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Businesses The Almighty Buck

Amazon Threatens To Move Jobs Out of Seattle Over New Tax (theguardian.com) 522

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: Amazon has threatened to move jobs out of its hometown of Seattle after the city council introduced a new tax to try to address the homelessness crisis. The world's second-biggest company has warned that the "hostile" tax, which will charge firms $275 per worker a year to fund homelessness outreach services and affordable housing, "forces us to question our growth here."

Amazon, which is Seattle's biggest private sector employer with more than 40,000 staff in the city, had halted construction work on a 17-storey office tower in protest against the tax. Pressure from Amazon and other big employers, including Starbucks and Expedia, had forced councillors to reduce the tax from an initial proposal of $500 per worker. The tax will only effect companies making revenue of more than $20 million-a-year. The tax is expected to raise between $45 million and $49 million a year, of which about $10 million would come from Amazon. The company said it would restart building work on the tower but may sublease another new office block to reduce its tax bill.

Amazon Threatens To Move Jobs Out of Seattle Over New Tax

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  • Homelessness (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JBMcB ( 73720 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2018 @08:06PM (#56623758)

    The problem with the homeless in Seattle is there is no cheap housing. The way to fix that is to rezone a whole lot of real estate to be multi-family / apartments. The way to NOT do that is to subsidize the expensive housing.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      The cause of homelessness has nothing to do with the cost of housing.
      • Causation (Score:4, Insightful)

        by JBMcB ( 73720 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2018 @08:16PM (#56623814)

        The median home price in Seattle is $722,000. I'd say, at the very least, it's a factor.

        https://www.seattletimes.com/b... [seattletimes.com]

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          People aren't wandering the streets because they can't afford a $722k house! Even if the houses were $10k it wouldn't make any difference in homelessness.
          • Re:Causation (Score:4, Insightful)

            by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2018 @09:40PM (#56624274) Journal

            Even if the houses were $10k it wouldn't make any difference in homelessness.

            There are lots of reasons people are homeless but even so, if they were that cheap, it would make a large difference in homelessness.

            • Re:Causation (Score:5, Insightful)

              by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2018 @11:22PM (#56624648)

              if they were that cheap, it would make a large difference in homelessness.

              When I first moved to Silicon Valley, I could not afford a home, and I was "homeless". I lived in a van, which was worth about $10k, in my employer's parking lot. I had a gym membership, and took showers there. I got a $200 a month bonus for being "on call" and in the machine room within 5 minutes of notification.

              I lived this way for two years. So sure, if housing was $10k, I would not have been homeless. But when people talk about "homelessness" they are not talking about people like me. I was employed, earning good money, and had a clear (but not immediate) path out of my situation.

              Money can make a difference for short term homelessness, caused by a job loss or healthcare issue. These are often families with a single (usually female) parent. These people just need a roof over their head and some groceries till they get back on their feet. They don't have the mental issues and substance abuse problems.

              For hardcore homeless, usually adult males, living on the street, with no steady income, often with mental health and substance abuse issues, even $10k is out of reach. Even shared housing doesn't work, since they are often belligerent and uncooperative. Homelessness is a difficult problem, and there are no simple solutions. Almost any idea you can imagine has been tried, and nothing has worked.

              • Re:Causation (Score:4, Insightful)

                by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Thursday May 17, 2018 @01:04AM (#56624998) Homepage

                Lets no lie, want to solve homelessness, it is all to easy, you just have to spend money. Social support should all be done on a federal basis and not by the state or local communities. Problem with states and local communities attempting it is, well, psychopaths, rather than trying to solve problems they just use law enforcers to drive people out and force them on other communities and on the tax base and social support services, overloading them, a real cunt act, no better way to put it.

                So done on a federal basis, consider homelessness and mental disorder and pick those people up and put them in protected housing. Generally monitored and controlled one person studio style apartments, a controlled environment, where you can assist them with their problems or based upon their problems provide more controlled care and rehabilitation in an institution.

                So the problem is solvable but be honest in the US, you don't want to really solve the problem, it feeds the ego of those better off to look down their noses at people in poverty, lets the better off pose before those in poverty, this kind of stuff https://www.rt.com/usa/403097-... [rt.com] is not a negative in the US economy, it is clearly seen an ego burnishing benefit. Poverty in the US because most Americans do not want it to end, they want to grind being a loser into the faces of the losers, that want the poseur opportunities and be honest, they want to do worse things than they already are.

