The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Saturday, February 16, 2019


Among the many, many problems with socialist ideology is that is it anti-capitalist and as a consequence, overtly anti-business. Democratic socialists like Bernie Sanders or his protégé, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, use terms like "greedy corporations" and "corporate welfare" (apparently the only kind of welfare that socialists don't like) in every other sentence and don't even bother to hide their antipathy to business people and the private sector in general. If you listen carefully to their words and examine their proposals, you'd almost think they want to wreck the economy so that even greater numbers of citizens would become dependent on big intrusive government for their livelihood and survival. That would do much to centralize the socialists' power, and that is what they're really trying to do.

A recent example of this played out in deep blue New York City. The editors of The Wall Street Journal comment:
After getting mauled by a mob of unions and politicians, Amazon on Thursday cancelled plans to build a second headquarters in New York City. It’s a testament to New York’s toxic business environment that even $3 billion in subsidies wasn’t enough to keep the company in town.

“A number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward with the project we and many others envisioned in Long Island City,” Amazon said in calling off the three-month engagement.

The Seattle-based retailer had only kind words for Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio, who wooed it like contestants on “The Bachelor.” In return for the promise of 25,000 jobs, the state and city in November offered up to $3 billion in subsidies as well as a helipad for CEO Jeff Bezos and other executives to fly over congested city streets.

But the ensuing gang-beating offered a portent of what Amazon was walking into. An Amazon executive was asked at a City Council meeting last month whether the company would agree to unionization. “We have great-paying jobs and we respect an employee’s right to choose or not to join a union,” the executive explained. “The goal that you are trying to achieve is good jobs, not low-paying jobs.”

[Democratic Mayor] Mr. de Blasio’s response? “We’re a union town.” He added: “There is going to be tremendous pressure on Amazon to allow unionization and I will be one of the people bringing that pressure. I believe that ultimately that pressure will win the day.” This followed Mr. de Blasio’s recent declaration that there’s too much money in the city in the “wrong hands.”

Mr. Cuomo blamed hostile state Senate Democrats for driving off Amazon and insisted the state’s “fundamentals” will “continue to attract world class business.” If that’s so, why did New York politicians spend $10 billion last year—more than any other state—on business incentives? Republican states also compete with subsidies, but progressives have to offer more to compensate for their oppressive business climates.

The city has the country’s second-highest income tax, and Mr. de Blasio last month proposed that all private employers be required to provide workers two weeks of paid vacation each year. That’s on top of paid family leave. Animus toward business represses the organic investment and job growth that make a dynamic economy.
Regardless of your attitude about Amazon (it is an 800 lb. guerrilla), most outside observers agree that the company would bring 25,000 jobs to NYC. Every one of the people in those jobs would pay local and state taxes, would spend inside the NYC economy and help other small businesses in the region.

In what has to be one of the most economically ignorant statements on Amazon's withdrawal, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY)* praised it as a "victory" and suggested that the $3 billion in subsidies for Amazon be redirected to schools and other progressive social programs. There's only one problem. The $3 billion was in tax relief. It was not actual money sitting in a bank in NYC. It cannot be "spent" on anything because it doesn't exist. Scary stupid. But even more stupid was encouraging an atmosphere that forced NYEXIT—Amazon's exit from NY City.

But then again. The hard left's antipathy to the private sector, along with the vast majority of its world view, is also scary stupid.


* Amazon is hardly a bastion of right-wing corporatist culture, yet its spokesperson put the blame for its NYEXIT squarely on the shoulders of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She must be so proud. After all, what's 25,000 jobs when compared to the moral preening potential of her socialist battle again "corporate greed." Pathetic and scary stupid.