In a perhaps surprising popular uprising against corporate welfare in the United States, the Guardian reports that community and activist groups across the nation are speaking out in opposition to the massive tax incentives that some states are offering to Amazon in the hope of hosting its new HQ2 in one of their cities.
The range of groups speaking out falls on both the left and the right of the political spectrum and includes groups linked to Occupy, the Democratic Socialists of America and the Koch brothers.
Some states have offered tax incentives totalling as much as $7bn (New Jersey) and $3bn (Maryland). Critics pointed to a variety of reasons why they oppose this race-to-the-bottom in taxes, including the record-setting personal wealth of Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos; the likelihood that the new HQ would exacerbate existing inequalities of race and class, as has played out in San Francisco since the rise of big tech; and the fact that the ‘winning’ city will have to invest in infrastructure to support the new HQ.
In an effort to organise solidarity against offering tax incentives, Professor Richard Florida launched a petition asking city leaders to sign a pact of ‘mutual non-aggression’. To date, it has garnered over 15,000 signatures but just four city leaders have signed on.