by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Amazon announced it will split its second headquarters between two locations — one in Crystal City, Virginia, a suburb just outside of Washington D.C., and Long Island City, New York. Both are rapidly gentrifying areas with housing prices on the rise. The retail giant announced it expects to receive “$1.5 billion in tax incentives for the 4 million square feet of office space” and estimated 50,000 employees it will hire to staff its new headquarters, NBC News reports.
In response to the announcement, Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez went on a tweet storm decrying taxpayer-funded cronyism and expressing concerns about how her constituents’ communities will be affected.
The democratic socialist from the Bronx is right to be outraged about the corporate welfare that threatens to price her constituents out of their own housing market. …
… Who will benefit from these tax incentives? Certainly not taxpayers. It’s questionable whether the people living in the areas surrounding Amazon’s HQ2 will see any positives from the move. …
… Using government to drive out generations-old communities in favor of wealthy coastal elites with six-figure salaries,which is the most likely scenario, is a perverse misuse of power. Ocasio-Cortez is right to be skeptical of a company that has a track record like Amazon’s.