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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Thread


JohnnyU

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Just now, IvanKaramazov said:

Yeah, I agree.  But to use climate change as an example, AOC's let's-upend-everything-and-rebuild-society-from-scratch approach is dead on arrival and more likely to lead to no action at all than anything productive.  It's Tea Party-like in that regard.  Contrast that with a plan that imposed some sort of carbon tax and rebate, subsidies for renewables and nuclear, R&D spending, and stuff like that.  Granted, that would face an uphill fight too given where the Republicans are these days, but that's at least a realistic approach that has some chance of possibly being enacted.    

In my judgment the Tea Party types have succeeded way more than I ever thought imaginable.  

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3 minutes ago, timschochet said:

Interesting question which I haven’t considered but...no, not really. You have to gamble. Again it’s like signing a free agent. Sometimes you’re Miami and you get LeBron James and a championship. Sometimes you’re the Angels (my team) and you get Albert Pujols and 20 years of the worst contract in sports history. But you have to take a chance. 

At least you get to fall back on the great capitalist revenue sharing model.

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3 minutes ago, timschochet said:

Interesting question which I haven’t considered but...no, not really. You have to gamble. Again it’s like signing a free agent. Sometimes you’re Miami and you get LeBron James and a championship. Sometimes you’re the Angels (my team) and you get Albert Pujols and 20 years of the worst contract in sports history. But you have to take a chance. 

You guys both need to scroll up and read MT's post about this.  It's not about spending $45K to create a $75K job.  An Amazon HQ is obviously going to create sizable economic benefits for the community.  This is about Amazon negotiating with local governments to capture as much of those benefits as possible.  In other words, rent seeking.

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5 minutes ago, Sand said:

She's spending an imaginary 3B - that 3B would be generated by taxation of Amazon employees and rebated back to them.  So when she talks about "using that money instead..." she's lost a grip on where those funds originate.

Wait...what?  You think the $3billion would be generated by taxing Amazon employees...and you claim she has a lack of understanding of how these deals work?

When she talks about using that money instead, she is talking about tax incentives that are used for such deals...so yeah, she seems to be talking about better ways to spend that sort of money...

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15 hours ago, Maurile Tremblay said:

If Amazon is worth $3 billion (or whatever) to a municipality in terms of increasing employment, paying taxes, generating business for nearby restaurants, etc., then municipalities will compete against each other to offer up to $3 billion in various tax breaks and other benefits for Amazon to locate there. This is bad for municipalities. They end up with not much (or any) net benefit from landing Amazon because they've given it all away -- if one city doesn't offer that much, another will.

Municipalities should enter into a pact with each other not to compete against each other like that. They'd be much better off as a group if they all refused to offer any such handouts. An actual, literal pact among all municipalities would be impractical, but a federal law would do the trick. Congress should ban special, targeted subsidies, tax breaks, or other benefits given out by cities or states aimed at wooing specific, individual companies.

Dickies and tim -- This one.

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25 minutes ago, timschochet said:

The difference for me is that I am far more sympathetic to the concerns of the left. The main concern of the right these days, which IMO appears to be fear of the browning of America, doesn’t move me at all. But the left has legitimate concerns: climate change, automation, economic inequality. 

Im just a little wary of some of their solutions so far. 

It’s the tactics rather than the substantive views that I worry more about. Refusing to confirm the other party’s Supreme Court nominations regardless of merit is an obvious example. The Republicans took this to new heights with Obama’s final appointment. But I believe Obama voted to disconfirm John Roberts, so he has little standing to complain. (Refusing to hold a vote isn’t THAT much different from automatically voting nay no matter what.)

Gerrymandering is bad. (Both sides do it.) Voter suppression is really bad. (Republicans do this, but I’m not convinced that Democrats wouldn’t if it benefited them.) The Hastert Rule rule is bad. (Republicans only so far, I think.) Shutting down the government as leverage in policy negotiations is bad. Obstructing counterintelligence investigations seems kind of bad...

On the substantive policy stuff, people can vote for whatever they vote for. If it doesn’t work out, the next slate of politicians can undo it.

What seems much harder to undo is the erosion of norms related to the procedural workings of the government.

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12 minutes ago, IvanKaramazov said:

Dickies and tim -- This one.

I read it before. I’m not sure I agree. For one thing it’s impossible to predict what Amazon will mean to a city in the future. Maybe it’s 3 billion. Maybe it’s 6 billion, or eventually 30 billion, because it changes the entire nature of the city it’s moving to. I don’t think there’s anyway to measure the success (or failure) within a short period of time. 

