When Amazon announced last year that New York City and the Washington, D.C., area would share Amazon’s much-coveted second headquarters — and would get 25,000 high-paying jobs apiece — much of the country was green with envy, and a little surprised.
That the company struck deals with these two urban, East Coast areas was something of a revelation. It showed there was something to the liberal vision of economic growth. Tech companies might want low taxes and light regulation. But they also need highly educated, skilled workers — therefore the vibrant, urban, arts-loving communities where young techies like to live.
Now Amazon must be wondering about its decision as politicians in one of the two winning communities — New York — are pushing back. Given Democrats’ legislative gains in November’s elections and the oddities of the state’s government, where a small committee could thwart the will of city and state leaders, the opponents might actually succeed in scuttling the deal.
That would be very bad news for New York. As prosperous as the city is, its economy remains overly dependent on financials services. Building up its thriving, but still small, tech industry would help its quest for diversification.