Two hundred thirty-eight (238) cities have offered themselves up to Amazon on a silver platter—complete with stunts that run the gamut from pure shamelessness to abject degradation—to be the home of the corporation’s new headquarters, Amazon announced Monday.
Proposals came in from 54 states, provinces, and districts in the United States, Canada, and Mexico before the October 19 deadline. Amazon says the new HQ could bring as many at 50,000 jobs and a $5 billion investment in the area they choose.
Already, we’ve seen this sordid process lead to some of the most depressing late capitalist shit in recent memory, as communities lie prostrate to attract the gleamy, shiny tech giant to their burnt out, post-industrial wastelands.
Leaders from around the continent have done everything from lighting one of the country’s most iconic buildings in “Amazon Orange,” sending a massive cactus to the company (which they rejected), and, in the case of Kansas City, having the city’s mayor buy 1,000 things on Amazon and leave them all five-star reviews in hopes of sweetening the pot.
Amazon’s soliciting proposals from cities is little more than auctioning off the privilege of its economic impact to the community that can offer the greatest tax breaks and the cheapest, most educated labor pool.
The company, which is currently based in Seattle, is expected to decide on a city for its new headquarters sometime next year. Until then, we can expect the humiliation to continue.