I certainly don’t like the idea of restricting municipalities from competing with each other. You do that and you’re going to turn Ontario and Guadalajara into economic boom towns at the expense of American industry. 

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2 minutes ago, Maurile Tremblay said:

It’s the tactics rather than the substantive views that I worry more about. Refusing to confirm the other party’s Supreme Court nominations regardless of merit is an obvious example. The Republicans took this to new heights with Obama’s final appointment. But I believe Obama voted to disconfirm John Roberts, so he has little standing to complain. (Refusing to hold a vote isn’t THAT much different from automatically voting nay no matter what.)

Gerrymandering is bad. (Both sides do it.) Voter suppression is really bad. (Republicans do this, but I’m not convinced that Democrats wouldn’t if it suited them.) The Hastert Rule rule is bad. (Republicans only so far, I think.) Shutting down the government as leverage in policy negotiations is bad. Obstructing counterintelligence investigations seems kind of bad...

On the substantive policy stuff, people can vote for whatever they vote for. If it doesn’t work out, the next slate of politicians can undo it.

What seems much harder to undo is the erosion of norms related to the procedural workings of the government.

Does it need to be obviously broken before it can be fixed?  We just accepted things that were obviously wrong for so long, like politicians on both sides being bought and sold by lobbyists, gerrymandering and ridiculous pork barrel projects.   At some point, those in power were going to push the envelope too far.    When both sides have suffered from the erosion of norms--the refusal to bring votes to the senate floor, grinding confirmations to a halt, declaring emergencies for presidential vanity projects--maybe there is an impetus for real reform.

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7 minutes ago, Maurile Tremblay said:

It’s the tactics rather than the substantive views that I worry more about. Refusing to confirm the other party’s Supreme Court nominations regardless of merit is an obvious example. The Republicans took this to new heights with Obama’s final appointment. But I believe Obama voted to disconfirm John Roberts, so he has little standing to complain. (Refusing to hold a vote isn’t THAT much different from automatically voting nay no matter what.)

Gerrymandering is bad. (Both sides do it.) Voter suppression is really bad. (Republicans do this, but I’m not convinced that Democrats wouldn’t if it suited them.) The Hastert Rule rule is bad. (Republicans only so far, I think.) Shutting down the government as leverage in policy negotiations is bad. Obstructing counterintelligence investigations seems kind of bad...

On the substantive policy stuff, people can vote for whatever they vote for. If it doesn’t work out, the next slate of politicians can undo it.

What seems much harder to undo is the erosion of norms related to the procedural workings of the government.

Agree with most of this, except for your point about Obama. Obama votes against John Roberts knowing he would be appointed anyhow. Politicians do that all the time, usually in order to please their base. Not very admirable, but VERY different IMO from preventing a judge for political reasons. Had Obama been the deciding vote in the Roberts nomination I suspect he would have voted yes. Had he still voted no, then you would have a case. 

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15 hours ago, Maurile Tremblay said:

If Amazon is worth $3 billion (or whatever) to a municipality in terms of increasing employment, paying taxes, generating business for nearby restaurants, etc., then municipalities will compete against each other to offer up to $3 billion in various tax breaks and other benefits for Amazon to locate there. This is bad for municipalities. They end up with not much (or any) net benefit from landing Amazon because they've given it all away -- if one city doesn't offer that much, another will.

Municipalities should enter into a pact with each other not to compete against each other like that. They'd be much better off as a group if they all refused to offer any such handouts. An actual, literal pact among all municipalities would be impractical, but a federal law would do the trick. Congress should ban special, targeted subsidies, tax breaks, or other benefits given out by cities or states aimed at wooing specific, individual companies.

Why do you hate nearly every professional sports team?

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5 minutes ago, timschochet said:

I read it before. I’m not sure I agree. For one thing it’s impossible to predict what Amazon will mean to a city in the future. Maybe it’s 3 billion. Maybe it’s 6 billion, or eventually 30 billion, because it changes the entire nature of the city it’s moving to. I don’t think there’s anyway to measure the success (or failure) within a short period of time. 

I certainly don’t like the idea of restricting municipalities from competing with each other. You do that and you’re going to turn Ontario and Guadalajara into economic boom towns at the expense of American industry. 

It's this fear-mongering that allows these corporations to hold taxpayers hostage.

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5 minutes ago, timschochet said:

 

I certainly don’t like the idea of restricting municipalities from competing with each other. You do that and you’re going to turn Ontario and Guadalajara into economic boom towns at the expense of American industry. 

