City’s missed Amazon hook — the West End... and why Bevin will win

Oct 25, 2017 at 10:35 am
Amazon

Man, I can’t wait for this Amazon head office to open up here. I wonder what the building will look like.

An hourly wage-slave chained to a fulfillment cart, I hope. Why not? If Apple can embrace architecture based on ELO album covers, Amazon can embrace architecture based on human bondage. Hard to imagine a better reflection of its employment philosophy.

Amazon is both a blessing and a curse, as I’ve said and written many times, run by someone who has successfully turned himself into a cyborg. Zero blame whatsoever to Fischer and the city for throwing our hat in the ring, though. Damned if they do, damned if they don’t. Very long odds on winning, but you have to play the game so that you can show up at the dance for ugly kids.

It would have looked churlish not to bid, and losing out’s no disgrace. So to bid without bending over, pulling our pants down, and saying “Please Jeff, may I have another?” is probably the right way to go about it. Hard to believe that Bezos has much respect for any city that kisses his ring, anyway.

I’m sorry: Are you suggesting that we took any sort of creative high ground? I think it’s safe to assume we took the safest course possible and did exactly what you’d expect us to do, which is to bury Amazon in tired quality-of-life data and slippery references to how cheap it is to do business here. Oh, and logistics.

Yep, and maybe a really cheesy video and a logo to set ourselves apart from absolutely nobody else. I’m not convinced that Bezos isn’t completely humanity-free, though. You might be being a bit hard on the geezer. He clearly hates Trump, and that alone is enough to make me cut him some slack. I also admire the way he does whatever he does ... and bollocks to conventional wisdom.

Hang on, didn’t you just compare working at Amazon to slavery?

Maybe I did, but so is playing college basketball, so I doubt if anyone here noticed. My take is that Louisville bid for this HQ without really bidding for it. If Fischer really wanted Bezos to take notice of us, he should probably have offered up a ton of space in The West End, gratis.

The point being that what Amazon actually does is usually the opposite of what people think it should do? Bit late now, assuming there’s an actual competition and he hasn’t already chosen somewhere like Denver. Poisoned chalice for us to win it, anyway. Louisville doesn’t have the cultural chops or infrastructure to cope with such a significant influx of people and capital, it would do more damage than good. Competition for housing, schools, space, whatever, is bad enough without having to compete with thousands of wealthy people suddenly arriving and ruining the place by demanding pothole-free roads.

And when you look at the city’s premier news source and see seven stories about college basketball to every one about public pensions, you know he isn’t going to touch us with a barge pole. We can’t be taken seriously when public finances affecting the lives of thousands of people play second fiddle to amateur-sports fans dissing one shite pizza in favor of another shite pizza.

I expect you and I aren’t alone in being fed up to the back teeth with Pitino and Jurich. Good riddance. Not that things are going to get any better in their absence from the public payroll; quite the opposite, in fact, they’re about to get far worse.

This lunatic’s enabler from Kansas coming to join Bevin’s admin?

Precisely, Watson. Always makes me wonder how people without a single qualification in economics can land a job advising governors about economics. Might as well ask a punter in the pub who he reckons’ll win the Grand National.

Proper horse race, that. But, that’s the whole point of it, isn’t it? It’s not about economics it’s about how economics can be used to justify changing laws to reflect a certain political and religious philosophy, and for that you need lawyers who’re fellow travelers. The ignorant masses suffering is a feature, not a bug. So even if this Smith-chap didn’t initiate what Brownback did in Kansas — cutting taxes to the point where public services have been all but destroyed, a royal fuck-up even by Republican standards — he fully supports it. Going to happen here too, no doubt.

And yet the good folks of Kansas gave Brownback a second term. I hope that’s not an omen.

Unless Kentucky Democrats can find a decent candidate willing to actually run as a Democrat, which I doubt, Bevin’s going to get two shots at this. So let’s not waste any time daydreaming that he’s going to be a one-term governor. Frankly, out among the rural deplorables, I think he’s much more popular than Beshear ever was.

True. And, conveniently, pushing the idea that companies want to move anywhere based purely on tax brings us back full-circle to Amazon. As Kansas proves, low-tax-low-spend-low-everything states are fundamentally unattractive even to the most cutthroat corporations.

Say what you like about Amazon’s working practices, which I do, what it isn’t going to do is bring its HQ to a regressive state dominated by religious muppets who take economic advice from incompetent mountebanks.

Yeah. Dishing out unqualified economic advice is our job!