                • Re:Causation (Score:5, Insightful)

                  by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Thursday May 17, 2018 @06:23AM (#56625658)

                  pick those people up and put them in protected housing.

                  Good luck getting the courts to authorize you to compel innocent people into confinement. If you think the homeless will voluntarily go into your "shelters" then you know nothing about the history of homelessness policy.

                  Generally monitored and controlled one person studio style apartments

                  In what NIMBY free neighborhood will you place these studio apartments? Prepare for the political fight of your life. NOBODY will want these people anywhere near their homes. They don't want to deal with the drugs, broken glass from booze bottles, vomit, urine, etc., nor do they want their kids to have to walk past that on their way to school.

                  Also what are you going to do with the homeless guy that takes a claw hammer and smashes holes in all the walls to get the demons out? You could try to build the walls out of solid concrete instead of drywall, but good luck getting a building code variance for that.

                • Re:Causation (Score:5, Insightful)

                  by llamalad ( 12917 ) on Thursday May 17, 2018 @10:10AM (#56626582)

                  Having heard hundreds of stories from a mental health professional who works with the homeless in a "transitional housing" facility... the real problem doesn't seem to be lack of federal social programs for homelessness.

                  There are a significant number of clients with "successful exits," meaning the client finds permanent housing, subsidized or otherwise.

                  The sticky part is the ones who are unable or unwilling to work on actually getting permanent housing. In a lot of cases it seems to be mental health or substance abuse issues that keep them from succeeding at stuff like keeping a job or not smoking meth.

                  I'm about as socially liberal as you'll find, but having the window I have into that world I really, really, really think that throwing money at it addresses only a symptom -no income- as opposed to the fundamental problems from which long-term no income situations arise.

                  I don't have firm numbers around it, but anecdotally psychosis, PTSD, and drug addiction seem to be the main reasons for unsuccessful exits. So if you want to fix homelessness, let's see better social programs to address these underlying causes.

              • by q_e_t ( 5104099 )
                In terms of statistics, people like you are counted as homeless, where known about, and rightly so. Living on the street is another matter. You are right about no easy solutions.
              • by Gamasta ( 557555 )

                Giving home to homeless people worked in a city in canada. There's a discussion on this in this BBC podcast (30 min length): https://www.bbc.co.uk/programm... [bbc.co.uk]

          • by SeattleLawGuy ( 4561077 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2018 @09:55PM (#56624324)

            People aren't wandering the streets because they can't afford a $722k house! Even if the houses were $10k it wouldn't make any difference in homelessness.

            Um. No.

            There are many people who can make a $700-$800 payment monthly, but ask them to pay more or give them one bad medical problem or car accident plus recovery time and they can no longer do that. If the labor market doesn't provide a job that lets them earn enough to pay for local housing, or even if they can't find the job because of inefficiencies in the market, they become homeless.

            Some programs mitigate that very slightly--emergency shelters are NOT great but it's cold outside in the winter, and subsidized housing can help if the list eventually gets to you--but there's nowhere near enough of it to match the need.

            Addressing homelessness requires addressing numerous problems--actual physical health is one part of it. Mental health is one part of it. Training is one part of it. Having someplace you can take a shower, receive mail, and/or sleep while you try to get a job is one part of it.

            So yes, plenty of people would still be homeless if the cost of a house was lower, because there are other issues involved in homelessness than just the cost of housing. But of course the two things are related, because people become homeless for the first time when they cannot pay for a home.

          • You really are a dumpster fire of poorly formed ideas.
            You know what follows house prices? Rent prices.
            Do you know what happens if you can't afford your rent anymore?
            I *live* in Seattle. I'm fortunate to be paid high enough to afford it, but one bedroom apartments in Seattle currently go for almost 2k a month. Real fun squeezing your family into one of those. The last studio apartment I had was $1900 a month.
            You need to be making 6 figures to get by here anymore.
        • by jmccue ( 834797 )

          Correct, 722,000 ave cost and I would also guess very rents is causing homeless. No one wakes up on a park bench and says "Wow, what a great night sleep, glad I am homeless".

          How to solve, easy, build lots and lots of residential buildings, apartments and houses, saturate the market. A gov. should not have to create a subsidy for cheap housing.