Going back to this point: we’ve made the decision, as a society, to have minimum wage, worker protections, environmental protections, building and safety, etc. These are all good things. But not every country has them. We cannot compete with those other countries in terms of wages; they will always be lower than us. So if we want to keep our large companies here we have to offer them other incentives: that means bonuses, tax write offs, money, what have you. It’s the way of the world. 

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From what I heard on the news, Amazon was stunned by the hostility they felt from local politicians. They believed that most of the local public in Queens, particularly the vast majority of blacks and Latinos, wanted them there. But the politicians did not. In addition, they were frustrated by delay after delay- they like speed and were ready to move forward. 

About a dozen cities have already contracted Amazon ready to offer better terms and a friendlier environment- including Newark just across the river (what a coup that would be). 

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10 minutes ago, timschochet said:

Agree with most of this, except for your point about Obama. Obama votes against John Roberts knowing he would be appointed anyhow. Politicians do that all the time, usually in order to please their base. Not very admirable, but VERY different IMO from preventing a judge for political reasons. Had Obama been the deciding vote in the Roberts nomination I suspect he would have voted yes. Had he still voted no, then you would have a case. 

That makes no sense.

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1 minute ago, timschochet said:

It doesn’t? John McCain voted to repeal and replace Obamacare several times when his vote meant nothing. When it meant something he didn’t do it. Because the circumstances were very different. 

Because he felt it was important to bring the vote to the floor.  How Are McCain’s actions in any way related to Obama?

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1 minute ago, timschochet said:

From what I heard on the news, Amazon was stunned by the hostility they felt from local politicians. They believed that most of the local public in Queens, particularly the vast majority of blacks and Latinos, wanted them there. But the politicians did not. In addition, they were frustrated by delay after delay- they like speed and were ready to move forward. 

About a dozen cities have already contracted Amazon ready to offer better terms and a friendlier environment- including Newark just across the river (what a coup that would be). 

This is why we should prevent local municipalities from making these offers.  Amazon would pick the region/city that has the best blend of infrastructure and qualified labor to optimize their business.  By paying subsidies they may be moving to a location that is less than optimal and we are paying them to make up for the difference.  

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To give a small but pertinent example: 

one of the shopping centers I manage is in Lakewood, a small city next to Long Beach. Lakewood has strict parking restrictions so that I can only put one or two restaurants in the center- no more than that. And if I put 2 in, I can’t put a medical use in. So I have to constantly balance new tenants. 

Meanwhile, the Lakewood Mall a few streets from me has a “restaurant row”- they have limited parking too but they are allowed to have as many restaurants as they want. They get exemptions from all of these parking restrictions and several other restrictions as well. That’s not fair to me or any of the other small shopping centers. But Lakewood Mall is the city’s main tenant. So they get all the breaks. I gripe about this but the truth is if I ran the city I’d do exactly the same thing. 

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4 minutes ago, Dickies said:

This is why we should prevent local municipalities from making these offers.  Amazon would pick the region/city that has the best blend of infrastructure and qualified labor to optimize their business.  By paying subsidies they may be moving to a location that is less than optimal and we are paying them to make up for the difference.  

Well we disagree again. Anyhow it’s just not realistic. 

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39 minutes ago, sho nuff said:

Wait...what?  You think the $3billion would be generated by taxing Amazon employees...and you claim she has a lack of understanding of how these deals work?

When she talks about using that money instead, she is talking about tax incentives that are used for such deals...so yeah, she seems to be talking about better ways to spend that sort of money...

Yes!  Of course it would.  The locality and state in NY there have healthy income tax rates and these employees would definitely pay in quite a bit.  And that doesn't count the ancillary economic activity that would support these 25k high paying jobs.  There is quite a bit of spillage there.  So, yes, absolutely, these 3B would come from the taxation of the increased payroll and economic activity in the area.  

And yes, by not knowing that she's showing a significant hole in her reasoning as to her objections.  It's also the reason Cuomo is very unhappy about this as it was accretive in the long term for NY state and individual localities.  And again, she's talking about spending monies that don't exist yet.  It's not free money just hanging out in a budget somewhere with nowhere to go.

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14 minutes ago, timschochet said:

Going back to this point: we’ve made the decision, as a society, to have minimum wage, worker protections, environmental protections, building and safety, etc. These are all good things. But not every country has them. We cannot compete with those other countries in terms of wages; they will always be lower than us. So if we want to keep our large companies here we have to offer them other incentives: that means bonuses, tax write offs, money, what have you.

None of that is pertinent to Amazon corporate offices. They will pay more than minimum wage in safe office buildings.

It's pertinent to unskilled workers in the garment industry, but it makes sense for most of those jobs to be outside the U.S.

