The Corner

Politics & Policy

Long Island City: A Taste of Things to Come?

Demonstrators hold signs during a protest against Amazon in the Long Island City section of Queens, N.Y., February 14, 2019. (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

Business Insider:

Amazon has canceled its HQ2 project for New York City, the company announced on Thursday in a blog post.

“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,” the company wrote.

The company had announced back in November that it would bring 25,000 jobs to a large campus in a western section of Queens’ Long Island City neighborhood. Now, the program has been scrapped.

Amazon said it made the decision because “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.”

Quinnipiac (from December):

New York City voters approve 57 – 26 percent, including 60 – 26 percent among Queens voters, “of Amazon locating one of its new headquarters in Long Island City in Queens,” according to a Quinnipiac University Poll…

Voters are divided, however, on the $3 billion in city and state incentives to attract Amazon, as 46 percent support the incentives, with 44 percent opposed, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University Poll finds.

Support for the Amazon relocation in general ranges from 51 – 29 percent in Manhattan to 64 – 21 percent in The Bronx

Queens voters support 55 – 39 percent the $3 billion incentive package to attract Amazon [as did Bronx voters by 54:37].

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez would like these voters to know that they were wrong.

She tweets:

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.

Now, it is possible to object to New York’s deal with Amazon on free market, non-interventionist principles, but that’s not what Ocasio-Cortez was doing.

Ocasio-Cortez may or may not believe the stale slogans set out in that miserable, self-congratulatory tweet, but she’s shrewd enough to know that a fresh influx of jobs into New York City might shrink the audience for the discontent that she’s peddling. “The worse the better,” argued Lenin, a man well aware that good times were an obstacle for what he was planning. If I had to guess, a similar line of thinking has been running through Ocasio-Cortez’s mind too.

Ideology trumps jobs. Political ambition trumps jobs. There’s a lesson there for anyone wondering what the priorities of a “Green New Deal” would be.

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