Amazon decides … more jeers than cheers.

May be a classic case of the “winner’s curse” … or just loser’s lament.

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Well, Amazon finally reached a decision re: HQ2.

Err, make that HQ2 and HQ3

Rather than the ballyhooed 50,000 jobs in one locale somewhere in the U.S., Amazon had a last minute change of heart and split the spoils between 2 east coast metro areas:: HQ2 in Crystal City. VA  … HQ3 in Long Island City, NY (25,000 jobs).

WSJ summarized Amazon’s stated criteria … and estimated where both VA and NYC score.

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Looks pretty analytical, right?

But, many observers retro-conclude that the fix was in from the start.

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Predictable places?

Yep,

DC because it’s the nation’s capital and proximate to the goldmine of government business (of which, Amazon is already a major player).

NYC because it’s the financial and media capital of the world (where Google has already staked a big claim).

Both DC and NYC because they’re located on the east coast (pundits say that Heartland locales were never serious contenders) … and because those local governments have the deepest pockets.

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So far, there don’t seem to be many current residents dancing in the streets.

What’s up with that?

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First, locals in both places see the obvious: overcrowding,  overloaded infrastructures (think: roads and public transportation), booster-rockets on already insane real estate prices.

Second, outrage over “corporate welfare” that has pundits on the left and right thinking that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may be on the right track for once:

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That refrain has been picked up by The American Conservative and The Atlantic:

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Third, there is concern that Amazon duped locales across the country to open their kimonos and disclose details re: their fiscal projections and development plans that Amazon can leverage in its business operations and in future negotiations.

Indeed, under the guise of a multi-billion dollar development contest, Amazon successfully convinced the mayors and governors of 238 North American cities and regions to voluntarily surrender a treasure trove of information ranging from future infrastructure projects to land use patterns and everything else in between — all without being charged a dime.

Armed with this detailed data, Amazon will not only have a competitive advantage over its rivals in retail and cloud computing, it will also have a serious upper hand at the negotiating table with state and local governments, as it will know precisely how much taxpayer money it will be able to extract from public funds.  Source

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When the politicos are done popping corks, they’ll have a major PR job to do … and, they better hope that their economic projections are right.

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