Local politicians run off Amazon - Economics

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Jason
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Re: Local politicians run off Amazon - Economics

Post by Jason » Sat Feb 23, 2019 8:12 am

Riggerjack, honestly, I have no idea what the fuck you are talking about. If I had to guess, it seems, as usual, that you are requesting everyone on the board to view a very complex and variegated and interesting discussion with global repercussions through the heuristic of the fact that you apparently lay cable for a fucking living. And this is despite the fact that you have repeatedly demonstrated a gross unfamiliarity with the situation not to mention stating explicitly "its not your problem."

I only view you as someone who overextends their existential reality to the broader of the issues of the world, a trait that I find amongst the provincial. How this thread moved from Jeff Bezos in Queens to Riggerjack in buttfuck is beyond me but ultimately not surprising based upon my experience of contributing to threads with you on them.

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Re: Local politicians run off Amazon - Economics

Post by jacob » Sat Feb 23, 2019 9:05 am


Campitor
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Re: Local politicians run off Amazon - Economics

Post by Campitor » Sat Feb 23, 2019 12:15 pm

Riggerjack wrote:
Sat Feb 23, 2019 7:50 am
Wow. That's a lot of success stories. Not the story I was expecting. Congratulations.
This is why I believe that people can always rise beyond their expectations if they live in an area with so much diversity of opportunities and wealth. I do understand not everyone has the same opportunity. I doubt I'd be in my current income group if I lived in the backwoods of Appalachia. However, if the rungs of success created by economic opportunity are all around, and you don't avail yourself of them, or you spend time lamenting the loss of a neighborhood culture that was a consequence of economic disability, I have very little sympathy.

Humans will human. Cronyism and political chicanery will always exist regardless the economic structure. We all have to make peace with it and figure out how we can better our economic opportunities ethically. Part of the amazon deal was training any local with technical aptitude in cloud technology and getting them cloud certified. Amazon would have been a rung of opportunity for so many. In the world of disappearing jobs caused by creative destruction, why would anyone torpedo opportunities in the false hope of keeping prices stagnant in a place of vibrant change? This is why this Amazon broken deal, for me, is a giant case study in illogic.

I'm sure some other deep pocket firms will want the site and NYC and Queens will be fine, but the locals living there now, who will be forgotten by the next generation of residents, will pay for their economic obtuseness while complaining about an unfair economic system. This upsets me because I truly want everyone to do better. Watching someone who is struggling pass up an economic opportunity, to me, is like watching an alcoholic ordering another beer.

Riggerjack
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Re: Local politicians run off Amazon - Economics

Post by Riggerjack » Sat Feb 23, 2019 1:41 pm

I think I have said all I have to say on this one. I will try to get this out more clearly in another format, I think. I don't seem to be able to make this clear today.
Well, that didn't last long, did it?

I thought of another way to try to explain, bear with me, analogies are not my strong suit.

I consider the economic package development style we have been talking about, as a tool. It is neither good nor bad, but how it is applied can have good or bad outcomes for different people.

A hammer is not good or bad, but the outcomes of it's use can be broken down as good or bad for both the user and the environment it is used in. If I use a hammer to pound nails, to build a house, results are good for me, and good for the user of said house. Pound nails, build house, and smash my thumb; bad for me, good user of the house. Skip nails and house, use hammer on someone's skull; just bad for everyone.

But it's the same hammer.

By the same token, adding HQ2 to a city can be good for the company, and the city as a whole. Or it could be good for only a small segment of the population of that city. I was trying to make this case. That Queens is not the right kind of city to use that tool, right now.

By contrast, Detroit is exactly the sort of city that could use that tool right now, but I don't think Detroit will work for Amazon's purposes. (Which is really sad, because if Amazon wanted to, it could serve very well, but probably not in the time frame they seem to have in mind.)

Cities are indepedndet microeconomies. Just as QE temporarily juiced the national economy at the end of the last decade, slamming down an HQ2 project can juice the local economy.

However, only a fool would suggest that since QE adds a temporary economic boost, we should have started to adopt QE in 2005.

Stop and think about how that would have worked out.

It's that level of thinking I see repeated over and over throughout this thread. It's that level of thinking about development that leads to HCOL cities, and the problems they can't build out of.

