America's Odious Child: New York, New York

Posted: Feb 17, 2019 12:01 AM
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America's Odious Child: New York, New York

A.O.C.: This week saw a twenty-nine-year-old Congressperson celebrate Queens, New York losing at least 25,000 future high paying jobs. She claimed credit for and celebrated the decision of Amazon not to move into Queens, New York. Queens is immediately next to her congressional district.

In an interesting equation, Queens will lose slightly more than one and one-half jobs for each primary vote Ms. Cortez received in her congressional primary race.

The loss of 25,000 Amazon jobs will remove an estimated $3.75 billion dollars of annual salaried income from Queens and eliminate a reasonably forecasted annual economic impact of perhaps $8.6 billion in and around Queens. Over the next decade, the loss of economic impact in and around Queens could equate to nearly $100 billion. (The Congressperson with the economics degree from Boston University should be able to explain the economic concept of “output multiplier”.)

To put $8.6 billion of economic activity in some perspective, the Amazon project would have had economic expansion in and around Queens equal about 20% of the gross domestic product of Rhode Island. 

In the history of the United States, it is unlikely any Member of Congress has ever claimed credit for causing a reduction in employment opportunities for their congressional district or one nearby. 

Much has been made of the $3 billion of incentives negotiated by Amazon from the City and State of New York. Amazon would benefit from the $3 billion over ten years as the State of New York reduced tax bills etc. 

As John Fogerty said in his song Centerfield: “Put me in coach, I am ready to play.” This was the deal of the century for Queens and the tax cost was going to be borne not 100% by Queens, but by the entire State of New York. This was the greatest deal for New Yorkers since they purchased Manhattan for trade goods with a value of 60 guilders.

Ms. Cortez indicated a concern that the jobs were not guaranteed for New Yorkers. Does she believe that people from Pittsburg will be taking jobs in Queens and remaining in their homes in Pittsburg? Does she believe in open borders with the caveat that an immigrant cannot move to and work in Queens? This is all crazy.

Ms. Cortez provided this quote: “We were subsidizing those jobs; the city was paying for those jobs. Frankly, if we were willing to give away $3 billion dollars for this deal, we could invest those $3 billion in our district, ourselves, if we wanted to. We could hire out more teachers. We can fix our subways. We can put a lot of people to work for that amount of money if we wanted to.” Actually no, that $3 billion does not exist. Amazon’s tax bills etc. would have been reduced by $3 billion. Amazon, Amazon employees and the economic expansion would still have produced enormous taxable revenues that could be invested in Queens.

Some lucky community is going to add at least 25,000 high paying jobs. Queens will get nothing.

That community should be writing thank you notes to the Congressperson.