“Lost the community 25,000 jobs and over $27.5 billion in tax revenues.”
That’s not the sort of boast you often see listed as a bullet point in a campaign ad, but expect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to include it on her résumé should she run for re-election. Back in November when Amazon announced it would be would supplementing its original headquarters in Seattle with two satellite installations, one in in the New York City borough of Queens, AOC tweeted:
Amazon is a billion-dollar company. The idea that it will receive hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks at a time when our subway is crumbling and our communities need MORE investment, not less, is extremely concerning to residents here.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) November 13, 2018
She followed that up with concerns about whether the company would cull its new employees from the existing community, whether the jobs would be low- or high-wage, whether employees would be able to bargain collectively, and too much more.
Ocasio-Cortez maintained that her opposition to the facility echoed the sentiments of her constituents, but a poll taken at the time suggested otherwise:
Today the “good news” came: Jeff Bezos’s tech giant announced in a statement that it was ditching plans to built the Queens facility:
While polls show that 70% of New Yorkers support our plans and investment, 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.
Ocasio-Cortez promptly took a victory lap:
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. https://t.co/nyvm5vtH9k
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 14, 2019
Corporate greed? As Howard Portnoy wrote when the plan was first announced:
What’s that expression about a gift horse? Apparently, Ocasio-Cortez isn’t aware that new jobs — even if they are not awarded to local residents — create other jobs in the area. New restaurants are likely to open to accommodate the heightened lunchtime traffic from the addition of 12,500 warm bodies to the local workforce. The new workers will also need places to live — something she in particular should identify with — which means new revenues from apartment rental and home sales.
Not everyone shared AOC’s delight:
Absolutely disgraceful that @Amazon is driven from New York by left wing progressive politicians. Terrible loss of jobs for New York workers and New York economy.
— Rep. Pete King (@RepPeteKing) February 14, 2019