          So why isn't this being done, people, large rental companies and more importantly politicians do not want house prices to drop due to a supply increase. So we will

          • by harrkev ( 623093 )

            Well, supply and demand is a great force. If prices rise, there is incentive to create more supply..
            This works great for cars, computers, clothes, and silverware.

            The problem is that you can't import more land from China, like you can with other goods. If every acre of land is already taken in town, then you have to build out. But to the east of Seattle is water, so that way is blocked off. How many miles out of town do you have to travel to get affordable housing, and can you handle the commute

            • But to the east of Seattle is water

              West isn't a lot better ;)
              To answer your question, though, about 15 miles. And your commute will be significantly less than 3 hours.
              Houses are affordable to the north and the south. Lake Stevens area, Kent.. even nice homes. Anywhere around Lake Washington is pretty damn well fucked, though.

            • by steveha ( 103154 )

              you can't import more land from China, like you can with other goods.

              True. But there are tradeoffs you could make. Maybe a rich guy with a family wants a huge mansion with a yard, but maybe a 20-something who rides the bus would be happy just to have a space all her own, even a tiny one, at a rent she can afford. So build micro-housing, where the same amount of land has many more apartments, and thus the rent per apartment is lower!

              Seattle was actually where micro-housing first started out. And Seattle.

      • The only other (reasonable) cause for homelessness would be chronic unemployment. Seattle has 3.6% unemployment which is below the national average of 4.1% so that's not a reasonable cause for chronic homelessness.

        However, Seattle's unemployment rate had been in steady decline until recently when it flattened out. The recent introduction of a $15/hr minimum wage has impacted employment negatively [washingtonpost.com].

        So basically everything Seattle is doing to supposedly help the lower classes is having the opposite effect --

        • Re:Homelessness (Score:5, Insightful)

          by ClickOnThis ( 137803 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2018 @08:43PM (#56623962) Journal

          There are many reasons for homelessness, not just two. Contributing factors can include:

          - poverty
          - unemployment
          - personal crisis
          - mental illness
          - substance abuse

          The next time you see a homeless person, keep in mind that they might very well have been once like you, but reverses in life put them where they are now.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by PPH ( 736903 )

      rezone a whole lot of real estate to be multi-family / apartments

      That will play right into the hands of developers who will just build high rent units targeting the techie hipsters.

      Seattle wants to build and operate their own subsidized housing [wordpress.com].

      • Exactly. Or it will be filled with students going to graduate school. After all, they have very little income. This is a common use of "affordable housing".
        • by PPH ( 736903 )

          Or it will be filled with students going to graduate school.

          Perhaps. But many universities operate or subsidize undergrad/graduate student housing. Specifically to separate themselves from hot rental markets. What Seattle wants to build probably won't be available to students.

      • That will play right into the hands of developers who will just build high rent units targeting the techie hipsters.

        Probably, but that's not entirely bad. Any increase in housing supply will drive down costs all down the line. If developers build high-end housing, some hipsters will move out of their grunge studio apartments and free them up for other people.

        Will that be enough to ensure there's enough supply so Starbucks baristas can afford their own place? Probably not, at least not until you build a lot of units. The low end is probably going to be the last market filled when there's a huge unsatisfied demand. But may

        • by PPH ( 736903 )

          hipsters will move out of their grunge studio apartments

          Grunge studio apartments often rent for a premium.

          The problem with trying to flood the private market is that the private market isn't stupid. They won't build in an oversupplied rental market. So the city will do it. But if the city puts their stuff into the general market, the private developers will still pull out. And the city will just get grief for subsidizing rents for better off people. So the city will restrict their supply to the homeless and low income. But you'd better stay low income, or no mo

          • You build them for sale. Sale requires a buyer no more than 125% of income for a given neighborhood. But once the buyer buys, their income can go up without them being kicked out. HDFC program in NYC does this.
          • Grunge studio apartments often rent for a premium.

            Fine. That's not my main point. Sure, there are edgy grunge hipster studios in the heart of the urban district which rent for a premium. There are also a lot of apartments (like the one my daughter rents in Berkeley) which are expensive and a dive. The landlord charges an arm and a leg because that's what he can get right next to the college campus.

            (I kinda suspect people started with dive apartments because that's all they could afford (just like people wore jeans with tears because they couldn't afford to

      • Subsidized housing is a paternalist welfare state crock of shit.

