Update 4: Former Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein took some time off from his retirement bliss to offer his two cents on Thursday's Amazon news, blasting progressive dems like AOC for being "anti-progress" and also "anti-democratic".
After killing Amazon's NYC HQ, not sure some progressive democrats deserve either title. This move was both anti-progress (negative for development and tech jobs) and anti-democratic (polls show 70% of NYers were in favor). Victory lap for them, not for NYC. #AmazonHQ2— Lloyd Blankfein (@lloydblankfein) February 14, 2019
Their cheering at Amazon's pull-out is a "victory lap for them" and their narrow political interests, not for the people of New York.
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Update 3: After more than two hours of radio silence, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who swooped in to take credit for the deal after it was announced late last year, has issued a statement on Amazon's decision...and as one might have expected, he didn't hesitate to take a few shots at the Democrats on his left flank whom Amazon has blamed for sabotaging the deal.
Offering a counter-narrative to AOC, Cuomo blamed Democrats in the state senate for sabotaging a deal that "poll after poll" showed was "overwhelmingly supported" by New Yorkers. These lawmakers "put their own narrow political interests above their community" and lost what would have been a great economic boon "not just for New York City, but for the entire region." They also squandered an opportunity to "diversify our economy away from real estate and Wall Street."
"Amazon chose to come to New York because we are the capital of the world and the best place to do business. We competed in and won the most hotly contested national economic development competition in the United States, resulting in at least 25,000-40,000 good paying jobs for our state and nearly $30 billion dollars in new revenue to fund transit improvements, new housing, schools and countless other quality of life improvements. Bringing Amazon to New York diversified our economy away from real estate and Wall Street, further cementing our status as an emerging center for tech and was an extraordinary economic win not just for Queens and New York City, but for the entire region, from Long Island to Albany's nanotech center."
"However, a small group politicians put their own narrow political interests above their community - which poll after poll showed overwhelmingly supported bringing Amazon to Long Island City - the state's economic future and the best interests of the people of this state. The New York State Senate has done tremendous damage. They should be held accountable for this lost economic opportunity."
"The fundamentals of New York's business climate and community that attracted amazon to be here - our talent pool, world-class education system, commitment to diversity and progressivism - remain and we won't be deterred as we continue to attract world class business to communities across New York State."
Over the past four years, one of the dominant scandals in New York State politics has been Cuomo's feud with De Blasio. But now that the two men have joined forces on Amazon, only to see their work wasted by insurgent "Democratic socialists" and other local progressives, will Cuomo shift the focus of his political vindictiveness that he's famous for on AOC and sympathizers in the state senate?
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Update 2: Finally, the woman who led the charge against Amazon and its move to Queens has chimed in to declare Amazon's decision a triumph for all New Yorkers and every committed comrade engaged in the eternal class struggle against our corporate overlords.
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. https://t.co/nyvm5vtH9k— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 14, 2019
She added that if New York had $3 billion to give away to Amazon as a part of this deal, it should be able to find the money to pay teachers and fix the subway.
But while AOC's grand plan to take the Amazon development money and spend it on the subway is about as fantastical as Trump's claim that Mexico is going to pay for the wall (because there won't be any tax revenue, there won't be any money - maybe somebody should explain that to her), at some point, her constituents will probably figure out that they've lost a lot and gained...nothing.
Ocasio-Cortez just cost NYC 25,000 plus jobs and likely billions of dollars in economic development and ancillary small business revenue— Quoth the Raven (@QTRResearch) February 14, 2019
Great start for her
Let the irony sink it: AOC wants to raise taxes on the wealthy to fund her utopian socialist agenda, but is also against wealthy people generating taxable income.
Once her constituents figure it out, they might realize that they would have been better off if AOC had stayed tending bar.
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Update: Comments on Amazon's decision to pull out of New York are beginning to pour in. The first company to comment was Plaxall, a plastics company that owns the site that Amazon had targeted for developments.
Plaxall Inc., the plastics company that owns the private development sites in Long Island City that Amazon.com Inc. had targeted for its new campus, is “extremely disappointed” with the technology company’s decision to pull out of New York.
"We’re extremely disappointed by this decision," Managing Directors Paula Kirby, Tony Pfohl and Matthew Quigley said in an emailed statement. "Since our grandfather opened Plaxall’s doors on the waterfront seven decades ago, our family has believed in the overwhelming promise of Anable Basin and Long Island City as centers of productivity and innovation. We continue to believe that today."
Meanwhile, Queens State Senator Michael Giannaris, the lawmaker who led the movement to defeat the Amazon deal, accused Amazon of acting like a "petulant child."
State Sen. Michael Gianaris, a vocal critic who was chosen for a state board with the power to veto the deal, said the decision revealed Amazon’s unwillingness to work with the Queens community it had wanted to join.
