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WIIFM Re: Amazon

February 12, 2019

The consternation regarding Amazon’s deal to build its headquarters in Long Island City seems misguided to me. It appears the local politicians are upset about the almost $3 billion giveaway other politicians made to bring Amazon into New York. I think it isn’t being looked at properly.

Let’s agree that $3 billion in benefits is a lot and lets also agree that Amazon with a market cap of about $800 billion and Jeff Bezos with a personal net worth making him certainly one of the richest people in the country don’t really need those benefits. However, let’s also agree that over 25,000 new jobs will be created by Amazon (and many more in peripheral and support employment) bringing billions of business and taxes into New York City and New York State for at least the next generation and probably much longer. So the question is, why are the local politicians so upset?

My contention is that they are upset because of the large benefit being granted to Amazon. Another contention of mine is that they are not looking at it properly. They need to ask themselves WIIFM – “What’s in it for me?” Instead of looking at what Amazon is getting and making themselves crazy about that, they need to concentrate on what they are getting.

I personally think Amazon is nuts moving into the third highest taxed state (NY is only behind California and New Jersey and also not considering the added New York City taxes on its residents and the high sales tax in Long Island City) when they could have chosen a much lower taxed area. What were the Amazon geniuses thinking?

Business and human feelings are too often based on what the other guy is getting rather than what you get – rather than WIIFM. It would seem the benefits to New Yorkers are far disproportionate to the benefits they are conferring on Amazon. The local politicians should really look at what it means to New York rather than what Amazon is getting

I am not privy to any of this deal; I own no Amazon stock; I do not live in New York; and do not know any of the people involved; so have no interest in whatever finally occurs, and actually I do not care. I just find it quixotic that the focus is on what Amazon is getting rather than what New Yorkers are getting.

The next time you are in a negotiation or making a deal, spend some extra time on WIIFM rather than what the other side is getting.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Carl Casazza permalink
    February 12, 2019 9:09 am

    Nice article. Great reminder on how important it is to keep things in perspective.
    Thank you.

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