Amazon has cities tripping over themselves, and Pittsburgh getting nasty

AMAZON14
An Amazon fulfillment center in Indianapolis, Ind. An amnesty program run by 24 states is being offered to those who sell goods through Amazon but have not paid sales taxes.

Just about every major metropolis in America, and some whole states, are pitching themselves to Amazon like desperate contestants on The Bachelor. And our normally polite rival to the west took things a bit far.

When you have confidence in your own abilities, you don’t need to belittle others.

Got that, Pittsburgh?

“Pittsburgh would be a much better headquarters choice than many other likely contenders,” the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editorial board wrote in vying for Amazon’s second headquarters, “including Philadelphia, with its East Coast weather and swaths of abject poverty; Houston, now under water; St. Louis, battered by racial strife; Chicago, with its sky-high homicide rate; or Detroit, with a labor pool nowhere near as deep and educated as Western Pennsylvania’s.”

Aside from the fact that Amazon has lots of customers in the cities mentioned above, what retail giant would want to be associated with such negativity when it could be associated with cheesesteaks, soft pretzels and TastyKakes — items that bring people joy and the need to buy larger-sized clothing from … Amazon?

Besides, Pittsburgh, you’re not just competing against the major cities you’re insecure about. You’re competing against everyone. From Camden to Kansas City, from Indianapolis to Minneapolis.

 

A company dangling 50,000 jobs is like catnip to politicians.

But not everyone thinks landing Amazon is the be-all-end-all. Will Bunch believes a Philadelphia bid would be a detriment to the city’s schools and enrich the already rich Jeff Bezos. Michael Hiltzik in Los Angeles warns civic leaders to not sell out their cities with lucrative tax breaks or incentives at taxpayers’ expense in order to land the big prize.

Of course, the Twitterverse is mostly excited:

St. Louis pitched this nice skyline view as a perk. But a helpful observer noted that you can  get that view only from across the river, in Illinois.

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