NYC mayor tears into '1 percenter' Bezos for betraying 'everyday people' with Amazon HQ cancelation
Crusading NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio attacked Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos for canceling the company's heavily subsidized move to Queens, slamming "the definition of 1 percent" for his "disrespectful" treatment of New Yorkers.
"Why does this company believe that it can make such arbitrary decisions with no regard for the people? With no regard for government?" de Blasio asked, seemingly without a glimmer of self-awareness, during an appearance on the Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC Public Radio on Friday.
"Here's Bezos and here's Amazon, the definition of one percent. Look how little regard there was for everyday people!" the mayor insisted. "It just dispels the notion that these big corporations are willing to be good citizens and good neighbors."
How hypocritical of you. NYC won't forget you sold us out. Don't think you can campaign for the presidency without having to answer to us.— Ellie James (@elliebyname) February 14, 2019
It was arguably the same "everyday people" who were the most vocal in their opposition to Amazon's headquarters move, which would have seen the trillion-dollar company given billions of dollars in tax breaks to relocate. New Yorkers were not given a chance to weigh in on the move, and many found de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo's wooing of the e-commerce behemoth – including Cuomo's joke he'd change his name to "Amazon Cuomo" if it would convince Bezos to relocate – unseemly.
Seriously? You & Cuomo made the deal where they didn’t have to work with the community or the City Council. You gave them whatever they wanted & didn’t care about what the ppl (who actually live there) wanted.— LJ ☕🐱🏃🏻♀️⚾️🏈〽️❄️☃️🍷 (@noisybrooklyn1) February 14, 2019
So when Bezos called Amazon's fly-by-night decision to pull out of the deal after hitting a bit of turbulence "disappointing and disrespectful to the people of New York," the irony was palpable – and Lehrer wouldn't let the mayor get away with it.
"What if you had just trusted the city's democracy and trusted the people more?" Lehrer asked. "Did you accidentally poison the well by assuming the city's democracy – which elected you twice – was so dysfunctional it couldn't be trusted to handle the process?"
However, de Blasio insisted if they'd gone through a vote and standard land-use procedures – the normal democratic channels – "I guarantee Amazon would have gone elsewhere." Besides, he repeated multiple times, "the polls" showed most New Yorkers approved of the project.
I disagree with that; we saved $3B in subsidies that could be better used for fixing transportation and other pressing needs. Plus, think about the FoxConn disaster in WI, where they gave a company billions for *no* jobs after a big splashy promise.— Lev Novak (@LevNovak) February 14, 2019
When one New Yorker from Astoria – where HQ2 would have been built – called into the show, informing the mayor that locals were terrified of losing their homes to gentrification, de Blasio claimed "that wasn't really what was happening on the ground."
"We can't say no to jobs and development and revenue to make ourselves feel better," he said.
Says the man who tried to set the deal up so elected officials, community boards, and ordinary New Yorkers could have no say.— Bernard Stein (@buddy695) February 14, 2019
The mayor didn't blame the protesters for scaring Amazon away, though: "After being treated with respect and given a fair deal, THEY walked away," he sniffed. "Why did they even bother to choose New York City if they didn't want to actually be part of New York City and do the work it takes to be a good neighbor?"
Wasn't it your back-room dealin' that got us into this disgraceful attempt to sell out NYC residents by giving a corp socially corrosive subsidies? We were about to pay them to move in- it was an immoral trainwreck averted.— Angello Pizarro 🌹 (@iamSoulArmada) February 14, 2019
Compounding the irony, the Democrat mayor ran for office on a "tale of two cities" platform, calling out the massive income inequality that exists in New York and promising to take steps to alleviate the problem. Instead, his critics say, he has largely caved in to wealthy real estate interests, allowing corporations – like Amazon – to run roughshod over the rights of the city's most vulnerable residents. He also gave himself a 15-percent raise for his second term in office, inching towards the one percent himself.
However, at least he succeeded in uniting both pro- and anti-Amazon interests – against himself.
Not “tough,” but rich. Anyway, as a NY public employee I was already priced out of that neighborhood anyway. Maybe one day NYC will have a truly “progressive” mayor. 👋🏻— brian rosa (@brianrosa) February 15, 2019
No your cronies ruined this amazing opportunity. Now you are blaming amazon because this is an unbelievable embarrassment for you and it’s going to end any chance you have at running for president— Bill Minett (@BillyVal) February 14, 2019
YOU threw it away. You have ruined our city. So many jobs could have been created. Instead you have illegal immigrants taking over all of NYC and making life unaffordable for every day New Yorkers. The day you are no longer Mayor will be the greatest day for this city.— Mrs. Cecere (@TonianneCecere) February 15, 2019
Amazon abruptly canceled its HQ2 move on Thursday despite reportedly reaching a deal with labor union representatives and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. The company released a statement blaming "a number of state and local politicians" who refused to "work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward."Also on rt.com Amaz-off: Online retail giant Amazon cancels New York HQ plans after massive backlash
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