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Just now, Sand said:

Yes!  Of course it would.  The locality and state in NY there have healthy income tax rates and these employees would definitely pay in quite a bit.  And that doesn't count the ancillary economic activity that would support these 25k high paying jobs.  There is quite a bit of spillage there.  So, yes, absolutely, these 3B would come from the taxation of the increased payroll and economic activity in the area.  

And yes, by not knowing that she's showing a significant hole in her reasoning as to her objections.  It's also the reason Cuomo is very unhappy about this as it was accretive in the long term for NY state and individual localities.  And again, she's talking about spending monies that don't exist yet.  It's not free money just hanging out in a budget somewhere with nowhere to go.

This is pretty much my thinking as well. 

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1 minute ago, Maurile Tremblay said:

None of that is pertinent to Amazon corporate offices. They will pay more than minimum wage in safe office buildings.

It's pertinent to unskilled workers in the garment industry, but it makes sense for most of those jobs to be outside the U.S.

It’s the same principle though. We need to compete, and that means incentives. 

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46 minutes ago, Sand said:

She's spending an imaginary 3B - that 3B would be generated by taxation of Amazon employees and rebated back to them.  So when she talks about "using that money instead..." she's lost a grip on where those funds originate.

$1.8 billion of the tax benefits are in property tax abatements - that is, the property (which is presumably owned by someone else who currently pays property tax) would not be taxed as a result of the deal. 

Over $500 million are in actual cash grants to be paid to Amazon.

Also, the city was prepared to spend $180 million on infrastructure upgrades like sewer and drainage that would be necessary for Amazon to build out.

 

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6 minutes ago, timschochet said:

This is pretty much my thinking as well. 

Then you both need to read up more on deals like this if you think taxes on those jobs is somehow paying the 3 billion.

Or covering the likely cost of living increase.

And I don’t think her statements on spending were outrageous...it was about how things could be better spent than tax incentives to a Corp like Amazon.

Her statement today was well said and not all some crazy far left extreme stuff.

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4 minutes ago, timschochet said:

It’s the same principle though. We need to compete, and that means incentives. 

I know I said I'll drop it, but this is where I think you're being short-sighted.  As MT pointed out, there are industries where we are better off as a society by not competing.  We should compete in the global market place by having a wealth of educated and skilled labor and creating an environment that is friendly to do business in.  That last point can get murky on what that entails, but if Amazon could run their business abroad and provide a service to us that is more efficient and costs less then it would benefit everyone.

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6 minutes ago, timschochet said:

Oh BTW @wildbill, Chicago Police just arrested 2 people for attacking Smollett. I guess they didn’t realize it was a hoax, they should have checked with your sources...

You really don't know that.  Charges have not yet been filed, and they may well be for lying to investigators.  Let's hold off.

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38 minutes ago, Henry Ford said:

$1.8 billion of the tax benefits are in property tax abatements - that is, the property (which is presumably owned by someone else who currently pays property tax) would not be taxed as a result of the deal. 

Over $500 million are in actual cash grants to be paid to Amazon.

Also, the city was prepared to spend $180 million on infrastructure upgrades like sewer and drainage that would be necessary for Amazon to build out.

 

I think I read in one of those articles that the city owns it.

ETA: just found it, the state actually owns it.

Edited by parasaurolophus
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2 minutes ago, roadkill1292 said:

Why again would we want to give Amazon money to help it kill its competitors? Shouldn't localities be giving money to the smaller business entities instead, the ones who compete against the giants?

I think the argument here would be they are going to build somewhere. Amazon will still exist and will still be competition. 

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33 minutes ago, roadkill1292 said:

We should imprison American sports club owners and confiscate their teams.

This seems like an overreaction regardless how you feel about Amazon and tax breaks/subsidies, which I disagree with, much like I disagree with public funding of sports stadiums and teams. 

But imprisonment and confiscation is hopefully hyperbole.  

Edited by rockaction
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Just now, timschochet said:

OK but can we at least do it to the Patriots? 

I'm all for it, as long as the coach and quarterback get nabbed in the sweep. 

Edited by rockaction
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I dont really understand why people would be upset about people opposing a deal like this. These deals are often regretted well after the fact. Sports stadium deals almost never work out as expected. These big outlays just aren't usually winners and become much more like ebay purchases where people have fear of losing, rather than desire to win. 

 

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7 minutes ago, rockaction said:

This seems like an overreaction regardless how you feel about Amazon and tax breaks/subsidies, which I disagree with, much like I disagree with public funding of sports stadiums and teams. 

But imprisonment and confiscation is hopefully hyperbole.  

I took it as tongue-in-cheek

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