“Amazon’s quest for a second massive corporate base is reminiscent of Boeing’s ongoing efforts to ship jobs out of the Seattle area and hold us hostage. For decades, Boeing executives and billionaire shareholders have carried out systematic economic extortion by pitting cities and states against one another, forcing a race to the bottom for the living standards of workers, and crushing labor unions. Amazon has similarly been using its monopoly power to gobble up swathes of prime Seattle real estate, and extract plum deals from the city’s Democratic establishment. This political establishment has, in the meanwhile, overseen an explosion in homelessness and an acute crisis in affordable housing.
“Additionally, as digital economy professor Nick Srnicek recently pointed out in the Guardian, monopolies like Amazon, Facebook, and Google are ‘hoovering up our data’ and are ‘too big to serve the public interest.’
“The solution is in no way to turn away from technological innovation, the logic of economies of scale, or ease of access to goods and services. Instead, we need to unionize, and to take these behemoths into democratic public ownership, so that they are run not for profit for a few, but in the interests of the majority of working people and of society. However, this can be achieved only by building powerful movements that are independent of the politicians and parties that have aided and abetted corporations like Amazon. In Seattle, our movements need to continue to build the fight to end homelessness, make housing affordable for all, and fully fund social services.”