    nick77 All-Conference
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    Thanks for sharing that. I have a fair understanding of the political climate but by no means an expert. Always refreshing to read unfiltered reporting on areas I visit frequently and have connections to.

    What is your opinion on Zephyr Teachout, or rather, your neighborhoods feelings about her? To me she is the embodiment of what a politician should be, but failed election after failed election I didn't think NYS was ready for her, then along came AOC.
     
  22. hill6

    hill6 Senior
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    I think what you're discounting, though, is the impact on people living there. You can number crunch all you want, but sense of place is a very real planning principle. A perfect example of the devastation of this is SF. They have pushed out the long-time residents, and the people who live there talk about how the 'spirit' of the city is lost. Housing is ridiculous, the community culture is lost, etc. To number crunchers, that's fine, but to people who have to live there, that's huge. NYC doesn't need Amazon. It's doing fine on its own.

    There is also a major push back against giving hugely profitable businesses tax breaks. A) their promises don't always pan out (my earlier Boeing example, but there are a ton of others too), B) why does a business worth as much as some countries need tax breaks, and C) it's a further perception of the oligarchy of wealth - the wealthy companies get breaks, the mom and pop stores see their rent go up and go under.
     
    62 hill6, Feb 15, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2019
  23. cwobrien11

    cwobrien11 All-Conference
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    You’re trying to turn an issue that’s full of a wide range of positives and negatives into one where there are two options...all good or all bad. It’s not NEARLY that simple, not by a long shot. You have to take the good with the bad and the bad with the good. It’s absolutely a trade off.

    Cities must evolve or they will die. You have to give people a reason to live there or they will leave. You have to maintain and improve your infrastructure or it will crumble. You have to provide opportunities for solid employment or you will see your population move to areas where they can find it.

    This isn’t an issue of race or politics. People try to make it that, but it isn’t. It’s an issue of economics. It is an issue of managing idealism with realism.

    As I said, I lived in Seattle before/during and then again after it changed. I go back every few years. Are there things I miss about the old days? Sure. Are there things that I really don’t like about it currently? Absolutely.

    When I look at it now in totality though, Seattle is a much better place to live and work now than it was 30 years ago, than it was 20 years ago. The infrastructure is better. Yeah there’s a Starbucks on every other block, but there’s still a lot of local stores and eateries. It still has its soul...or a new soul that’s kept a lot of the same features. It has maintained a lot of what made it great and has softened a lot of the rough edges that made it less than great.

    Its also not anywhere near the same thing in NYC. New York more than any other city in the world is about evolving and improving while maintaining its soul. Amazon wasn’t/isn’t the only company that was wanting to move into that area. The city of New York got those companies to singlehandedly foot the bill to improve all of the current infrastructure gaps. Those companies were paying to build 5 of the 6 new schools that Queens needed. Those companies were almost singlehandedly going to be footing the bill to improve the roads, subway, sewers, etc. for Queens. There was investment planned to help to ensure that the area maintained its culture and soul.

    Those things still need done. Those costs are still there. Now instead of having companies like Amazon take on the cost, it’s going to get pushed onto the current residents and companies. How does that benefit the city of New York?
     
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  24. nick77

    nick77 All-Conference
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    Thank you for taking the time to post all of this out.

    You are correct in that the overall issue itself is not binary, and there are gradients.

    However, this specific Amazon deal in LIC is. I have no argument that infusing cash into local communities, giving some businesses some sort of breaks isn't entirely a bad thing all the time.

    My point is that we are seeing more lopsided Foxconn and Amazon deals. What I and others have said is that things are getting more and more greedier to the much detriment of working families.

    I stand by my previous statements that the community as a whole is relieved.
     
  25. jt212713

    jt212713 Senior
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    You really don't understand if this is your position. They are not the same at all.
     
  26. nick77

    nick77 All-Conference
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    I understand all too well. I know exactly what is going on and believe me, not too many in that community is upset about this deal falling through.

    You can disagree all you want about the pros/cons of socialism for the rich but it is undebatable that a community as whole is in relief; it can only be argued if that is founded or not.
     
  27. jt212713

    jt212713 Senior
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    The community "as a whole" was actually in favor of it. Link to polling: https://ukanews.com/majority-of-new-yorkers-want-amazon039s-hq2-in-queens-poll-new-york-post/
     
  28. nick77

    nick77 All-Conference
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  29. jt212713

    jt212713 Senior
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    My guy, I'm using polling data to dispute the anecdotal claim of your friends and family.
     
