Some have heralded Amazon’s search for their second headquarters as a wake-up call to policymakers about the need for increased computer science and STEM education funding. While the goals are laudable, it is easy to overlooks a significant problem with the growth of companies such as Amazon and others -- It often comes at the expense of local education funding.
Since they’re planning on bringing as much as $5 billion in investment and as many as 50,000 jobs, they have the leverage to come to the table with a pretty specific wish list. The tech giant wants to set up in a city of over a million people, with stable business growth, good local transit options, an international airport and a university hub for recruiting. On top of this they’d like an ethnically diverse local population and are offering bonus points for sustainable infrastructure.
In our day, we can’t quite see anything wrong with monopoly. We’re certain that our tech giants achieved their dominance fairly and squarely through the free market, by dint of technical genius. To conjure this image of meritocratic triumph requires overlooking several pungent truths about the nature of these new monopolies. Their dominance is less than pure. They owe their dominance to innovation, but also to tax avoidance.
Amazon today announced that its largest wind farm yet--Amazon Wind Farm Texas--is now up and running, adding more than 1,000,000 MWh of clean energy to the grid each year. Amazon has launched 18 wind and solar projects across the U.S., with over 35 more to come. Together, these projects will generate enough clean energy to power over 330,000 homes annually.
Amazon recently sparked a competitive frenzy among U.S. cities when the Seattle-based company announced its search for a second corporate headquarters (“HQ2”) in North America. Thursday is the deadline for interested cities to submit their bids. Approximately 50,000 jobs and billions of dollars worth of economic activity hang in the balance.