Remember, infrastructure costs go up expotentially, as population density goes up linearly. NYC is a demonstration of this. 2 million an acre for warehouse space in the outskirts, ridiculous tax rates, and they can't maintain their infrastructure or budget. I am confused about how someone can think more of the same can possibly improve this.
Watching someone who is struggling pass up an economic opportunity, to me, is like watching an alcoholic ordering another beer.
I can see that. But not everyone is struggling, as Jason was describing the area, struggling wasn't the image I saw.

In reality, someone can be using the right tool, in the right place, on the right object, and still make a mess because it wasn't well executed.

This thread went from "what do you think about this project that didn't happen" to "hammers are awesome". Entirely skipping the step of determining whether the hammer was the right tool for the job, and whether the job should even happen in that spot, at that time.
Riggerjack, honestly, I have no idea what the fuck you are talking about. If I had to guess, it seems, as usual, that you are requesting everyone on the board to view a very complex and variegated and interesting discussion with global repercussions through the heuristic of the fact that you apparently lay cable for a fucking living. And this is despite the fact that you have repeatedly demonstrated a gross unfamiliarity with the situation not to mention stating explicitly "its not your problem."
:lol: :D :lol: Yeah, that seems fair. I would have used your experience, but I don't have it. I use what I know. And since my experience is pretty extreme on nearly every spectrum, I try to explain why I think as I do. I do hope to get better at it. :oops:

Campitor
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Re: Local politicians run off Amazon - Economics

Post by Campitor » Sat Feb 23, 2019 7:32 pm

This thread went from "what do you think about this project that didn't happen" to "hammers are awesome". Entirely skipping the step of determining whether the hammer was the right tool for the job, and whether the job should even happen in that spot, at that time.
NYC needs hammers because their socialist fiscal policies creates lots of nails. From July 17, 2017 to June 30, 2018 NYC spent 103.3 billion while taking in 92.1 billion in revenue (https://www.checkbooknyc.com/spending_l ... B/year/119). Asking if using a hammer at this time or place is like asking if you packed your parachute correctly after jumping out of the plane. Amazon would have generated 1.2 billion in revenue a year and 2.7 billion a year when it ramped up to 40k jobs on that site; and tax credits were contingent on reaching those employment benchmarks.

There is no slow and organic for NYC now - there is only hammer and nails. The linked site has a ton of good info on the fiscal health of nyc - you should look at their property assessed tax value vs actual taxable value: https://www.checkbooknyc.com/trends/node/398. Or look at the top 5 departments in spending. Department of education spent 26.66 billion, Dept of social services spent 9.93 billion, and pension contributions spent 9.62 billion; a total of 46.21 billion or 50% of total revenue taken in.

I understand what your saying. If NYC was fiscally responsible, not running a deficit, and didn't carry so much debt, your questions would be the 100% right thing to do.

Riggerjack
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Re: Local politicians run off Amazon - Economics

Post by Riggerjack » Sun Feb 24, 2019 8:43 am

I understand what your saying. If NYC was fiscally responsible, not running a deficit, and didn't carry so much debt, your questions would be the 100% right thing to do.
I don't think you do understand what I am saying.

I am saying fiscal responsibility in NYC is not possible.

You seem to think the spending is the problem. I am saying it's a symptom of too high a population density tied to too much local economic stimulation. (As are success stories similar to those from your earlier post, though I don't know if you live in NYC). HQ2 just would have been another small boost of nitrous in the engine driving them in the direction they are going.

They can't build themselves out of this.

They can't stimulate their way out of this.

Each HQ2 type of project, each local economuc stimulus, and increase in density makes the numbers you quoted worse. Everyone focuses on how much revenue is generated by the project. Nobody looks at how the increasing density*increased COL increases the rate of costs for infrastructure. Everyone does the math based on current costs. Completely ignoring how much costs WILL go up because of the success of the project.

Try thinking of NYC as a separate economy, working with a separate currency. There is an exchange rate between US dollars, and NYC dollars. But the exchange rate is extremely local. The exchange rate is the COL each New Yorker experiences.

Adding more people and more money, just means the local exchange rate changes to reflect this. Because everything a local wants, that isn't delivered from outside sources at the American Dollar rate (like say, everything that comes by Amazon prime), has to be purchased with NYC money. But NYC money just ain't worth much.

