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New York Finally Called Amazon’s Bluff

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It’s an extraordinary moment. Amazon just said, “Goodbye, New York,” announcing that it was pulling out of its plans to open a headquarters in New York City, in exchange for which the city and state had promised as much as $3 billion in incentives.

These kinds of economic incentive deals are typically struck with little public oversight and get support from voters who seem satisfied that their leaders have at least tried to create jobs. But New York’s rage at Amazon’s sweetheart deal may finally signal a sea change in how the public reacts to these billion-dollar boondoggles.

In an age of rising rents and stagnating wages, after corporations just got a big handout from the Republican tax bill with much less relief for struggling families, as income inequality continues to ensure that the profit of our economic productivity is skimmed off by those at the top, the era of such incentive deals may be coming to an end.

Amazon’s departure comes after months of organizing and advocating against the deal by activists who canvassed door to door in Queens, arguing that the arrival of the online retail giant would bring rent hikes and displacement. They were joined by politicians, some of whom reversed course and started bashing the company they had once tried to lure to the city.

While not all of those who spoke out against the deal........

© The New York Times