        What we need is a huge increase in housing units. Sufficiently huge to impact regional market prices. We want housing that is affordable for the average working stiff. Not "affordable housing" where ordinary people aren't allowed to live.

        Okay, sure, Capitalism/Financialism is doing a shit job building enough housing for the people. So fuck "private enterprise" - let's charter a municipal construction company, seize under-developed land all over

    • What kind of person, when confronted with a city where homes are so expensive they cannot afford them, will live on the streets and prefer being homeless over moving to some other area that has housing they can afford?

      • What kind of person, when confronted with a city where homes are so expensive they cannot afford them, will live on the streets and prefer being homeless over moving to some other area that has housing they can afford?

        Moving costs money, which they don't have.

  • Cash Grab (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ArchieBunker ( 132337 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2018 @08:06PM (#56623764) Homepage

    You know the majority of that money will go towards slush funds and other private projects. Giving the government more money is like giving booze to an alcoholic.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Starving government of tax revenues is like a husband who buys a new set of golf clubs and expects the wife to feed the kids and pay the bills on what little is leftover from the paycheck.
      • One would think that the ever increasing population and skyrocketing property values would generate more income than needed.

      • Re: Cash Grab (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Parents have an obligation to feed and house their children.

        The government does not have an obligation to feed and house adults.

        Do you really think your relationship to the government is analogous to the relationship between a child and his father?

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by plopez ( 54068 )

          You got the analogy wrong. Amazon is the abusive one spending all the money, refusing to hand over money for needed public services such as streets, mass transit, fire protection, schools, and assorted other services needed in a modern society which Amazon benefits from. Amazon has the money, but dumps the costs of the services it uses onto those who can't afford it. Amazon is a parasitic freeloader.

          • You do realize there is a point at which taxes become gratuitous and overbearing, and that politicians can be every bit as greedy and money hungry as corporate fat cats? Amazon is under no obligation to stay there, certainly, but I found it just amazing that Jeff Bezos is also owner of the progressive Washington Post but when it comes time for his company to support higher taxes, it's "oh those rules don't apply to me".

          • Amazon. Door meet ass.

            Willing to take the infrastructure that the city provides but not willing to provide to it.
            Typical.

          • by anegg ( 1390659 )
            Doesn't Amazon pay taxes in Seattle/Washington? My understanding is that Washington businesses pay taxes based on their revenue, not their net profit. So even if Amazon has little/no profit, don't they pay their business and occupation tax? Doesn't Amazon employ a large number of people, to whom they pay a salaries, each of which spends their money in Seattle and the surrounding area in many ways, most if not all of which are taxed in order to fund the government of Washington? Washington derives a lot
            • They aren't paying what you and I are paying. Did you not know that? What did you think corporate tax lawyers are for? Most large corporations don't pay a lot of taxes due to loopholes and incentives. NYT pegs Amazon's effective rate over federal, state, local, and foreign to be 13% last year. Fox reports that they didn't pay any federal at all last year (but that could be state propaganda). Face the fact that businesses would rather pay no taxes at all, even as the world fell down around them. That is wher

    • > slush funds

      That's already happening. Even the homeless, who are getting money and paying nothing, are demanding answers to where all of the money is going:

      http://kuow.org/post/homeless-people-also-want-know-where-seattles-money-going [kuow.org]

  • by BitterOak ( 537666 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2018 @08:14PM (#56623806)

    The reasoning behind this tax is the idea that big employers like Amazon are creating high salary jobs in the community which are driving up the price of housing. Therefore, the homelessness is, at least in part, Amazon's fault, and they should pay to "fix" the problem through a special tax, aimed exclusively at those businesses which are bringing so much money into the community.

    With this kind of insane logic, the city will doom itself. Companies like Amazon should leave and set up shop elsewhere. We'll see if that fixes the problems in Seattle's economy.

