So it’s clear that everyone is not thrilled with the fact that Amazon will be coming to Long Island City with half of its second headquarters. And that makes sense. I’ve seen a ton of arguments for why this is bad for Queens and NYC.
We’ve had lackluster investment in transportation and infrastructure in NYC for years. The subway, regional rail systems, and airports are unimpressive to put it kindly. Our roads are falling apart. So it’s questionable if our current system will be able to support the massive influx of people.
The rent is “too damn high” as it is and this will only push it higher. That leads to gentrification and more income disparity.
But you can’t only look at the downside when there’s so much upside.
To start, Amazon will bring something like 20,000 jobs to NYC. That’s a lot of jobs.
Further, Amazon’s HQ2 will be a magnet for top tech talent. And that serves two benefits, given that people will relocate to the region to work at Amazon, and other companies can simultaneously recruit those workers from Amazon.
You also have to consider NYC’s high tax rates. That means Amazon will pay something like $13 billion in taxes to the city and another $14 billion to the state.
So, generally speaking, I have to say that I’m a fan of growing the regional economy and investing in NYC’s tech sector.
However, being a tech worker myself, I likely have blind spots and an underappreciation of all the issues on the other side of the aisle. So if you feel strongly in the other direction, or know someone that does, please give me the heads up so we can become pen pals. I big reason for this blog is continued hostility toward my own ignorance and naivete.