The Amazon scam

After convincing half of America’s cities to proffer acts of fiscal fellatio, Amazon has decided it’s not going to build HQ2 after all.

Amazon will divide its much-anticipated new headquarters between Crystal City in Northern Virginia and Long Island City in Queens, New York, a source with knowledge of the plan confirmed to POLITICO Monday night.

…Amazon’s split decision means the selected locations can expect to share as many as 50,000 jobs and roughly $5 billion in investment.

Austin’s political leaders had mixed feelings about Amazon potentially coming to town. The anti-growth crowd was certainly not excited, but some urbanist types, notably Council Member Greg Casar, were also skeptical that the arrival of the tech giant would necessarily bode well for the city’s poor and working class.

Anyway, now that the point is moot, are we going to get a look at what the Austin Chamber of Commerce suggested the city would be able to give Amazon if it came here? The fact that the Chamber negotiates on the behalf of taxpayers is bizarre, even if they can’t commit taxpayers to anything without a City Council vote.

Many theorize that Amazon humored cities that never had a chance just so that it could get its hands on valuable information about land all over the country. Land that could serve as warehouses. Land that may need to be mapped whenever it unleashes its air force of drones on us.

My question: How much time, if any, did city staff spend preparing a proposal for Amazon? Those are taxpayer-funded man-hours that not only didn’t produce a return on investment, but may have been used under false pretenses.

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