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Letters: After Amazon — dissecting a deal undone

Reader letters to Newsday for Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019

A view of Long Island City, where Amazon

A view of Long Island City, where Amazon had planned a new headquarters, on Feb. 14. Photo Credit: AP / Bebeto Matthews

In all of Friday’s extensive postmortems in Newsday regarding the Amazon’s cancellation, the most telling observation was by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s spokesman, Dani Lever [“Cuomo faults LI Democrats,” News, Feb. 15].

Apparently, only Lever had the courage to characterize the root of the loss accurately: “. . . the State Senate tanked the Amazon plan by placing a stalwart Amazon opponent on the government approval board to pander to the local socialists.”

New York has surrendered pluralism on the altar of one-party rule, and that rule, as demonstrated here, is no longer the healthy moderate liberalism New York has been noted for, but the rising ugly head of the strident left; “socialism” committed to destroying private-sector business and all that’s dependent on it: jobs, earnings, taxes and growth.

New Yorkers needs to finally stop the pretense and recognize that New York’s flush-with-victory Democratic Party has evolved into a wildly out-of-step collectivist nightmare. The Amazon fiasco confirms it!

Stuart Klein, Island Park

If the economy in New York, with its high taxes, wasn’t bad enough, it just got worse thanks to freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The result of her leading opponents against construction of an Amazon headquarters will have a far-reaching, long-term negative impact in Long Island City, on Long Island and in much of New York State. The area lost an estimated 25,000 jobs and billions of dollars in tax revenues. Small-business development will also be hurt.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is rightfully upset with Amazon’s decision, and is placing the blame squarely on those responsible. Mayor Bill de Blasio accused Amazon executives of dealing in bad faith, and not working with the community. But why would Amazon want to locate in an area where local opposition exists? What kind of precedent will this set for other major corporations looking to relocate? Not a good one.

On the other hand, Ocasio-Cortez is proud that she was instrumental in causing Amazon to cancel its plans! Forty-five days into the job and she has deprived taxpayers billions of dollars of revenue. This, I fear, is just the beginning of the financial damage she will do to New York. Congratulations to those who voted for her. You got what you asked for.

Joseph Barbera, Levittown

Talk about shooting oneself in the foot. A few holier-than-thou politicians eliminated a base of 25,000 great jobs, many thousands of support jobs and badly needed infrastructure improvements.

OK, Amazon has issues to address with warehouse work and similar jobs. So work on them. This had nothing to do with the jobs that were coming to New York.

Great pay, not a bad commute for many, and huge tax flows. Did the state have to give credits? Yes. New York is expensive to set up in. Would it have finally made us redo some Queens infrastructure like the Hunters Point Avenue subway and train stations? Absolutely. A Sunnyside Long Island Rail Road station might have made it viable for LIRR commuters in diesel country to use East Side Access when it finally opens.

Officeholders have to understand, it’s great to be progressive or socialist, but in the end, the more clean jobs we have here, the better. So now, the officeholders who stopped this great job creator need to pay for their arrogance and atone for the jobs lost. Their so-called principles will not replace good jobs. Don’t ever forget: It’s the economy, stupid!

Ron Troy, East Northport

Now that Amazon has abandoned its proposed HQ2 in Long Island City, the blame game and finger-pointing will shift into overdrive.

Much of the blame has to be laid at the feet of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio. The rather imperious manner in which they negotiated this deal, essentially behind closed doors with no input from the community in Long Island City or the City Council, clearly left a bad taste for many. Certainly, Long Island City residents should have had input before the deal was done into how this development would affect the quality of their lives.

And then there is the inevitable comparison to what Google has done in Manhattan. That company has created thousands of jobs without holding out for public funds.

The truly sad ending here is that it may send precisely the wrong message that New York, the capital of business, is not open for business.

Arthur M. Shatz, Oakland Gardens

In this struggling generation of people looking for great-paying jobs, we had one of the largest corporations on the planet looking to plant roots in Long Island City, and the Democratic politicians of New York overstepped and chased them off for their own political agendas.

Thank you for absolutely nothing. You just cost 25,000 people jobs paying $150,000 on average. Hopefully, voters will show how thankful they are the next time you are looking for their support. I am unbelievably disgusted with Democrats and will remember come polling time.

Scott Thomas, Islip Terrace

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