November 14th Class Notes: Economics & Politics
The Amazon headquarters deal
- Will the deal be beneficial for Virginia and New York?
- Should the government be bribing businesses to come to their localities?
- VA & NY governments spent millions in taxpayer dollars to entice Amazon to choose them for their new headquarters
- System privileges richer states, who can make high bids. States (ex. Tennessee) who need investment can’t afford to bid
- Amazon & Arlington are splitting the costs of upgrading the metro, adding new entrances & stations, and building a bridge from the metro to the airport
Winners & losers of the Amazon deal
- Winners: people who get new jobs (tech workers, etc.), local economy & businesses, people who own homes (the value of homes may increase)
- Losers: renters, uneducated/low-skilled workers, people looking to buy homes, taxpayers
- Displacement of poor people who will no longer be able to afford living in Arlington
- Retired people on fixed income may face increase in rent/cost of living
- Amazon could take away business from Walmart
Article: $9.6 billion to Harvard is “philanthropy,” but free community college is socialism
- Harvard has an extremely large endowment – they could offer every current student free tuition
- Endowment: money solicited from alumni, etc. Schools can spend the income off the endowment.
- Giving money to community colleges would have a much greater impact than giving money to Harvard, a place that already has so much money – distribution matters