Oct. 2017
Dear Cities: Resist Amazon's HQ2
By John Fullerton
 
There is something untoward about the feeding frenzy we are witnessing as cities across the country vie to be the site of Amazon's second headquarters ("HQ2"). Amazon, after all, is the poster child for driving, first, independent booksellers and then retailers out of business, hollowing out communities across America. It is considered a meat grinder for white-collar workers who churn through the place at a rapid clip in search of their piece of the gold, and equally well-known for treating its warehouse workers like draft animals. It is also a notorious if not clever tax avoider. Just the kind of company you want to build your economic development strategy around, right?  
 
Yet cities are drooling over the opportunity to bribe the company with tax giveaways and other subsidies in a sickening and dumb race to the bottom in which citizens are the losers, and powerful companies (and their executives) only grow more powerful.
 
Reports suggest that Amazon will invest $5 billion and create 50,000 jobs over a ten-year period (with little common sense scrutiny), mostly in support areas like finance and accounting. We should be glad Amazon is searching in the US, and not in India, I suppose, since no doubt cost is a driving factor for the (barely) profitable Amazon. If we take founder and CEO Jeff Bezos at his word on Amazon's "plans" (I view them as chum in the water to create a feeding frenzy), this would provide one of the largest single job creation and real estate development stimulus impacts since Disney moved into the Orlando area in the late 1960s. If the plans materialize (big if, see below), they will transform whatever city is chosen, for better (perhaps) and for worse.
 
Of course, mayors and real estate developers are huddled in their "war rooms" to rashly cobble together their proposals under an absurd (and thus telling) time limit. Mayors rightly care about jobs, and real estate developers know all too well the formula for this once in a lifetime bonanza. These are the times when it can be very lonely trying to articulate a more regenerative approach to economic development. One might say "tilting at windmills," but here goes...
  

The Latest from the Field Guide 
 
 
Epleslang: Stealing Apples to Meet Unmet Needs

A self-sustaining social enterprise that turns the untapped potential of underutilized human resources and wasted local assets into productive work and a product of community value.





Genessee Co-op Federal Credit Union

Founded in 1981 Genesee Co-Op Federal Credit Union has evolved to serve a broad constituency, as it lends with increasing intentionality and inventiveness to support its regional economy.


New Board Member

 
The Capital Institute team is honored to welcome Vincent Stanley to our board of directors!
 
A steadfast proponent of our work and the spread of regenerative economies, Stanley--author, poet, and Patagonia's Director of Philosophy--brings leadership in business and sustainability that is invaluable in the effort to transform our economy.   
 
Pre-Order Conscious Investing

 
Edited by Christin ter Braak-Forstinger, Conscious Investing is a collection of views on investing as a tool for good and the necessary shift toward regenerative investing and regenerative economies.  
 
Featuring John's experience investing for impact and his thoughts on the role of capital in addressing our interconnected global crises, the book introduces readers to a systems-level approach to capital-driven social and environmental change.
 
You'll also find a chapter and artwork from Field Guide partner Kate Poole!   
 
Learn More   
 
What We're Reading

 
 
"Regenerative practitioners do not think about what they are designing as an end product. They think about it as the beginning of a process." 
 
This quote and more from our good friends at Regenesis Group encompass an invitation to look beyond sustainability by incorporating regenerative principles into current work.  
 
Quote of the Month
"It may be that when we no longer know which way to go that we have come to our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings."
 
 
- Wendell Berry  
S tay Connected

Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter   View our profile on LinkedIn   View our videos on YouTube    
About Us   |   Our Projects   |   Our Blog   |   Join Our Mailing List