Keller @ Large: Amazon Bidders – Buyer Beware!

BOSTON (CBS) – The October 19th deadline for communities to submit bids to host the big new Amazon headquarters has come and gone. And now, the agonizing wait begins – but, for what?

There’s no question an Amazon invasion would bring economic benefits to the winning state or city.

The company is promising 50,000 jobs with an average salary of a hundred grand, a windfall by any measure – if they really materialize.

History is littered with examples of tax breaks and other goodies being showered on corporate investors, only to have the promised payback vanish over time. Amazon seems like a healthy, growing company that can and will deliver, but remember Murphy’s Law: “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.”

You may recall all the excitement last year over GE moving its headquarters here.

Since then, GE CEO Jeff Immelt has stepped down and his successor, faced with lagging profits and ballooning expenses, has announced sweeping cuts, including a delay in promised spending here in Boston. It turns out Immelt was a really big spender who liked to have an empty corporate jet follow his plane when he traveled, in case of mechanical problems.

Amazon is an impressive company, but they are not immune from hucksterism.

Remember those much-publicized price cuts at Whole Foods this summer? Some of them have already vanished.

The at-times vicious competition to win the Amazon headquarters — so bad it prompted New Hampshire officials to throw mud at Boston — is nothing new.

This company knows how to exploit politicians. That’s why the shopper’s credo has never been more relevant – buyer beware.

Your feedback is welcome. Reach out via email at keller@wbztv.com, or use Twitter, @kelleratlarge.

More from Jon Keller
Comments

One Comment

  1. The real AMAZON – Taxpayers – should be treated so well.

    1. Why not “lure” the subway and rail riders with these wonderful *commuter* options and times.

  2. lizzzy321 says:

    I don’t understand why people do not put more value on the experiences of others. Look at Seattle when Amazon located there. The brought 50,000 employees with them, so how does that offer Bostonians more jobs? And all the disruption that came along with it. And Jeff Beos has not won any awards as the best Employer in the country. Plus he built his business knocking out the brick and mortar businesses he was competing against. How is that good for America? Society is better off with small and medium size companies, not huge conglomerates and monopolies. The whole idea that Bostonians and the leaders in Boston are trying to lure Amazon here, is troubling to me. AND – I suppose they will offer them the tax breaks they offered GE to come here. Nice to be a large corporation. Anyone want to offer me some tax incentives to live in the Boston area?

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