It takes 2 million NYC dollars to buy an acre of warehouse on the outskirts. It costs many thousand NYC dollars to rent a closet to sleep in. It costs 14 NYC dollars to buy a yogurt.

The reason NYC money devaluates against the dollar is it is being used to pay for goods and services provided by people who need to be paid enough to cover their own local exchange rate. So Manhattanites can dress someone from Queens up as a doorman, but that doorman needs to be paid enough to make it worth his time. Sure he can make ridiculous money for the job, but he pays ridiculous money for his COL.

It's this geoarbitrage at the extreme local level that makes people feel like this is a successful economy, or a devastating one. It is what drives the urban success stories, similar to those you told. It simply exaggerates the advantages the property owners and business owners have over everyone else, locally. Not because they are better, smarter, or more productive, simply because they are better positioned to take advantage of the local exchange rate.*

So by changing the exchange rate on the edge of Queens, we talk about revenues in American dollars, but infrastructure costs, (roads, cops, schools) must be PAID at the new NYC exchange rate, that the project just changed.

With that in mind, I have a hard time believing that Queens needs any more nitrous for their economic engine. Just running it at idle will continue this process. But boosts of nitrous add distortions, and inefficiencies that can be very advantageous to people positioned to profit from them.

And those distortions and inefficiencies are why I objected to the Queens/HQ2 deal. They would only profit a few rich people at the cost of everyone else. I always object when profits are set up to flow against risk, costs, and productivity. I don't understand why anyone wouldn't.


* I would like to remind readers that I am a landlord. This isn't some Marxist rant about class. This is just simple economic theory and observation... or the voices in my head, if you prefer. :lol:

Campitor
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Re: Local politicians run off Amazon - Economics

Post by Campitor » Sun Feb 24, 2019 11:54 am

@Rigger

I guess this is where we disagree. The COL is already turbo boosted in NYC. There is no idling anymore. Adding an Amazon site, if it could employ as many locals as possible, wouldn't have increased the density that much but at least provided training and skills to the local residents who will be forced to leave anyways - better to at last prepare them for the future than see them drown regardless. The COL going up is a byproduct of increased wages but its turbo boosted by bad city fiscal policy that makes building residential property too expensive.

There are dense cities, like Tokyo and Houston, that have kept housing prices down by eliminating excessive building codes and relaxing permitting, allowing for mix use zones (commercial and housing live side by side), allowing housing to be built in smaller sizes and plots, building up, and keeping housing construction ahead of the population bloom. COL pressure would be greatly reduced by affordable housing.

Riggerjack
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Re: Local politicians run off Amazon - Economics

Post by Riggerjack » Sun Feb 24, 2019 1:03 pm

Let me try a different approach.
COL pressure would be greatly reduced by affordable housing.
How does one create "affordable housing", in NYC? A land where land and labor is as expensive as it is? Please, use what you know of economic principals and your real life experience to describe how You would do it, assuming you had control of a budget to build it.

If you build on the outskirts, within commuting distance of Manhattan, what would you build, and what would need to remove for you to build it?

Campitor
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Re: Local politicians run off Amazon - Economics

Post by Campitor » Sun Feb 24, 2019 2:22 pm

@Rigger

There are so many pieces to this puzzle that to summarize it in a thread would be extremely difficult because each point will bring its own discussion and deeper research. But I'm going to give it a try with just a few items.

Housing is throttled by height and plot size which incentivizes building out instead of up. Building up maximizes the use of existing infrastructure instead of requiring new infrastructure to be built and maintained across longer distances.

Zoning needs to be relaxed to allow for more mixed lots regardless the size of a businesses. There is no reason to restrict commercial buildings to specific areas when apartments or condos can exist above them. This would lessen traffic as you can shop directly below as opposed to fanning out to shop. And building housing atop of an existing business, with a large footprint, would be a more efficient use of land. You're increasing available space for housing without the need for more land.

Increase the supply of workers in licensed trades. The licensing requirements, understandable so, require a lot of mandatory hours of training and on the job experience which limits the number of licenses in NY and NYC - this shortage results in construction delays and increased costs.

