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亚马逊是怎么把第二总部这项工作搞砸的

Lucinda Shen 2019年06月19日

随着科技革命席卷全球,一些行业和城市的工作开始变得过时,而面对自己的独特挑战,当地人应该拥有决定权,而非政府。

当2017年亚马逊宣布计划修建第二总部时,美国的市长和州长各个争先恐后,试图给这家数十亿美元的科技巨头留下深刻印象。

堪萨斯城的市长在亚马逊买了1000件商品,阿拉巴马州的伯明翰市则在市内四处摆放巨大的亚马逊箱子。新泽西、纽约和弗吉尼亚等州均表示可以免税或拨款。它们都觉得这个投资50亿美元、预计可以创造5万个就业机会的项目对自己的选民来说是件好事。

但国际货币基金组织的前首席经济学家、目前在芝加哥大学布斯商学院担任金融学教授的拉古拉姆·拉詹认为,亚马逊在与民众沟通方面做的不够,因而未能将首选方案付诸实施。

亚马逊的注意力一直集中在跟政界高层人士对话上,对于有可能成为第二总部落脚地的纽约皇后区长岛市,却出现了和当地社区沟通不足的情况。

上周二,拉詹在纽约市召开的《财富》CEO Initiative大会上说:“市长和州长都(对亚马逊第二总部)迫不及待……长岛市和皇后区却说:‘不好意思,我们不感兴趣。’他们为什么说不?首先一点是亚马逊在宣布此事前从未和当地社区进行过详细沟通。对于社区,亚马逊应该这样说:‘你们担心这些事,我们会这么解决,我们还为你们社区做了这些规划。’”

2018年年底,亚马逊表示已经为第二总部预选了两个位置,即长岛市和弗吉尼亚州阿灵顿。但接下来,这家总部设在西雅图的电子商务企业一直没有怎么向公众披露相关进展。观察人士则不断表示,一家如此有影响力的大型科技公司的到来,或者说它对第二总部所在地的最终选择有可能推动当地的物价和房租上升。

拉詹指出,如果向当地居民保证他们不会因为房租和物价上涨而“背井离乡”,同时在发表声明前跟当地社区讲清楚潜在益处,亚马逊就会做的更成功。而“这些对话都没有出现。”

对拉詹来说,亚马逊和长岛市未能进行沟通是一种大趋势的表现之一,而这种大趋势已经威胁到了资本主义的现状,那就是权力过于集中。随着科技革命席卷全球,一些行业和城市的工作开始变得过时,而面对自己的独特挑战,当地人应该拥有决定权,而非联邦政府。

拉詹发现这种趋势的迹象比比皆是。他说:“英国脱欧到底是为什么?就是为了夺回控制权——让此前交给布鲁塞尔的权力回到伦敦。”(财富中文网)

译者:Charlie

审校:夏林

When Amazon announced plans to build HQ2 back in 2017, mayors and state governors clambered over each other in a bid to impress the multi-billion dollar tech giant.

Kansas City’s mayor bought 1,000 products from Amazon, while Birmingham scattered giant Amazon boxes throughout the city. States including New Jersey, New York, and Virginia meanwhile offered tax or cash incentives all under the assumption that the project, which is expected to add 50,000 jobs to the communities with $5 billion in investments, would be a boon to their constituents.

But communicating with those constituents is where Amazon fell short and failed to land its first choice, says Former IMF Chief Economist and current Professor of Finance at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Raghuram Rajan.

Amazon had focused on talking with higher level politicians, and not enough on addressing one of the communities that would eventually house HQ2: Long Island City in Queens New York.

“Every mayor and every governor was killing for (HQ2)…and yet Long Island City and Queens said ‘Sorry, we’re not interested,’” he said last Tuesday during The Fortune CEO Initiative conference in New York City. “Why did they say no? The first thing was that Amazon never talked to the community in detail before announcing it. They should have said: ‘Here are your worries, here’s how we deal with them, and here’s our plan for the community.”

In late 2018, Amazon revealed that it had chosen two locations for HQ2: Long Island City and Arlington, Va. But the Seattle-based e-commerce firm kept the process relatively mum to the public. That didn’t prevent onlookers from observing that the entry of such an affluent tech giant could drive up prices and rents in the city where it eventually decides to lay down a second set of roots.

Amazon would have achieved better success had it assured existing residents that they would not be displaced due to rising rents and prices, and opened up about potential benefits to the local community prior to the announcement, he said. “These are the conversations that didn’t happen,” Rajan said.

To Rajan, the failed negotiations between Amazon and Long Island City is part of a larger trend that threatens the current state of capitalism: An over centralization of power. As a tech revolution sweeps through the world, making jobs in some industries and cities obsolete, localities should be given the reins in deciding how to deal with their unique challenges—not the federal government.

And the former IMF Chief Economist sees signs of this trend everywhere.

“What is Brexit about? It’s about taking back control—from London it had migrated to Brussels,” he said.

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