Corporate Welfare Help Needed Main Topic

No Free Lunch for Amazon

Amazon’s deadline is here and many states have fallen over themselves to sell their cities as the location for Amazon’s second headquarters.  With those bids, we expect that states and municipalities will try to shower Amazon with tax breaks and other subsidies their residents cannot afford. We ask: why should we pay for Amazon to take our money?

The US government already allocates well over $100 Billion of your tax dollars to corporate subsidies.  State and local governments contribute at least an additional $50 Billion. That’s money we aren’t spending on healthcare or infrastructure repairs, the same overtaxed infrastructure Amazon built their delivery empire on. Amazon uses their market power to enrich their owners. That market power makes them unaccountable to the merchants they service, their employees or their community. First hand accounts of working for Amazon portray it as a crushing, brutal experience, with employees expected to make deep personal sacrifices for the good of an impersonal corporate entity. That is patently absurd. If Amazon wants to employ Massachusetts workers, they can bloody well afford to pay for it. If the commonwealth is in such a hurry to subsidize jobs, they could start by paying teachers a decent wage, build affordable housing our fellow residents need or make sure we have access to reliable public transit.

Like Rhode Island’s failed backing of the debt of gaming company 38 Studios, our commonwealth shouldn’t expect a payoff from any tax breaks or subsidies we give Amazon. We won’t benefit from the $250 million dollars in free office space and other perks we have lavished on General Electric. We won’t benefit from Amazon.

We oppose Massachusetts or any Massachusetts municipality giving Amazon any tax breaks or subsidies. We also oppose using eminent domain to get Amazon a discount on any land they may purchase.  They’re rich enough, they don’t need the pennies out of our pockets when we’re already giving them our dollars anyway. Additionally, we demand that all Massachusetts and municipal proposals to Amazon must be made public and be reviewed in public hearings. The people have a right to know that their elected representatives aren’t selling them out to massive corporations.

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