Limit the NIMBY lawsuits that can slow or halt new construction. Everyone wants affordable real estate until they get their own; then everyone else can eat cake. Once you have a plot and a city and state construction permit, you should be able to build without worrying about lawsuits. Lawsuits should be limited to the preliminary planning phase and not when the cranes and workers show up. And lawsuits need to meet very specific criterias on why new housing or construction would result in a negative impact to the neighborhood beyond increased density per sq foot. These criteria should should be debated and codified and then upheld vigorously so everyone knows what the rules are instead of worrying about lawsuits that can arrive at any time before, during, and after construction.

https://nyc.streetsblog.org/2018/02/27/ ... ay-nimbys/
https://therealdeal.com/2018/01/26/what ... imbys-win/
https://therealdeal.com/2018/01/26/what ... imbys-win/

Riggerjack
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Re: Local politicians run off Amazon - Economics

Post by Riggerjack » Sun Feb 24, 2019 3:46 pm

Ok. So let's make it easy. The budget you are working with came from a combination of The Gates Foundation, and public funding. NYC politicians are completely behind you and give you carte blanche to run roughshod over all local regulations. The libertarian dream project meets public Goodwill, for the Betterment of the City, Marvel comics style.

There are PHYSICAL laws that come into place. Those are my concern.

As population density increases, diffusion is more and more difficult. This principal applies at all scales. Single celled organisms can excrete their waste with little effort. But as animals get bigger, they run into physical limitations, thus the limits on the size of animals is tied to their ability to handle biological inputs and outputs.

Diffusion is about all insects get to work with, and that limits size.

Step up to a dedicated oxygen and waste system ( like our circulatory system) and size can be increased, but there are definite physical limitations, this is the reason apes never become king Kong. It's not just that no ecosystem could support him, but that the surface area is squared, but volume is cubed. The amount of waste chemicals and heat that need to be moved for king Kong to move is beyond what a circulatory system using existing principals can accomplish.

The same rules and restrictions apply to us. But we are smart monkeys, we have fans, and plumbing.

But as density increases, we need more fans and plumbing per person, because the amount of work we can leave to nature goes down as we exclude nature in favor of more humans and infrastructure. All systems have to ramp up. We need more clean water from elsewhere, and more waste disposal. We need more cops, because overcrowding has deleterious effects on "the Social Contract" (a term that still makes me laugh). We need more schools, we need someplace for the inmates of this place to recreate. We just need more of everything per capital, as we exclude the "slop", the economically free effects of open space.

Population density creates very specific infrastructure challenges that less dense areas get for free.

But once you build that infrastructure, you need to have auxiliary infrastructure so maintenance can be performed. Now you have duplicate infrastructure costs. Otherwise, people die.

But even the ultimate Goodwill housing project will need maintenance. How much gets closed down to rebuild, how often? Where do the inmates go while this happens? How much backup "Affordable housing" needs to be built to accommodate the maintenance? How long will our wise and fearless leaders tolerate a backup waiting for "affordable housing" when maintenance could be differed, and pressure could be relieved by restrictions on the maintenance budget?

Do you see how these same physical and normal economic restrictions and human nature have led to where NYC is today, without even sweating details like restrictive regulations, corruption, crime, or any of the other excuses for why NYC can't balance a budget?

And all this without factoring in the complications of the high COL I tried to describe, above. I'll say it again, this is not a problem that can be built out of, that solution is the source of the problem.

Campitor
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Re: Local politicians run off Amazon - Economics

Post by Campitor » Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:30 pm

@Rigger,

For your physical limitations to be true in regards to waste, heat, etc., it requires the assumption that all housing is already at max mechanical/electrical efficiency. A lot of the buildings in NYC are old and could be rebuilt so that each housing unit requires less energy and water thereby offsetting the increased density. And there are zombie homes in NYC where no one is living; the houses are too dilapidated. Max density before diminishing returns hasn't been reached.

Riggerjack
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Re: Local politicians run off Amazon - Economics

Post by Riggerjack » Sun Feb 24, 2019 7:59 pm

I am not saying that they have hit max density. I am trying to show how a linear increase in density, has expotential increase in costs.

