Economic development is integral for cities, counties, states, regions, and countries. To put it in simplest terms, more economic development means better wages, less unemployment, better quality of life, better for markets to grow.  But, according to Levy author of Contemporary Urban planning, economic development decreases unemployment far less than people theoretically perceive.  Spurring economic development in a city will indeed lower unemployment for local populations but, also the immigration of people looking to get these new jobs also increases.  The immigration of people to a new area may be a detriment to locals seeking to apply themselves to a new business in town.  Also getting these often large companies and corporations to stay in a city may be a daunting task as well.

Here we examine historical economic development efforts and how they play out in reality.  Boeing the aircraft manufacturer based out of Seattle, Washington came into trouble with its workers union back in February 2014, the Boeing company employs nearly 60,000 workers in Seattle.  Boeing wanted to switch to a 401K retirement plan from their traditional pension plan.  The dispute was so acrimonious that the company threatened to pack up and relocate to a “right to work state.” The results of the tension between workers and Boeing was a 8.7 billion dollar tax break to Boeing from now until 2040 contingent on the fact that they keep manufacturing of certain aircraft in Seattle.   The tax breaks given helped to secure the jobs of 60,000 employees, a noble move by the state looking out for its workers.

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If we examine the city of Newark and its current bid to attract Amazon to come to the garden state, can we expect similar types of deals to be made?  I believe so, The positives out weight the negatives for these situations. A city like Seattle can’t afford for 60,000 jobs to over night disappear.   The immediate and long term impacts of such a move has the capacity to disrupt local economies and send them into a downward spiral of unemployment and depression.  In the case of Newark, if amazon was to start construction of its facility I would imagine a huge revitalization of the surrounding area of development.  A better downtown, improved education, and better infrastructure.  It would be evident that unemployment would decrease in the area but how much?  Newark being location in the greater New York metropolitan area we would for sure see an increased migration of people seeking to be hired from internet Giant Amazon.   Ultimately it would depend if Amazon chooses Newark to base a headquarters but regardless if it does or not these issues will exist wherever they decide to set up camp.

 

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