Much media coverage has been given to Amazon’s search for a U.S. city to establish a second headquarters. After much fanfare and anticipation, including the hope of politicians in the large Midwestern city where I live, Amazon, in November 2018, decided to “split” its second headquarters between two cities: Arlington, Virginia (the Washington, D.C. metroplex area) and Queens/New York City.
Recently, though, Amazon changed its mind about NYC, stating: “After much thought and deliberation, we’ve decided not to move forward with our plans to build a headquarters for Amazon in Long Island City, Queens.”
Given the billion dollar subsidies that New York was prepared to hand out to attract an almost trillion-dollar tech company that’s a quasi-monopoly, many are expressing relief at Amazon withdrawing its consideration to bring 25,000 jobs to Queens. But the irony of all this is that 25,000 jobs are already there in New York where the proposed HQ was to be located.
In fact, for the cost of $0 in subsidies, according to my research, there are actually as many as 37,000 jobs for the taking in New York’s 12th Congressional District of Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D), where the second Amazon HQ was proposed. So why give Amazon billions of our tax dollars to “create” 25,000 jobs when we could simply immediately produce 37,000 jobs for American citizens with no subsidies?
What got me thinking about this was a question raised by a freshman New York congresswoman in an adjoining district who tweeted: “How many were promised to be local hires?” If one didn’t know better, American citizens, especially in New York’s 12th Congressional District, may think they were being conned. They may be asking why tax subsidies were being offered to Amazon when jobs already exist?
There could be as many as 37,000 jobs in Queens in the 12th Congressional District that are being offered to foreign workers on visa programs (this is on just the H-1B visa program – that means the number does not include workers on other visas such as OPT, CPT, L and J). If American workers, and the politicians they elect to represent them, would insist on prioritizing the hiring of American workers before foreign workers, then we’d see instant job creation for more than 25,000 jobs for American citizens in New York.
Why would we not offshore the foreign workers back to their own countries so that thousands of jobs can be immediately created for American citizens, and at no cost? No tax subsidies needed!
I can imagine that some may think this plan is too simple, or it would be too disruptive. Well, what good is the 14th Amendment if American citizens aren’t first in line for American jobs. Should the country and its citizens not be concerned for Americans citizens, like myself, who have had their livelihoods and careers disrupted by cheap, foreign labor dumping?
So, if Amazon (or another big tech company) doesn’t come to your city, check out Save American Information Technology Jobs or use the H-1B visa database at PFIR to find out how many companies have applied to have foreign workers to displace workers in your locale. (Don’t forget about the OPT, CPT, L, J and H-4 visa counts!)
Then, tell your elected local and federal electeds to stop giving away our tax dollars to cheap foreign labor dumpers. Demand that American citizens be first in line for jobs. No extra subsidies and no tax incentives are needed. And don’t forget to remind your elected representatives of who they work for: the American citizens in their districts.