But your examples of room to grow bring up another facet of the problem.
it requires the assumption that all housing is already at max mechanical/electrical efficiency. A lot of the buildings in NYC are old and could be rebuilt so that each housing unit requires less energy and water thereby offsetting the increased density. And there are zombie homes in NYC where no one is living; the houses are too dilapidated. Max density before diminishing returns hasn't been reached.
I don't assume this at all. Very clearly more density can be achieved, simply look at more dense cities. I am saying the infrastructure was built for lower density, and the rate of growth determines how much or little of the infrastructure is going to work as desired under the new conditions.

If I think I will be single forever, and plan my ERE fund accordingly; then retire and marry into a family, the infrastructure I have planned for my life will not work at the new demand level.

But that's no big deal, I have the skills and time to expand my portfolio until it will cover the new needs. My infrastructure was inadequate, but I resolved this at a similar rate as I built the initial portfolio at.

But this is because money is fungible. Most physical infrastructure is not.

If the sewer pipe won't handle the new requirements, it needs to be replaced or the sewage load needs to be split among multiple existing pipes (not easy but sometimes a viable short term fix). To replace the sewer pipe means tearing up the street, and often damaging other systems of infrastructure at the same time.

Was the sewer used for the life of the pipe? No.

Was the street pavement at the end of it's life? No.

Were the local businesses working at their normal capacity while this is happening? No.

Did traffic flow as well as it used to while all of this is happening? No.

Will emergency services respond in the same time if they need to respond to this area? No.

Do you see the pattern? When the rate of growth in population exceeds the planned rate of growth, the existing infrastructure experiences a vastly increased depreciation schedule.

Max efficiency has absolutely nothing to do with the situation.

Increasing growth rates destroy the efficiency of existing infrastructure.

Hence why I said dumping 25k employees and their dependents will make the NYC budget worse, not better, regardless of the massive tax revenue they will generate.

Physically, they weren't planned for, so they increase depreciation of infrastructure.

Financially, they will increase COL in the local area.

And both of those issues are completely unaddressed in the deal. I don't care about a few billion dollars in tax breaks, that's the least of the unaccounted costs.

And now I'm going to take a break from talking about infrastructure, and thank you for continuing to let me try to explain the way I see the issue.

I am among the least formally educated regulars on this forum, having skipped out of HS early, to take a credit in scuba diving at the local community college. Then I was done with school. Not because I didn't like class, but because I could escape captivity with students.

And this gets very clear when I try to
view a very complex and variegated and interesting discussion with global repercussions through the heuristic of the fact that you apparently lay cable for a fucking living.
I should point out that I only have theory (mostly garnered online) that I apply to the world I see. And I definitely see the world from a different vantage point than most.

So I'm not sure if I am right, and not trying to convince you that I am. I am trying to describe what I see, by trying to get you to look at things as I see them, in hopes that you can show me where I am wrong. It's got to look like I'm flip flopping all over the place, and that would have to be very frustrating for you.

But what I'm try to do is get you to look at the issue from a similar perspective. It all locks into place from here. I haven't found anything that doesn't fit, or make sense, as I understand it. I am hoping you can stand close to where I am, and point out a huge blind spot for me, because I can't do it myself. I can't see what I don't see.

It really highlights to me, how bad I am at communicating.

Thank you for not giving up on this thread.

Campitor
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Re: Local politicians run off Amazon - Economics

Post by Campitor » Mon Feb 25, 2019 12:00 am

Rigger, I hear what you're saying and I completely understand how those considerations (growth exceeding existing infrastructure) reduces efficiency. But this is occuring regardless. There is construction everywhere in NYC: https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/buildings/h ... ction.html. And there are other pending projects waiting to be greenlit. In regards to NYC avoiding infrastructure and construction impacts, that ship has sailed, it's long gone, it's over the horizon. Your concerns, which would be prudent to address at the onset of a building boom with plenty of available land, are no longer relevant in NYC because there is no slowing it now.

https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/planning/do ... 0_2040.pdf

New York City is projected to grow from 8.2 million persons in 2010 to 9 million in 2040, an increase of 783,000 or 9.5
percent.4
In 2010-2020, the first decade of the projection, New York City’s population is projected to increase by 3.7
percent, but growth is expected to slow to 3.2 percent in the following decade, with the population reaching 8,821,000
in 2030. Between 2030 and 2040, the growth rate in New York City is projected to decrease once again to 2.3 percent
(Table 1).
In Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island, the highest level of growth is projected to be in the 2010-2020 period, with
growth slowing thereafter. In the Bronx and Brooklyn, however, the highest growth rates are projected to occur one
decade later, between 2020 and 2030. In the final decade, 2030-2040, growth is projected to slow in all five boroughs,
with growth rates at their lowest levels for the entire projection period.


