Monday, February 18, 2019

Why Jeff Bezos Ditched New York City

By Robert Wenzel

After an exhaustive search of the planet, Jeff Bezos lieutenants had determined the best places to relocate his internet company (err, put up two new "second headquarters") from the ever-intensifying socialist environment in Seattle was northern Virginia (in an area roughly only a 15 minute drive in light traffic to the CIA headquarters in Langley) and also one in Long Island City, a part of the outer New York City borough of Queens.

Bezos, who recently has seemingly in his mind discovered the fountain of youth in his Seattle neighbor, Lauren Sanchez, put his stamp of approval on the relocations. One does wonder where his mind was when approving a move to New York City as a way to escape socialism.

And so with the Bezos stamp of approval, the relocations were announced.

The northern Virginia "second headquarters" is moving along nicely. There appears to be no resistance, imagine that, from the CIA folk who live and work in the general area.

Meanwhile, the Queens resistance to Bezos wanting to move into the neighborhood was so fierce that it is doubtful that even a second civil rights act aimed specifically at helping him would have been enough to allow him to drink from local water fountains or pee there anywhere other than in an ally.

Bezos has seemed to have gotten the message, that he is unwanted and that it would be insane to escape socialism by relocating to NYC, and has decided to escape this outer borough of the city that never sleeps.

The final New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio effort to keep Bezos in the city could very well have been the event that tipped the scales in favor of Bezos deciding to escape. It was a conversation the mayor had with a Bezos lieutenant.

The mayor in an op-ed for The New York Times recounted the conversation which was general advice on how Bezos could be a good socialist in Long Island City and win over critics:
The first word I had that Amazon was about to scrap an agreement to bring 25,000 new jobs to New York City came an hour before it broke in the news on Thursday.
The call was brief and there was little explanation for the company’s reversal.
Just days before, I had counseled a senior Amazon executive about how they could win over some of their critics. Meet with organized labor. Start hiring public housing residents. Invest in infrastructure and other community needs. Show you care about fairness and creating opportunity for the working people of Long Island City. 
There was a clear path forward.
Even a Bezos occupied mostly with texting Sanchez would quickly realize that NYC under de Blasio was not exactly capitalist heaven. What de Blasio saw as a "clear path forward," Bezos saw as an indication he had one last opportunity to start running and not look back. And he did.

What is a libertarian to think?

It's complicated.

Amazon, in many ways, is a wonderful company. It has provided the consumer with a new world of shopping options and, not to be missed, a massive new outlet for authors and other producers to sell their products.

But at the same time, Amazon does play footsie with the surveillance state. We can only imagine the many evil ways the Bezos company is aiding the living breathing version of George Orwell's Animal Farm.

In other words, Amazon does not stop with just providing a link to purchase the Animal Farm book.

I pray that the good people of Amazon, and maybe even Sanchez, get to Bezos so that he runs away from the surveillance state with even greater urgency than he ran away from Long Island City.

As for the deal Amazon struck with New York city and the state, it was a crony deal and should have been objected to on those grounds.

Amazon would have received $897 million from the city’s Relocation and Employment Assistance Program and $386 million from the Industrial & Commercial Abatement Program. It would have received an additional $505 million in a capital grant.

Even Bezos' infamous sniffer, otherwise occupied, would have recognized this as crony.

But the Left, as per usual, just loves this brew of capitalism and cronyism so that they can paint it as a victory over evil capitalism.

One of the most important things libertarians can do in this important time period of social turbulence is to emphasize the difference between true free market capitalism and cronyism.

Cronyism needs to be killed, free market capitalism needs to flourish. They should not both be marched before the firing squad, as socialists do, as if they are one in the same.

They are as different as oxygen and carbon monoxide, as different as Murray Rothbard and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Robert Wenzel is Editor & Publisher of


  1. Who suffers from this deal being Cronied to Death? Everyone.

  2. "it is doubtful that even a second civil rights act aimed specifically at helping him would have been enough to allow him to drink from local water fountains or pee there anywhere other than in an ally"