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Too big too fast, too much too soon

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Big news in Toronto these days.

Google has got a lot of laudatory column inches re: their “Sidewalk Labs” development on the waterfront. Yup, the natives (and I mean native Torontonians, not native Natives) have been fumbling that file for as long as I can remember, so thank God some foreigners are finally coming in to put things right.

Because we need the Alphabet crowd to show us how real estate development can be done…

But that’s nothing compared to the fuss being made over the Amazon HQ2 lottery. The Bezos empire is looking to put down roots somewhere for a second HQ, because one is not enough. From what I’ve been reading, at least 150 cities in North America are vying to be chosen as the home base for their second headquarters.

This is allegedly going to provide 50,000 high-end (60k/yr and up) tech jobs for a lot of really smart and hyper-educated millennials.

What does it mean, “vying to be chosen?”

A cynic might say it’s gonna come down to who can a) bend over best, and b) provide the most lubricant. Because whoever manages that will end up with the prize.

That said, Toronto has some advantages. First of all, it’s in another country, a country that conveniently has a substantially lower corporate tax rate than the US.

Secondly, it’s a lot easier to get your hyper-educated India and China millennials into Canada than into the US. The reactionary regime in DC today can turn off the gushing tap of H1-Bs on a whim. In Canada, we “celebrate diversity.” And even though a sixty thousand a year income won’t get you on the lowest rung of Toronto’s over-priced real estate market, that still looks like decent money to folks from India and China.

So I figure we’re gonna bend over for the “disrupters,” because tomorrow belongs to them.

And that’s the problem.

Google and Amazon between them have hundreds of billions stashed in off-shore tax-havens. Why? Because they’re run by new-age entrepreneurs who have been lauded for their “disruptions” all their lives and don’t understand why they should pay taxes like corporations used to in the bad old days.

And “disruption” is good, isn’t it?

Of course it is!

Look at Uber!

Instead of calling a cab, which is inevitably piloted by a first generation immigrant trying to make a go of it by playing by the rules, you can just call Uber and a college kid in a new Toyota Corolla will be there in a jiffy and will save you money to boot!

What’s not to like about that?

Well, first of all, what’s not to like is that Uber has pretty much bulldozed its way over taxi regulations in every city it operates in. With very few exceptions, cities around the world have rolled over for them, knowing that their meagre financial resources are no match to the billions available to Uber for protracted legal conflicts. In most places Uber operates, the rule of law gave up without even putting up a fight.

That’s why we’d be wise to be skeptical of the Google/Amazon invasion of Toronto. Between them they’ve got hundreds of billions sloshing around in off-shore tax havens. Official Plans and zoning regulations mean bugger-all when your pockets are that deep, and the initial reaction of the political classes seems to be, “well, they’re gonna have their way anyway, so we might as well save millions in legal fees and bend over now.”

Welcome Google!

Welcome Amazon!



Source: http://theviewfromfallingdowns.blogspot.com/2017/10/too-big-too-fast-too-much-too-soon.html
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    • b4

      no–the courts ruled–the trucking industry used to be very commerce regulated–who could and could not haul–it was a protection racket just like the mafia–the courts,congress opened it up to every body as long as you obeyed the safety laws,rules–same as uber and taxis..good bye taxis

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