By building more densely, you can contain construction to a smaller footprint. All your considerations in your latest posts and their associated problems are already occurring and will continue to occur. NYC needs more housing and some of it needs to be affordable. None of that is doable without increasing urban density because NYC has run out of land - they only places left are underutilized commercial and residential zones . Better to increase infrastructure now since its happening anyways. Future infrastructure costs can be saved by having more mixed zones (lg commercial ventures alongside housing) in newly built sites that can take advantage of the latest technologies that reduce the water/electrical/heating usage.

Riggerjack
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Re: Local politicians run off Amazon - Economics

Post by Riggerjack » Mon Feb 25, 2019 12:02 pm

There is construction everywhere in NYC: https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/buildings/h ... ction.html. And there are other pending projects waiting to be greenlit. In regards to NYC avoiding infrastructure and construction impacts, that ship has sailed, it's long gone, it's over the horizon. Your concerns, which would be prudent to address at the onset of a building boom with plenty of available land, are no longer relevant in NYC because there is no slowing it now.
Urbanization is happening at the rate of a greater NYC population (13 million) being added every week. By that I mean population increases in urban areas of the planet. Some from rural to urban immigration, some from genes replicating.

Urban growth happens everywhere that is in the least appealing. The opposite problem seems to be worse from a remaining population's perspective, from what I have read. So I am not making the case for stagnation, or even slowing growth.

Rather, I am trying to make a case for understanding the effects of a project like HQ2 on a place like Queens. I am not for or against the project. I am trying to describe better it's effects, so that anyone interested has a better perspective to evaluate whether a similar project in one's own city of choice will be done in a way that will benefit the population one is concerned about.
By building more densely, you can contain construction to a smaller footprint.
No. You can't. I tried to explain that with the sewer pipe example. One form of infrastructure being insufficient, often causes the destruction of others in the upgrading process. And upgrading in system quality often cannot be achieved by piecemeal.
All your considerations in your latest posts and their associated problems are already occurring and will continue to occur.
Yup. But this is much like me describing a hurricane, and you dismissing it, because we already experience rain and wind, and we have those bases covered. Wind and rain are wonderful, but ask people after Sandy how much they like them in concentration.
NYC needs more housing and some of it needs to be affordable.
YES! But I don't think it's possible in NYC. I will be happy to point out how every way that has been tried to create urban affordable housing will fail in NYC, just tell me how you would do it, and I can save you the time and expense.
Future infrastructure costs can be saved by having more mixed zones (lg commercial ventures alongside housing)
Absolutely.
in newly built sites that can take advantage of the latest technologies that reduce the water/electrical/heating usage.
Um... We don't seem to be communicating. This is simply assuming away the problems I have been trying to describe.

From your numbers, let's look at this project:
Planned population gain in all of NYC over 30 years: 783k
HQ2 would have added 25-50k employees to one, small place.
Those employees will have dependents, spouses, children, aging parents etc. So what is that number? Fewer children among the highly educated and compensated, so let's call it 0.75 spouses, and 1.25 children per employee, on average, just to make math easier, and give a best case scenario. That's 75-150k people this project will drop on site. Sure, some will commute, but not many, and not far, they are the rich people in the area, they will take the close housing.

By my math, that's 9.6-19.1% of the planned growth of all of NYC for 30 years, happening in one place, at one time. Does that seem like rain, or a hurricane?

And I tried to be generous with every variable. The real world would not be so gentle.

Riggerjack
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Re: Local politicians run off Amazon - Economics

Post by Riggerjack » Mon Feb 25, 2019 12:18 pm

Then we can look at all the growth spurred by HQ2. It's not like locals won't take advantage of the free flowing wealth those employees will be fountaining all over the area, the "economic multiple".

