Jeff Bezos yanked his would-be HQ2 campus this week in a show that Amazon simply couldn’t take the heat from New Yorkers who opposed the secretive deal and its potential implications for the city’s residents, and the Queens community in particular.
After Amazon announced it was pulling out, many progressive politicians viewed the outcome as a clear victory. This group does not include New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Speaking with Chuck Todd for an interview with Meet the Press, de Blasio — who has consistently extolled the tens of thousands of jobs it would have created while seemingly missing the myriad reasons it would have been a disaster for New Yorkers — slammed Amazon’s decision to walk away from the deal as “an example of an abuse of corporate power.”
“Amazon just took their ball and went home,” de Blasio said. “And what they did was confirm people’s worst fears about corporate America. Here’s the 1 per cent, dictating to everyone else even though we gave them a fair deal. And I think it’s going to frustrate people all over this country to see a company treat a neighbourhood and a city like that.”
The mayor still appears to believe that the corporate handouts the deal managed to negotiate were well worth it to New Yorkers, but he doesn’t seem to be letting this bad blood between Amazon and the city go. He made his feelings on the failed deal known in a Saturday op-ed at the New York Times that waffled on corporate accountability and some of the reasons New Yorkers were concerned about the deal to begin with:
As the mayor of the nation’s largest city, a place that’s both a progressive beacon and the very symbol of capitalism, I share the frustration about corporate America. So do many of my fellow mayors across the country. We know the game is rigged. But we still find ourselves fighting one another in the race to secure opportunity for our residents as corporations force us into all-against-all competitions.
He added: “Amazon’s HQ2 bidding war exemplified that injustice. It’s time to end that economic warfare with a national solution that prevents corporations from pitting cities against one another.”