Monday, 27 November 2017


Via Super Punch, we learn that states and municipalities in America are willing to make any sacrifice, including surrendering any pretence of the democratic process, in order to lure the second headquarters of a major on-line retailor to its doorstep. The sweetheart tax deals, which betray the rotten, saccharine decay that underlies governmental institutions that have given up and sold-out without so much as offering the least bit of resistance, will be of course a matter of prestige for the host city—but in a back-handed sort of way, as we’ve seen with other big venue events becoming rather a liability than a boon and a blessing, but that prize and the injection of fifty thousand potential jobs are demanding outsized costs.
Chicago—for example—has offered to divert the income tax of the company’s own employees back into the company’s coffers, and locations in California and New Jersey have offered land, billions and deferred tax payments, should they set up shop in their states. Governments have always had to play games with industry to attract and retain manufacturing and employment opportunities but a wholesale race to the bottom with democracy should illicit as much aversion and antipathy as would one would shoulder for laxer environmental or labour laws (which could be in negotiation as well, since the investigation has only been able to obtain details on a tenth of the competition) since tax revenue that could be used to fund schools, museums, food programmes, scientific research and other areas of public interest is instead going towards corporate welfare. What’s to stop the next company shopping for a tax-break to not be even bolder with its demands?   The community does not share in this enrichment and further austerity and cuts to services are justified.