Each of the new businesses will add employees, lower paid on average than the Amazonians, to be sure, so they will commute from further away. How many is that? How will they get there? Where will they live? How will their waste be disposed of? How much of Queens will need to be bulldozed for this to happen? What happens to the people who used to be there?

Yes, HQ2 project will make a better tax farm, but is that the highest and best use of NYC for New Yorkers? I don't know. New Yorkers have always seemed a bit off to me, so I can't predict their preferences. But I can understand why a local could take an objective look and not like what one sees.

Campitor
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Re: Local politicians run off Amazon - Economics

Post by Campitor » Tue Feb 26, 2019 2:13 am

By my math, that's 9.6-19.1% of the planned growth of all of NYC for 30 years, happening in one place, at one time. Does that seem like rain, or a hurricane?
The Amazon deal was to reach 25k employees in 10 years. Per your estimates (.75 spouses and 1.25 children) that would mean that Amazon would add 75k people to Queens over 10 years. So they are adding 9.6% of the estimated future arrivals in 10 years or 7.5k people per year. Queens population was 2,358,582 in 2017. Population density is 21,638.37 mi^2. You would be adding 68.81 persons mi^2 each year for 10 years bringing total population density to 22,326.44 which is a 688.07 person increase per mi^2. This is assuming they all move to Queens. Meanwhile in nearby Brooklyn (total pop. 2,648,771), which is 70.82 mi^2, the density is 37,401.45. So Brooklyn can manage 290k more people with less land mass but somehow queens can't support a 75k population increase over 10 years?
No. You can't. I tried to explain that with the sewer pipe example. One form of infrastructure being insufficient, often causes the destruction of others in the upgrading process. And upgrading in system quality often cannot be achieved by piecemeal.
I was referring to site specific construction (building renovation, crane work, etc.) that disrupts traffic as much as public infrastructure improvements (sewer/water/electrical). New York has already budgeted 18.1 billion dollars on renovating existing water systems (https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/omb/downloa ... yp4-17.pdf):

This Ten-Year Capital Strategy allocates $51.3 billion to maintaining a state of good repair, one of the largest commitments that the City has ever made…$18.1 billion will be dedicated to our water supply, sewer, and wastewater systems, including $2.4 billion to maintain the safety and reliability of our water supply, with projects like the $600 million completion of the Brooklyn-Queens leg of City Water Tunnel #3. Other new initiatives include more than $3 billion to improve the City’s wastewater treatment plants, and over $2 billion for investments in improvements to the City’s upstate infrastructure, such as the Ashokan Reservoir reconstruction.

So the disruptions and inefficiencies you were talking about are scheduled to occur with or without Amazon. So adding Amazon to Queens should have been doable and no more of a nuisance than all the other infrastructure work that is going to occur. Amazon was a 10 year plan which would have dovetailed into NYC 10 year infrastructure upgrade plan. Waste, water, population growth, etc., was already budgeted and being sized for greater demand. But sadly this upgrade will occur without a sizable revenue stream, public philanthropy, and a state of the art cloud training facility to help New Yorkers learn skills in demand.

This 10 year infrastructure upgrade is already underway. Your points and concerns are valid in hindsight but NYC has no plans to stop its upgrading and population growth. So any discussion on what’s good/not good for the citizens of Queens is moot - NYC has its plans and they are proceeding full steam ahead. And since Queens has the largest footprint but the smaller population of the larger burroughs, it will be ground zero for growth.

So all your points are valid and would make sense anywhere else but in NYC - not because NYC can't benefit from this wisdom but because they have already passed the Rubicon. Or do you really think a democratic state, which is heavily unionized, will stop a 18.1 billion dollar project?


Campitor
Posts: 805
Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2015 11:49 am

Re: Local politicians run off Amazon - Economics

Post by Campitor » Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:51 am

@niemand

Thanks for posting that link that contains some of the comments made by NY's Budget Director Robert Mujica. Here is the link to his full open letter: https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/open-l ... ing-amazon

Here is a snippet of that open letter:

...in retrospect, the State and the City could have done more to communicate the facts of the project and more aggressively correct the distortions. We assumed the benefits to be evident: 25,000-40,000 jobs located in a part of Queens that has not seen any significant commercial development in decades and a giant step forward in the tech sector, further diversifying our economy away from Wall Street and Real Estate. The polls showing seventy percent of New Yorkers supported Amazon provided false comfort that the political process would act responsibly and on behalf of all of their constituents, not just the vocal minority. We underestimated the effect of the opposition's distortions and overestimated the intelligence and integrity of local elected officials.