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      The problem with a state trying that special tax is that every other state in the USA can:
      Offer low cost power.
      Has fast internet.
      Supported students who passed on merit and who want to work.
      Can make moving to their state very attractive.
      Can make staying in their state much better long term than a "Seattle" with a social homelessness "tax". Seattle becomes a generational story of tax and risk.
      A warning to operations to really consider the politics of any area of the USA before they invest in.
      • by un1nsp1red ( 2503532 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2018 @08:40PM (#56623932) Homepage
        How do you figure? If that were the case, there'd be a lot bigger race for these companies to move there. Apparently some of these items are missing, or all of these Googles and Amazons would be moving to Mississippi. Apparently some of these states aren't very attractive, can't make moving to their state very attractive or something. I won't claim to know what these factors are, but there are clearly some advantages or all of these businesses wouldn't concentrate in specific locations.
        • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
          When a specific location adds in a new tax then other parts of the USA become much more attractive.
          Why stay in a city with a tax and the same services other parts the USA can offer. With no new tax.
          That would welcome new brands to their state.
          That could offer long term support for anyone investing in their state?
          A state where productive effort can go to making a profit. Why spend band money and time on the city politics of new taxation?
          New taxation thats just going to demand more and more.
          Move to
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by admiralh ( 21771 )

      Amazon has profited from the infrastructure that the Seattle taxpayers have provided for them over the years, including an education system that has provided the workers that have been the engine that has driven Amazon's wealth. And now that Seattle is asking Amazon to give a tiny percentage back to help the community that fostered them, they threaten to leave.

      This is the kind of selfish short-term thinking that will destroy this country.

      • by BitterOak ( 537666 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2018 @10:19PM (#56624398)

        Amazon has profited from the infrastructure that the Seattle taxpayers have provided for them over the years, including an education system that has provided the workers that have been the engine that has driven Amazon's wealth. And now that Seattle is asking Amazon to give a tiny percentage back to help the community that fostered them, they threaten to leave.

        This is the kind of selfish short-term thinking that will destroy this country.

        Amazon already pays taxes like everyone else. This is a new, special tax which punishes only the most successful companies, i.e. those that are bringing the most wealth into the community. I think its highly counter-productive.

      • by novakyu ( 636495 )

        So Seattle will have no issue if Amazon choose to no longer profit from its infrastructure. Thank you for the clarification!

      • by steveha ( 103154 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2018 @11:04PM (#56624574) Homepage

        And now that Seattle is asking Amazon to give a tiny percentage back to help the community that fostered them, they threaten to leave.

        This argument would be more compelling if Seattle didn't already collect taxes from Amazon. Amazon already pays quite a lot in taxes. The Seattle city government basically said "We've decided we need even more money, you have money, so hand it over."

        When even the extremely liberal Starbucks is complaining [kiro7.com], maybe Seattle has gone too far.

        Amazon doesn't like this, but it's really going to hurt low-margin businesses like fast food hamburger restaurants. The iconic local hamburger chain, Dick's Drive-in, will never open another location in Seattle, according to [king5.com] the founder's grandson Saul Spady.

        "This is a tax on high-volume, low-margin businesses, like restaurants, and that's where it's going to put the most pain. And it's making restaurants like Dick's Drive-ins think really strongly about do we make our workforce more efficient, do we give less money to charity, or maybe we just don't be a business in Seattle."

        Spady cites Denver's head tax equivalent, the Occupational Privilege Tax, saying, "If the nearest, largest head tax in the country is $50 and [Seattle's is] six times the nearest head tax, how is that a compromise?"

        But at least Seattle didn't already do something crazy like pass a $15 per hour minimum wage law! Oh wait... yes they did. [cnbc.com]

        If a city council giving orders truly leads to prosperity and happiness, then Seattle will be prosperous and happy. I fear it doesn't work that way.

      • What percentage of employees at Amazon do you think were educated in Seattle?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      There is an old saying: if you want to discourage something, tax it. If you want to encourage it, subsidize it. What Seattle is saying is "success is bad, therefore we will tax you for it! Homelessness is good, therefore we will subsidize it!" Only in a socialist worker's paradise like Seattle could such economic idiocy even be proposed much less seriously considered.

      Come to Atlanta. We have cheap power, cheap gas, cheap office space, low taxes, plenty of skilled workers, and a climate much nicer than

    • What was that old billboard sign: "Will the last person to leave please turn off the lights?".
  • by xonen ( 774419 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2018 @08:21PM (#56623828) Journal

    As European -used to high taxes everywhere- i'd say that worker's income is the stupiest thing to tax. It increases the cost of labour, thereby slowing down economic growth and increasing the unemployment issue, leading to poverty.

