Editor: Amazon is playing Northern Virginia politicians and our current and past governors for fools. After privately and secretly slathering billionaire Jeff Bezos with additional billions in public funds, Virginia and New York have been deluded into believing that Amazon will add substantially to their respective regional economies. Amazon won’t.
We’ve already seen the number of promised jobs reduced by half from 50,000 to 25,000. Further, these 25,000 jobs are projected over a 12-year timespan. The Washington, DC, metro area population has been increasing annually at over 60,000 people. Amazon’s supposed 2,000 new jobs a year will have little effect, even if those new jobs actually come to fruition at all.
Amazon has made a fortune forcing sellers to compete against each other while Amazon profits as the middle man. In Amazon’s true home of Seattle, the Seattle City Council recently repealed a tax it passed unanimously that would require large companies to pay a fixed amount per employee to combat homelessness. Amazon protested loudly and got the change it demanded. But Amazon realizes that taxation is something they cannot avoid and having all its eggs in one basket (Seattle) gives it very little leverage. By having three locations, Amazon can now play municipalities off each other in a race to the bottom. Seattle, New York and Virginia can henceforth be threatened with job losses or lost opportunities if Amazon doesn’t get whatever their demand of the day is.
It is no wonder Northern Virginia and New York “won.” We have the deepest pockets to pilfer.
David Dickinson, Leesburg