"Incredibly, I have heard city and state elected officials who were opponents of the project claim that Amazon was getting $3 billion in government subsidies that could have been better spent on housing or transportation. This is either a blatant untruth or fundamental ignorance of basic math by a group of elected officials. The city and state 'gave' Amazon nothing. Amazon was to build their headquarters with union jobs and pay the city and state $27 billion in revenues. The city, through existing as-of-right tax credits, and the state through Excelsior Tax credits - a program approved by the same legislators railing against it - would provide up to $3 billion in tax relief, IF Amazon created the 25,000-40,000 jobs and thus generated $27 billion in revenue. You don't need to be the State's Budget Director to know that a nine to one return on your investment is a winner.

"The seventy percent of New Yorkers who supported Amazon and now vent their anger also bear responsibility and must learn that the silent majority should not be silent because they can lose to the vocal minority and self-interested politicians.

"It was wrong to manage this issue as if it were a single legislator's political prerogative on a local matter. This was not a traffic signal or local zoning issue. Losing the Amazon project was not just a blow to Queens County, it hurt the whole State from Long Island to the Capitol Region's nanotechnology corridor to the emerging Panasonic plant in Buffalo, and it was a bad reflection on every single local elected official. Legislators must realize there is a difference between playing politics and responsibly governing.

Riggerjack
Posts: 2621
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:09 am

Re: Local politicians run off Amazon - Economics

Post by Riggerjack » Wed Feb 27, 2019 2:16 pm

@campitor,

:lol: :lol: Now you are down to quoting liars (politicians and their... "Appointees") upset that other liars were more effective? Tell me, do you believe the CEO's highlighted numbers when you are looking at investments, or do you read the 10k? And a 10k has established accounting practices with prison sentences for fraud. What's the penalty for lying for a politician again? Reelection? :lol:

Everything the written on both political sides of this issue was written to persuade. The penalty for lying is winning. And since this fight is about who gets paid, who benefits, and who sacrifices, there is no room for objective statements. But lots of room to fudge the numbers at every step. When was the last NYC project that was so messed up it came in on time and under budget? Why would you trust the source of those numbers?

Come on, man. This isn't your first rodeo. You have seen how this game is played. You are an impressive and smart guy. I have been reading your posts for years.

I'm not asking you to project how this will work out based on the lens you typically use to view the world. I'm asking you to change your perspective, look closely, and apply what you know, to what you see; rather than what you assume you will see... I know it's a big ask.

As to room to grow in Queens, absolutely there is room to grow in Queens, if one considers becoming more like Manhattan growth.

Look at Queens in Google maps. What does it look like on the side close to Manhattan? What does it look like on the side far from Manhattan? How is the average of the 2 even relevant to this thread? If we extend the border of Queens to say, Iowa, does that resolve the issues of infrastructure on the edge of Queens that is still close to Manhattan? It would certainly change the averages, but would it solve anything?

HQ2 on the far side of Queens would have been an entirely different project, with nothing else changed. But that wouldn't fit Amazon's short term purposes.

The best possible solution for a HQ2 type of project is to drop it somewhere that some other mega project has failed, and slap their name on the city as it's patron and hero. That they are settling for the "Manhattan on a budget" approach is just sad to watch, and makes me wonder if Bezos is too busy thinking about space or tail.

This reeks of a committee decision.

Riggerjack
Posts: 2621
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:09 am

Re: Local politicians run off Amazon - Economics

Post by Riggerjack » Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:12 pm

Or to put it another way, I have been posting here for years. You have presumably been reading those posts.

Do you think I have suddenly lost my admiration for markets? Or forgot standard economic theory? If not, then why would I be convinced by those points?

And make no mistake, I am really hoping you can convince me. I am hoping you can see what I am missing. But your replies tell me you are not looking at what I'm looking at, from the place I am.

I believe HCOL cities are special markets, where different rules apply. Similar to higher education and health care. That's what I am trying to describe.

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