While millions of people daily yield to threats and threats from the White House of Trump, the robber barons march on.
Government – especially the local government – is now supposed to be the growing power of corporations and billionaires like Jeff Bezos. Especially Jeff Bezos. The Amazon owner is not only the richest man in America, according to Forbes Magazine, he's also making no secret of his goal of controlling almost every commercial purchase made by the American consumer.
Amazon already reaches the wallet of more than 100 million Americans from their doorstep. This is raw power and Bezos knows how to maximize it. The question is, why are state and local governments coming together to give Bezo's multi-million dollar tax credits?
The spectacle of Bezos dangles the possibility of a second headquarters ̵
Trump has so stunned the citizens and elected officials that we do not know when we'll be spanked
It's nothing new, on behalf of job creation, to distribute handouts to large corporations. However, such an agreement must be considered both in terms of the present and the long-term future. Ten years ago, the Great Recession began; The economy was hard to find in rubble and jobs. Today things are different and Greater Boston is one of the cities that is experiencing the biggest boom.
The city has long since established itself as a capital of technology and science. Companies want to come to Boston mainly because of the talented workforce. In a decade, the Seaport District has become a new district based on intelligence. So when Amazon reduced the number of cities that raced from 238 to 20 as their second headquarters, Boston naturally cut it.
Then Governor Charlie Baker said tax breaks were on the table. But why? Remember the excitement in 2016 when General Electric moved its headquarters from Connecticut to Boston? Tax breaks were part of that deal, and last week a declining GE had fallen from the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
When Bezos opened a huge warehouse in Fall River, he got a nice package of state and local tax breaks that made good sense. The Fall River labor market has withered for decades, so the promise of 500 jobs was a boon.
But a larger presence of Amazon comes with significant disadvantages. Seattle is home to 45,000 Amazon technicians and a showcase of how ruthless a business can be when sitting in the driver's seat. Amazon has made Seattle a "cool" place, but it has created serious problems. Ordinary families can no longer afford Seattle's housing costs and now have a homeless population that only lives in Los Angeles and New York City. When the city decided that Amazon should help pay for some of the side effects of their success by giving the company a $ 250 per capita tax bill – $ 12 million or less for Bezos – that fought Firm back hard. In a month, the city council turned around.
This story is especially appealing to the people of Braintree and anyone who travels the maze of roads around Route 95 and Route 3. Amazon wants to open a warehouse in Braintree that would provide 150 jobs. 150! And they are part time jobs. That's a small number in this time of low unemployment.
And what will these workers do? You will hiss your purchases the "last mile" (the industry term) to your house as you add more vehicles to one of the major traffic nightmares in the region: Braintree Five Corners. Amazon Projects 262 vehicles would enter and leave the Campanelli office park hourly during the morning commuter hours and 160 in the afternoon.
Braintree Mayor Joe Sullivan supports Amazon because of meager job creation and taxes from a vacancy. And these stuck in traffic? Well, that's a price worth paying for.
Is the convenience of having a sweater or cat litter in a hurry to add to a recognized traffic nightmare?
Is this the United States of Amazon?
It's a matter of fairness and quality of life. The Braintree planning board will study Amazon's proposal in the summer. Members should hear from local residents who are unwilling to agree to the wishes of a plutocrat who promises a relative handful of part-time jobs in exchange for more heartburn behind the wheel.
JoAnn Fitzpatrick is the former editor of Patriot Ledger. It can be reached at email@example.com.