US cities are selling their souls to be the company’s second HQ site. It’s part of the techno-capitalist takeover of cities, ultimately funded by ordinary citizens
Amazon, the online retail giant, is in the midst of running its own hunger games. The contestants are 238 cities and regions across North America. The prize is being chosen as the site for Amazon’s second headquarters (HQ2), which promises to employ upwards of 50,000 people. These cities are locked in a fierce battle to outbid each other and they’ll do anything, give anything, to be chosen.
In an era of brutal austerity, cities are hollowed out and hoping for a savior. Since the tech sector is flush with cash, by showing up and saying the magic words – growth, jobs, investment, innovation – city leaders bend to their will. Amazon’s HQ2 competition is the latest egregious example of a techno-capitalist regime that’s bewitching cities around the world.