"Like a petulant child, Amazon insists on getting its way or takes its ball and leaves," said Mr. Gianaris, a Democrat, whose district includes Long Island City. "The only thing that happened here is that a community that was going to be profoundly affected by their presence started asking questions."
And finally, Mayor de Blasio has chimed in with his response, effectively accusing Amazon of spitting in New York's face after the city gave the company "the opportunity to be a good neighbor." He added that if Amazon can't appreciate what New York City is worth, "its competitors will."
We have the best talent in the world and every day we are growing a stronger and fairer economy for everyone. If Amazon can’t recognize what that’s worth, its competitors will. https://t.co/VLU17ULrUo— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) February 14, 2019
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As it turns out, those reports about Amazon reconsidering its plan to build one of its "HQ2s" in the Queens neighborhood of Long Island City weren't just trial balloons intended as a warning to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to get his people in line.
Because in a Thursday announcement that will undoubtedly be heralded as a major victory by "Democratic Socialists" like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the e-commerce giant announced that it would scrap its plans to move to New York City, much to the chagrin of Cuomo and de Blasio, who signed off on a $3 billion package of "performance based" state, city and public-private incentives offered to Amazon.
Amazon shares have rallied in the aftermath of the announcement.
But the ramifications for New York State politics will be far more profound.
Amazon didn't mince words in its statement, placing the blame for its decision to deprive the state of what Cuomo's office once described as one of the biggest economic boons in recent decades squarely on the shoulders of progressive New York lawmakers who objected to the deal.
Marking Amazon exit as the moment when @AOC's potent rhetoric first translated into policy— Harry Siegel (@harrysiegel) February 14, 2019
Specifically, lawmakers like AOC and confederates in the New York State legislature opposed the massive tax incentive package offered to Amazon (which came out to more than $40,000 in kickbacks for every job the company had promised to create) and the potential for the new campus to shift the gentrification process into overdrive (the main building would have been situated just blocks away from the Queensbridge Housing Project, America's largest public housing project.
After much thought and deliberation, we’ve decided not to move forward with our plans to build a headquarters for Amazon in Long Island City, Queens. For Amazon, the commitment to build a new headquarters requires positive, collaborative relationships with state and local elected officials who will be supportive over the long-term. While polls show that 70% of New Yorkers support our plans and investment, 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.We are disappointed to have reached this conclusion — we love New York, its incomparable dynamism, people, and culture — and particularly the community of Long Island City, where we have gotten to know so many optimistic, forward-leaning community leaders, small business owners, and residents. There are currently over 5,000 Amazon employees in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island, and we plan to continue growing these teams.
We are deeply grateful to Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio, and their staffs, who so enthusiastically and graciously invited us to build in New York City and supported us during the process. Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio have worked tirelessly on behalf of New Yorkers to encourage local investment and job creation, and we can’t speak positively enough about all their efforts. The steadfast commitment and dedication that these leaders have demonstrated to the communities they represent inspired us from the very beginning and is one of the big reasons our decision was so difficult.
We do not intend to re-open the HQ2 search at this time. We will proceed as planned in Northern Virginia and Nashville, and we will continue to hire and grow across our 17 corporate offices and tech hubs in the U.S. and Canada.
Thank you again to Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio, and the many other community leaders and residents who welcomed our plans and supported us along the way. We hope to have future chances to collaborate as we continue to build our presence in New York over time.
The decision to pull out of NYC comes after New York State lawmakers nominated one of the deal's fiercest opponents to a state board that would grant him the power to unilaterally kill the state component of the incentive package. NYC progressives and "Democratic socialists" like AOC can claim a major victory over their corporate adversaries. Queens real-estate brokers on the other hand are reacting with a mix of "shock, anger and disbelief" as condo sales soared in the wake of the Amazon deal...
Every Queens real estate broker right now pic.twitter.com/FYKZSe5WT2— zerohedge (@zerohedge) February 14, 2019
...As anyone and everyone who could sought to get in on the real estate buying frenzy, as speculators snapped up condos in the area.
Hello, is this "Nelly", the real estate broker...? pic.twitter.com/LmMJ6mPmyS— Barbarian Capital (@BarbarianCap) February 14, 2019
However, New Yorkers who opposed the Amazon deal will probably be disappointed to find that driving away the e-commerce giant won't help fix the subway.
ENJOY YOUR TRAIN RIDE FUCKED FACES pic.twitter.com/MYx4AU9QQ6— The_Real_Fly (@The_Real_Fly) February 14, 2019
The prospect of luring Amazon to NYC was an all-consuming project for the Democrats who run the state. Cuomo and de Blasio set aside their fierce rivalry to work together to court Amazon, we wonder who will be the first to point the finger at their rival as what we imagine will become one of the most epic blame games in the history of New York politics.
Because it looks like Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has taken a break from snapping dick pics to send Cuomo and de Blasio a giant middle finger.