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Should New York say “No” to Amazon?

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It’s all a messy scuttlebutt following Amazon’s decision to split headquarters between Atlanta and New York. Reported by The New York Times, that’s $5 billion in terms of investment and more than 50,000 high-paying jobs. But the perspective probably isn’t right. Let’s take a closer look.

At the beginning of this year, the tech giant chose a total of 20 names as finalists for the bid process geared towards the HQ2 plan. However, Amazons have not yet confirmed New York winning the bid following which other finalists are still holding on hope. As a matter of fact, some cities are still in the process of securing wholesome public financing towards development to play host to Amazon. Take Atlanta for example, where the city council has approved $139 billion for public subsidies targeted at downtown development. It is highly speculated that this could be a welcome call for Amazon to set up its HQ2.

Amazon has been sourcing talents from all over the county and the fact that it doesn’t want to limit itself to Seattle only is part of the plan. Even though it gains its presence in more than one city, the pool of talents could be saturated. Nevertheless, the company does realize that there is only very little talent when a handful of cities is taken into account. Pittsburgh is where engineers thrive; sales force gains an upper hand in Chicago while Boston does well in robotics. Reportedly, 25 percent of every single new office space in the United States has been taken by Amazon, in the last quarter. Amazon is only following the footsteps of Facebook, Spotify, and Google who have already been on the route of opening offices all over the country. Then why the fuss over Amazon’s big step? Well for one, a city like New York, home to idiosyncratic merchants running small businesses in all probability will be quashed or engulfed by the tech giant. Reputation precedes Amazon where Seattle’s over-dependence on the tech giant only lead to disruption of wealth. No company compared to Amazon has contributed so much as to curb the existence of small business groups at large.

 

On another note, Amazon is pitted as an abusive gatekeeper of ideas. A video released by Gizmodo depicts how good Amazon is in busting union to which New York takes a contrary stand with its long history of union guided power. Franklin Foer in his famous book, “World without Mind” states how Hachette as a publisher had dared t make a remark about contracts demands of Amazon dating 2014. As an immediate retaliation, every shipment of Hachette books to the customers was unnecessarily delayed by the company by a few weeks.

Will New York fall to play a corporate fool in this drama? Shall we witness a city known for its epic stand in people and union power cease to be reduced to a helot at the mercy of Amazon? Is Amazon really a control freak as projected or is it actually doing any good? All such speculations will have to put to rest for now until the time comes? And by all means, it’s worth the wait.

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