Points to ponder regarding the bid for Amazon
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