Rural Ohio prime for Amazon


David Lindeman - Contributing Columnist



To: Jeff Bezos, Amazon Grand Poobah

Address: Not New York City

Topic: Well, if they don’t want you …

Dear Jeff:

It has been a couple weeks since you decided that New York City isn’t such a great place, after all, and called off your plans to build Amazon headquarters there. All of us here in Ohio were quite surprised that those people in New York were so upset about your plans.

Well, sure, you were getting $3 billion in tax breaks, but you’re also getting boatloads of tax breaks to build your other headquarters outside Washington, D.C., and no one there is complaining. I guess the people who live in D.C. are used to giving away other people’s money, so it’s no big deal to them.

This all happened just a year after the rest of the country, including my friends in Columbus, groveled at your feet in an attempt to attract you to town. The whole rejection thing can be discouraging, can’t it?

But wait! Don’t let it get you down. You still are a bigger deal than most small countries (and some large ones). It seems like you’ll be needing a new place to build a headquarters. You need to change your strategy.

Forget those big cities. Forget people telling you the headquarters need to be in some metropolitan area to attract enough young talent to fill orders. You’re Amazon! You could put your headquarters at the North Pole and people would show up to work for you.

Start thinking about Ohio again. Rural Ohio.

Everyone in rural Ohio is Republican, so they believe in hard work and independence. They also believe in giving away loads of tax breaks to companies. I know these things sound contradictory, but human beings are like that. The fact of the matter is, we’re all for limited government except when the government is helping us, then we’re all in.

Anyway, you could put your 25,000 jobs here and be a really big fish in a small pond. Heck, you’d be like a blue whale in a wading pool. You could build a Star Wars-type headquarters out in the fields by Casstown or Covington with solar power and drones buzzing all over and hardly anyone would complain.

Well, except for maybe a large part of the population that is pretty fanatical about disappearing farmland in Ohio. You might have to endure a few protests complete with cows blocking your entrance.

Then there’s the traffic. You can pretty much drive across Ohio in the time it takes you to get across New York and we’re really not all that interested in having a bunch more cars show up.

And about those drones – well, a lot of the good old boys here keep their shotguns loaded and you’re liable to lose quite a few of those drones in action. We’re pretty suspicious about things like that around here.

Hmmmm. I’m beginning to understand what happened in New York. They wanted your money, they just didn’t want you. Maybe you could send us a subsidiary headquarters. We could call it “Great Miami” instead of Amazon – one great river deserves another – and we could locate the headquarters in one of the malls or shopping centers you’re putting out of business. We can’t guarantee $3 billion in tax breaks but we could offer something. Free booth rental at the Strawberry Festival? Discount membership at the Y? You haven’t lived until you’ve been to the swine barn at the Miami County Fair.

Well, maybe this wasn’t such a good idea. I really think you’d like it here, but in the end, I’m afraid people around here might decide that while they like to place orders with you, they might not really want you to live next door. Sorry about that.

Columbus really is a nice city, though. You should check it out.

In the meantime, keep those Amazon Prime deals coming! And have a nice day.

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David Lindeman

Contributing Columnist

David Lindeman is a Troy resident and former editor at the Troy Daily News. He can be reached at lindy@woh.rr.com.

David Lindeman is a Troy resident and former editor at the Troy Daily News. He can be reached at lindy@woh.rr.com.