Tomorrow is the deadline for cities to pitch Amazon to be considered for the company’s second headquarters. And local officials are bending over backward (or perhaps just bending over) to show the company just how much they want to be its new home.
It turns out New York City is not going to be outdone when it comes to gaudy pandering to corporate overlords. Today Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that every New York City landmark and venue tonight is going to be lit up to the wonderful hue of “Amazon Orange” as a way to show Jeff Bezos that the city means business. The Empire State Building, One World Trade Center, and numerous other destinations are going to be orange. The hope, I gather, is that Bezos will use a telescope to look upon New York from Seattle, see the monochromatic skyline, and say to himself “Oh, that looks nice.”
— Gloria Pazmino (@GloriaPazmino) October 18, 2017
Other local business leaders have made it clear that they want Amazon to choose New York, despite the fact that Amazon is going to require huge tax write-offs from these cities and will probably make everyday logistics like commuting and, well, being a normal city-dweller a nightmare. There’s an irony to this, too, because Amazon sued New York state in 2008 over a new sales tax it levied. Now its biggest city seemingly wants to bestow as many tax breaks on the company as possible.
Instead of offering a reasoned explanation for why New York is the right fit for the new hub, de Blasio is just literally painting the town orange. New Yorkers, meanwhile, will collectively weep for our lost dignity.