  30. nick77

    nick77 All-Conference
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    You are arguing the zeitgeist of a community you have no connection to, most likely ever set foot in. But you did likely watch Coming to America to which it was filmed.

    "anecdotal claim" that's a good one. That's a little more subtle then exclaiming "Fake News!" which is the usual response around here.

    Jubilant, dude, Jubilant, with a capital J.
     
  31. nick77

    nick77 All-Conference
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    Oh here's another "anecdotal claim" that @jt212713 will roll his eyes at and refuse to believe but I have no reason to lie.

    My brother in law owns an apartment in nearby Jackson Heights (not too far from Long Island City in Queens). Not only that but he also has to rent the one next door because his and his wife's family is so big and these apartments (think condos) are tiny AF.

    When property taxes increase it's a double whammy. He pays the municipality directly for one he owns, his rent increases in the other as the landlord passes it on like any good little capitalist.

    They would have been forced to move and man they are fvckin' ecstatic over this. What good would an improved park and community center have served them if they had been forced to move all the way back to Clinton Hill / Bed-Stuy?

    Same coin, as I illustrated I'm doing ok for myself and family but Chicago was a contender for HQ2 and a proposed site was right of the Bloomingdale Trail to which I live on (its like the High Line in NYC) yeah man fvck that.

    There's a reason why people in S.F. in some parts got physicaly attacked for wearing Google Glass. Yeah thats a thing, people are being pried out of their homes through no fault of their own.

    "But it's good for the economy"
     
  32. nick77

    nick77 All-Conference
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  33. !hawk!

    !hawk! All-Conference
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    Part of jt and cwo’s disconnect with this is they have a firm grasp of how a system that doesn’t work is supposed to work, and this has made them true believers and they can’t see that the system is failing and people are really angry about it.
     
  34. floydmaster

    floydmaster All-American
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    That's a poll of the state and the entire city, not LIC. Meaning it's about as relevant as asking citizens of Hays if they approve of Wichita building a new baseball stadium.

    I'm not discounting the validity of polls in general, just saying, that one does not provide an accurate glimpse of the opinions and attitudes of LIC or its surrounding communities that would be most impacted.
     
  35. hill6

    hill6 Senior
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    I won't discount their views, but I think you are right. If you go strictly economically, factor in nothing about the place itself and the 'sense of place' so important to many, and go with the rosiest of economic projections, it makes sense. But the problem is the rosy economic projections are based on best case scenarios and expect a company to honor its word. Companies will do what makes the best sense for the business - if they promise to remain in NYC for 25 years, but a better offer comes in 5, they will bolt.

    And that doesn't factor in the values of it all - why does a multi-billion dollar company need billions in tax cuts? Would the city be better served giving $3B in tax cuts to small, locally owned businesses? Many - myself included - would say yes.
     
  36. cwobrien11

    cwobrien11 All-Conference
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    First, how is the system supposed to work?

    Second, how is it failing?

    I want to understand where the disconnect is before I respond.
     
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  37. floydmaster

    floydmaster All-American
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    I like Zephyr, and I voted for her last time around for AG, but I think Leticia James will do a good job too.

    Zephyr was also running in a state-wide race, while AOC only had to win a single district in Queens. Prior to her current fame, she definitely would have struggled to win the kind of state-wide election that Zephyr has fallen short in. It's hard to say what New York State is ready for, given that much of upstate resembles Kansas politically. But in the city at least, things are trending hard toward AOC's views, given that the rich-not rich divide is so visceral out here.

    I can't find the data right now, but I suspect the vote for AG in my neighborhood was probably pretty evenly split between Leticia James (the eventual winner) and Zephyr, with James likely getting over 90% in the general election.
     
  38. floydmaster

    floydmaster All-American
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    Or providing $3 billion to the MTA, which would almost cover its debt service payment this year.
     
  39. !hawk!

    !hawk! All-Conference
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    If it did everything you said it does in a way that didn’t come with steep costs, you’d be 100% correct. But it doesn’t and that is why people get pissed off about these things. It never works out well for them in the long run.

    How it should work: -we need a new hq, that’s incentive enough, build it where you like, and don’t make cities do tricks for you.
     
  40. nick77

    nick77 All-Conference
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    Yeah, even though AOC has a tiny district I figured the state Machine would have frozen her out. I find it hilarious that people are murmuring how she jumped the line over people who waited 20 years for that seat, haha.

    Another reason to hate Joe Lieberman, he was the one who told Crowley to run as an Independent in the General.

    When the Justice Democrats formed after 2016 I thought there was no way in hell they'd put up a winning horsie anywhere, boy am I grateful that I was dead wrong.
     

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