Amazon in Queens
Critics have objected to the use of subsidies to lure Amazon to New York City; the giant Internet retailer recently announced that it would locate a major corporate office in Long Island City, Queens. Indeed, corporate welfare of this sort is bad public policy. But given the promise of 25,000 well-paid jobs and development of an underused site, the deal is, on balance, a win for New York.
The Facts You Need to Know
Welfare: The subsidies given to Amazon are minimal compared with the billions of economic-development dollars the state spends annually, to little effect. Read more.
Unions: The state promised Amazon a half-billion-dollar capital grant–likely as compensation for the company having to pay area “prevailing wages,” which add 25% to construction costs. Read more.
Subways: The city and state will have to upgrade local transit infrastructure, which is already severely overcrowded. Read more.
“This is a big money-maker for us—costs us nothing, nada, niente. We make money doing this.”
.@Amazon’s decision to locate to Long Island City is an affirmation not only of NYC’s growing tech talent, but also of all the investments - in housing, schools, parks, transportation, and culture - that have turned LIC into such a thriving neighborhood. https://t.co/xtLdT2EQqq— Mike Bloomberg (@MikeBloomberg) November 13, 2018
The Past is Present
“New York’s planners need to think more about the quality of life.”