In the race to secure the location of Amazon’s second headquarters, cities, counties and states continue to position themselves to be the most attractive and viable host to one of the country’s largest corporations. The location of “Amazon HQ2” is still yet to be determined, but has bidders across the country, ranging from Montgomery County, Maryland and Northern Virginia, to Atlanta, Georgia.
As of last week, the state of Maryland passed one of the largest incentive packages for a corporation, amounting to at least $8.5 billion in their bid for Amazon HQ2.
According to some critics, this posturing can amount to “corporate welfare,” or politicians giving tax credits and other incentives to corporations which could otherwise afford it.
Generation Opportunity, a Millennial grassroots non-profit organization, has been consistent in its criticism of examples of corporate welfare since Amazon announced its search for a second headquarters location in the United States.
The organization pointed out that young Americans do not benefit from “corporate welfare deals like this.” They added, “Such giveaways burden taxpayers and help select businesses gain an unfair advantage over others who don’t benefit from the same special insider deals and carve outs.” Generation Opportunity Policy Director David Barnes said, “Lawmakers shouldn’t be bending over backwards for Amazon or any one company – they should be creating fair system in which all businesses can compete on an even playing field.”
An overall point is that Millennials have embraced start-ups and entrepreneurship, such as the the “gig economy,” where ride-sharing apps such as Uber and Lyft have flooded the transportation market. This type of corporate deal, in which politicians offer large incentive packages that may create an uneven playing field for entrepreneurs, could affect Millennials in unforeseen and adverse ways.
For example, a Mercatus Center study showed that corporate incentive packages “divert significant resources away from pro-growth activities” in order to fight for more tax breaks and incentives in the future.