Councilmember Kshama Sawant—a self-proclaimed socialist who has endorsed the nationalization of another Seattle-area corporate titan, Boeing—was less subtle. Sawant calls Amazon’s refusal to passively accept the taxation “blackmail,” and she organized a Thursday rally outside Amazon’s headquarters.
Despite these protestations, support for the tax is starting to flag.
Unlike Reason, I’m loathe to use the word “progressive” in this context. To me, progress does not mean stripping people of their civil rights, hurting them more, or taking more of their stuff.
This is classic goose-killing for more golden eggs, but it tells a story right out of the socialist-statist fairy tale. It’s almost cliché! The city already increased spending to solve its homeless spending, only to watch it get worse. So it looks around for more cash and sees it oozing out of Amazon’s corporate pores.
Had Amazon buckled, not only would the homeless problem get still worse, but it would ensure that Amazon’s HQ2 becomes HQ1 (which it likely will anyway), and like other corporate tax exiles, head south or to cities all-too-willing to open up their treasuries to court the retail behemoth.
This issue aside, opening up new revenue streams for any reason and putting it under the control of political whim just pours gas on a dumpster fire. Can’t think of a better way not to solve any problem.