Chairman's Blog

Thanks Socialists. For Nothing.

February 16, 2019

Thanks Socialists for Nothing

You’ve probably seen Amazon’s decision to cancel its plan to locate a new headquarters to Queens, one of the five boroughs of New York City. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) and her socialist buddies are thrilled, even celebrating Amazon’s bail-out as a great victory against corporate greed.

Now, please don’t misunderstand me, I have no particular love for Amazon. Still, I respect the free market and detest socialism.

So what happened?

The details are pretty straightforward. In exchange for about $3 billion in tax incentives and infrastructure improvements, Amazon agreed to build a 25,000 employee headquarters.

Well, the very idea that government might offer tax incentives to lure a major company and its jobs to an otherwise depressed area made the heads of the socialists explode.

Wait, they said, why should Amazon receive any incentives at all? Why should the poor people of the city or state have to give anything to a corporation?

Now I’m no fan of welfare, corporate or otherwise. But that debate totally ignores a few facts:

First, over 100 cities and communities in the United States put in bids to become Amazon’s next headquarters. Everyone of them offered tax incentives, infrastructure improvements, and / or concessions of some kind. There was indeed, heavy competition for this new Amazon headquarters.

Second, along with the location of a new headquarters, there would also have come 25,000 new, high-paying, full time jobs. In fact, the average salary at Amazon is more than $150,000 per year. And that doesn’t even count the 10’s of thousands of new jobs that would have been created by all the new construction and infrastructure improvements required to get Amazon up and running in Queens.

Third, along with 25,000 good paying jobs comes billions in new revenue from state and local taxes, fees, tolls, and other charges Amazon and its employees would have incurred. In fact, New York State estimates Amazon’s new office would have resulted in at least $27 billion in additional revenue over 10 years. That’s right: $3 billion in concessions to gain $27 billion in additional revenue. Sounds like a pretty good return on investment to me.

And, finally, all those jobs don’t even take into consideration the thousands of other jobs, and tax revenues, created by the restaurants, hotels, retail outlets, dry cleaners, auto repair facilities, and all the other businesses that would have risen up to service Amazon and its employees. We’re talking about the total revitalization of an entire community.

So congratulations to Ms. Ocasio-Cortez and her socialist friends for making life harder on the people of her community — for killing thousands of new jobs that promised real opportunity.

I guess simply giving away the hard earned incomes of Americans is preferable to giving them the opportunity to advance, grow and prosper.

Anyone who thinks socialism is a better approach, just needs to look at what happened with Amazon in Queens. Is anyone going to be better off? In fact, exactly the reverse. The entire community will suffer now.

Thanks, AOC. For nothing.

John Philip Sousa IV

John Philip Sousa IV is an entrepreneur, political activist, author and accomplished business person. John has worked in the financial services industry for over 40 years, built a highly successful marketing company, ran for congress at age 24, and in 2016 created and led the successful movement to draft Dr Ben Carson into his candidacy for President of the United States. John is author of John Philip Sousa, A Patriot’s Life in Words and Pictures and Ben Carson, RX for America.