Washington DC is one of the recipients of Amazon’s new HQ2s. With this decision comes mixed feelings for me and other locals.
I believe in growth. Growth will get us the to the cities of the future dreamed up in those cheap comic books I read as a child. Growth will lift people out of poverty. It keeps the local government coffers filled. This kind of growth helps reduce the dependence of the region on the Federal government, which I support. Hopefully, the size of the Federal government will remain relatively constant. It’s up to individuals in the private sector to bring ingenuity and prosperity. The region will gain more entrepreneurs who are looking to feed off the wealth. Smart people living close together is fertile ground for inspiration.
On the other hand, the region seems to be piling wealth on wealth. Some of these wealthy individuals will come from out of state and pump up rents and land value. Better schools for children from lesser means will be further out of reach. One company has the ability to tip the region in a new direction entirely, which feels like too much power for one organization that is not the government. And the reason they chose Washington, DC? It has the tech talent, the infrastructure (mostly), and supporting services. But only the naive wouldn’t admit it’s to be closer to regulators. To remind them of the power of the organization.
So I have mixed feelings about Amazon choosing to land in Washington, DC. I’m keeping my eyes and mind open though and am tentatively optimistic.