    I know, you'd have to tax something. But politicians usually pick the easiest thing to tax, disregarding consequences. You should tax where the costs are: vehicle tax for highways, housing tax based on property value, true costs for water, electricity and sewer etc. But stay away from raising income, and to a lesser degree sales taxes.

    Don't do what Europe does - with 35-50% income tax (and thats' exclusing social insurances like retirement, unemployment and healthcare insurances) and 20% sales tax. It artificially makes everything expensive, especially labour intensive work, and has no added value apart pumping round money and making expenses less transparent.

    2 cents.

    • by DogDude ( 805747 )
      It artificially makes everything expensive

      Except for healthcare and education, right? Those are just a bit less expensive, I've heard.
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Say you tax vehicles to cover road maintenance and pollution costs. All you have done is price some percentage of people off the road.

      Income tax is the only fair, progressive tax. Everything else is just reserving public spaces for the rich.

    • Where the taxes come from is irrelevant. If you eliminated all income taxes and converted them into corporate taxes, people wouldn't suddenly be able to buy more stuff. Corporations would be forced to increase prices, and reduce wages and dividends to compensate for the new taxes. The net result being that although prices would be different, the purchasing power of an employee would be exactly the same.

      Regardless of whether 100% of taxes are income taxes, or 100% of taxes are corporate taxes, the only
      • Your little * there is supremely important. ALL taxes modify behaviour. And that is why it actually matters quite a lot where the taxes come from.

        Your reasoning is correct in that on average, actual purchasing power will remain roughly constant with a shifting around in taxes. But that is not the point. The point is where the purchasing power gets distributed. And that is why placing taxes in the right places matter quite a lot.

  • Fuck Amazon. Let 'em leave.
  • Red Queen thinking (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Flexagon ( 740643 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2018 @08:40PM (#56623936)

    One of the major complaints about the head tax, beyond simply driving business away, is that it demonstrates the mayor's and city council's "Red Queen thinking": "Funding first, plan afterward!", and "Off with their heads!" [seattletimes.com] if others don't agree. As this local editorial [seattletimes.com] points out (quote below), the city has not been able to show that they are able to reduce homelessness with the resources they've applied so far, partly due to inept management. So they're demanding more money with no evidence that they are capable of using it effectively.

    From the editorial:

    ... Seattle is just starting reforms based on a 2016 study that found its homeless programs suffer more from weak management and lax contracts than funding shortfalls. Now, before showing any reduction in homelessness, the council is more than doubling funding over 2016 levels by adding the head tax.

  • Creating more public housing units, and adjusting zoning laws to allow higher apartments would allow it to increase availability. This would push down rent in the surrounding areas, you don't need to build them in 'down town' but somewhere in the middle near accessible transport hubs.
  • by fluffernutter ( 1411889 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2018 @08:44PM (#56623972)
    To me the obvious solution to this is to simply charge the tax and let Amazon move. Techsters don't mind moving for a job, so they'll just follow with no issues. Consider the upward pressure on housing costs officially relieved.
  • by srichard25 ( 221590 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2018 @10:06PM (#56624358)

    A super-liberal company in a super-liberal city complaining about taxes for social programs. That's rich. I thought liberals wanted big government programs to take care of the down-trodden. Amazon is all for more social programs at the federal level, but they hire a truckload of lawyers to set up tax shelters and move money into offshore accounts to avoid paying their fair share of federal taxes. Someone else is footing the bill for those programs. Now the city introduces a more direct tax that can't be avoided and suddenly it's "hostile".

    • I guess scAmazon is labeled "liberal" because they provide ambulances at their fulfillment centers to take away the prostrate workers?

  • thank you for building some nice buildings and bringing a larger number of entitled overpaid idiots to downtown and suburban seattle. but if you are going to generate such an influx and expect to not have to support the infrastructure that you are successfully straining, get the fuck out. take the expensive glass balls with you if you like.

    interesting that the company as a whole represents the average sense of entitlement of their stereotypical employees.

  • If in fact homelessness is caused mostly by Amazon raising the home prices, wouldn't it be more efficient to relocate the homeless somewhere where there is no Amazon or other large corporations inflating housing prices?

Receiving a million dollars tax free will make you feel better than being flat broke and having a stomach ache. -- Dolph Sharp, "I'm O.K., You're Not So Hot"

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