In response to Amazon’s withdrawal from the HQ2 deal, a conservative group in New York is singling out the politician they believe is at fault for New York’s loss of 25,000 jobs.
In a series of short, 10-15 second bursts, the billboard could be seen above the “Ripley’s Believe it or Not” entrance in Times Square, condemning Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), with the hashtag, #SocialismTakesCapitalismCreates, on Feb. 20. The billboard was purchased by the Job Creators Network, a group advocating for free enterprise.
— Job Creators Network (@JobCreatorsUSA) February 20, 2019
The billboard highlights New York’s losses, including “$4 billion in lost wages” and “$12 billion in Lost economic activity for NY.” The largest text on the billboard was reserved for a cheeky statement: “Thanks for Nothing, AOC!”
Politicians Nay, Free Enterprise Yea
Amazon stated on Valentine’s day that the reason for its withdrawal from the deal was due to political opposition from New York City’s leaders.
“While polls show that 70 percent of New Yorkers support our plans and investment,” read the statement, “a number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward with the project we and many others envisioned in Long Island City.”
In an interview with NBC, Jodi Seth, the Amazon head of policy communications said, “If you talk to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, it’s ‘Never Amazon.’ If you talk to Jimmy Van Bramer, it’s unions.”
Ocasio-Cortez told Reuters that the $3 billion in tax breaks to Amazon could have been used to rebuild the subway system and other investments in the community.
“The city was paying for those jobs,” she said, adding, “if we were willing to give away $3 billion for this deal, we could invest those $3 billion in our district ourselves if we wanted to.”
However, the $3 billion dollars in tax breaks would have repaid both New York City and New York state an estimated nine-to-one rate of return on that investment, with a combined tax revenue of $27.5 billion over the course of 25 years.
“That is the highest rate of return for any economic incentive program that the state has ever offered,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters in November, the Washington Examiner reported.
Fox News Anchor Laura Ingraham shared a picture of the billboard on Twitter, thanking @JobCreatorsUSA.
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) February 20, 2019
Despite the loss of 25,000 jobs, Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter to say that the billboard was funded by billionaire groups who promote “anti-worker policies.”
Few things effectively communicate the power we’ve built in fighting dark money & anti-worker policies like billionaire-funded groups blowing tons of cash on wack billboards (this one is funded by the Mercers).
(PS fact that it’s in Times Sq tells you this isn’t for/by NYers.) https://t.co/B4QTPi1r2k
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 21, 2019
The Billboard’s Hashtag
While capitalism is an essential part of a free enterprise, socialism calls for expansive government control over production and distribution of goods, among other things.
According to an editorial article by The Epoch Times: “As the power of the state increases, private enterprise weakens, and the free market has less space in which to function. People who have benefited from and grown dependent on politicians will increasingly demand that the government take responsibility for allocating wealth and enact laws to enforce this.”