Dec 18, 2017

Irony In Pennsylvania

The Overseas Chinook was built in the Philadelphia shipyard by the Aker Company in 2010. The oil tanker shuttles between the Sabine Pass Refinery in Louisiana, and Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale.   Credit former mayor/governor Rendall for advocating to continue shipbuilding at the former Navy facility.  It was a joint effort between the federal government (Jones Act), Philadelphia and Pennsylvania.  The shipyard provides high quality jobs, building real things which continue to serve our economy.  Pennsylvania is now trying to induce Amazon to locate their proposed east coast headquarters in Philadelphia.  Coincidentally,  the Amazon campus would be on the business park section of the navy yard.

Amazon has issued requests for proposals to American cities, claiming that the new headquarters might eventually employ up to 50,000 people.  Amazon sells things mostly made in China to American consumers over the web.  In the process they are essentially putting the brick and mortar retail sector out of business. The incentives offered to Amazon from Philadelphia alone are valued at over a $billion dollars.  While Philadelphia would benefit from Amazon,  I find it ironic that this virtual monopoly can demand subsidies, while decimating our shopping malls.

photo:  Overseas Chinook entering the cut to Port Everglades/molovinsky


Aaron White said...

I don't think it makes sense to blame Amazon (or Home Depot or Wal-Mart) for the closure of mom and pop bricks and mortar businesses. The economy of scale and logistical efficiency of Amazon is an inevitable evolution in the world of business. If they hadn't done it, someone else would have instead. There is no stopping it.

The important thing is to adapt to the situation and make the best of it. The bricks and mortar businesses that were made obsolete by Amazon, et. al. are gone. There is no bringing them back. The best you can do is entice Amazon to operate in Pennsylvania.

doug_b said...

What has enabled Amazon is the internet - otherwise it would another catalog company like Sears (used to be). They have a good presentation: Search Engine / pictures / questions answered / and reviews. Perhaps the most useful are the reviews. What store has 50 different microwave ovens or toasters? And can any of the clerks tell you about them? NO. Amazon provides all this, plus an easy way to check out.

So many things are easy to buy over the internet. LL Bean for instance - need shirts / jeans / coats - don't have to get to a store and find they don't have your size, or color. Except for trendy-high end malls - I predict many malls will go away.

Philadelphia is a troubled city - gangs / violence / crime - I don't think Amazon would consider building there.