Points to pon­der re­gard­ing the bid for Ama­zon

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - - National -

Sowe’ve in­vited Ama­zon to fol­low in the foot­steps of our lo­cal sports teams and en­gage in un­bri­dled ex­tor­tion of the city, county and state for tax ben­e­fits, de­vel­op­ment rights and out­right mon­e­tary grants. This is a truly vi­sion­ary pro­posal to fuel hous­ing in­fla­tion, pro­mote the di­vide be­tween the haves and havenots and fur­ther racial seg­re­ga­tion. There go our “liv­able city” points.

Did our pro­posal high­light the pro­fes­sion­al­ism and func­tion­al­ity of the Penn­syl­va­nia Leg­is­la­ture, a pack of feral cats that has ger­ry­man­dered its mem­bers into a life­time atop the throne of per­fid­i­ous­ness? Did it spot­light the three-months-late state bud­get and down­grade to the state’s credit rat­ing? That bud­get ex­pands gam­bling, bor­rows from the tobacco set­tle­ment fund and/or state liquor store rev­enue and di­verts ded­i­cated funds — all to main­tain our po­si­tion as the only state with sig­nif­i­cant Mar­cel­lus gas that has no ex­trac­tion tax. There was also talk of us­ing public tran­sit funds to help close the bud­get gap. There go our “en­light­ened Leg­is­la­ture” and “green city” points.

Ama­zon values top-notch schools, so surely you told them that un­til the bud­get passed, the four state-re­lated uni­ver­si­ties would prob­a­bly have had to raise tu­ition for the sec­ond se­mes­ter. But that’s OK. Stu­dents and their par­ents no doubt have sur­plus cash to bail out the uni­ver­si­ties — and the Leg­is­la­ture. Penn State al­ready has the high­est tu­ition of any land-grant univer­sity in the coun­try, tu­ition has risen at all state uni­ver­si­ties over the years, and the Leg­is­la­ture con­tin­ues to stran­gle K-12 ed­u­ca­tion. There go our “we value ed­u­ca­tion” points.

As the tech­no­log­i­cally savvy Ama­zon team from one of the most en­vi­ron­men­tally aware ci­ties steps off the plane, it will also no­tice that the air­port wi-fi is not ro­bust, there are few places to recharge an elec­tronic de­vice and re­cy­cling con­tain­ers are in very short sup­ply. There go our “great in­ter­na­tional air­port” and “en­vi­ron­men­tally aware” points.

Maybe we should hope not to make the cut. SETH BECKERMAN

Mt. Le­banon

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