US metropolis are selling their beings to be chosen as the companys second HQ site, write academics Jathan Sadowski and Karen Gregory
Amazon, the online retail giant, is in the midst of operating its own hunger games. The contestants are 238 metropolis and regions across Northern america. The trophy is being selected as the site for Amazon’s second headquarters( HQ2 ), which promises to employ upwards of 50,000 people. These metropolis are locked in a ferocious battle to outbid each other and they’ll do anything, dedicate anything, to be chosen.
In an era of brutal austerity, metropolis are hollowed out and hoping for a savior. Since the tech sector is flush with cash, by showing up and saying the magic words- growing, undertakings, investment, invention- metropoli presidents bend to their will. Amazon’s HQ2 competition is the last egregious instance of a techno-capitalist regime that’s bewitching cities around the world.
While simply about 30 of the proposals are publicly available so far, they paint a troubling picture of cities clamoring to sell their soul to Amazon. As the Seattle Time reports, the amount of money, perks and power that cities are ready to give away to Amazon is utterly galling. It goes lane beyond only standard subsidies and tax breaks.
New Jersey has offered$ 7bn in incentivesto Amazon if they build HQ2 in Newark. Whereas, in a proposal that is just like it should be illegal, Chicago’s bid would force employees of HQ2 to pay part of their salary back to Amazon as” income taxation “. That is, HQ2 employees would still have income tax subtracted, but instead of going to the government- to fund things like public services and infrastructure- it would be given to Amazon. This is a case where taxation is actually( wage) steal.
In a similar vein of outrageous offerings, Fresno, California, has proposed the creation of an Amazon Community Fund– innocuous name, insidious plan. For 100 years, 85% of all taxes collected from Amazon would be put into an report jointly controlled by metropoli presidents and Amazon executives. The taxes would be spent to subsistence HQ2 and Fresno promises to promote Amazon’s role as benefactor for any programme paid for by the “community fund”( AKA public dollars ).