The Amazon Headquarters Sweepstakes Is Bad for Cities

The Tax Incentives Doled out to the Online Shopping Giant Aren't Worth the Gains in Jobs

Envious of Silicon Valley’s success, more than 80 places throughout the world have renamed one of their neighborhoods “Silicon-something,” including “Silicon Beach” in Los Angeles, “Silicon Bayou” in New Orleans, and “Silicon Roundabout” in London, as if the very word works an economic magic.

So it was not surprising that when Amazon announced plans to build a second headquarters—“HQ2”—somewhere in North America, more than 200 cities decided to compete for the honor. Dangling the promise of 50,000 new jobs and $5 billion in investment, Amazon brazenly pitted state against state, …

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