On Thursday, Amazon announced that it was canceling its previously announced plans to move forward with New York City as its much-vaunted second headquarters, commonly referred to as “HQ2.” More specifically, Amazon had been planning to split its HQ2 between Long Island City, in Queens, New York, and Crystal City, in Arlington, Virginia.
“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,” Jodi Seth, an Amazon spokeswoman, said in a statement.
In the statement, Amazon noted that “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.”
Amazon selected New York City and Northern Virginia in November to split duty as its second headquarters (nicknamed HQ2) after a year-long search. Each city was expected to have more than 25,000 workers over time.
New York City stands to lose most of the 25,000 jobs that were supposed to come to its Queens-based HQ2, per CNBC. “Amazon’s decision to withdraw its New York City HQ2 is a setback for the city that illustrates politics and anti-business sentiment can derail economic development despite competitive strengths,” Nick Samuels, VP at Moody’s Investors Service, told CNBC.
In a corporate blog post, Amazon explained that there will not be a search for a HQ2 replacement for Long Island City. “We do not intend to reopen the HQ2 search at this time,” the company stated. “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.”
As CNN notes, there were many critics of the $1.525 billion in incentives that New York dangled to lure Amazon. Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief excoriated the deal, at the time, as a quintessential form of “crony capitalism.”
Both New York and Washington, D.C. can also expect rising housing prices, strained public services, and additional spent tax dollars on Amazon.
So, it turns out that crony capitalism is alive and well in Democratic areas like New York and Washington, D.C. This used to be called corruption. Now it’s just “drawing business.” It’s rather hilarious that the same politicians who recognize that they need to create special incentives to draw businesses from foreign climes refuse to acknowledge that the regulations and taxes they place on their own homegrown businesses drive those businesses away. But economic liberals have never been known for the consistency of their viewpoint.
Analysts and commentators today have not been shy in their criticisms of Amazon. At Business Insider, Rosalie Chan called the announcement a “stunning about-face” for the tech giant.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), the leftist firebrand whose congressional district would have hosted the Long Island City-based HQ2 facility, celebrated today’s news, tweeting, “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.”