Could the 'smile' be on Chicago faces in future?
As in, if they don’t have the sense to realize how wonderful Chicago is, then who needs them anyway?!?
BUT I REALIZE there are a variety of perspectives, and the Seattle-based people who run Amazon.com likely are going to have a variety of communities offering up all the goodies they can envision to try to attract the facility.
Seriously, Chicago officials are eager to have the plant, because it would be a nationally-renowned business that would bring significant attraction to the city’s public image. In addition to the actual jobs that would be created by the need for such a facility to have employees based there.
Not that any of this means a thing to the person who, because they live in the middle of nowhere, finds it easiest to shop for goods through Amazon.com. They’ll buy their products regardless of where the plant they’re dealing with is located.
Now I don’t know what the chances are that Chicago will wind up getting the facility, even though so-called experts can rattle off a list of a half-dozen potential sites – and activist-types can come up with other locations they think are being overlooked.
INCLUDING THOSE PEOPLE who seriously say that Chicago ought to work with people in Gary, Ind., to make the latter a site for an Amazon.com facility. Gary certainly could use a jolt, since there are times when it seems like the only kind of business that Northwest Indiana city can attract are used-car lots.
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I’m also aware of that analysis the New York Times concocted that cited our political flaws and concluded that Denver, Colo., is the logical place for Amazon.com to locate.
I found it a little intriguing to learn that Gov. Bruce Rauner on Monday admitted he’s working with Missouri officials who’d like to see St. Louis become the actual site of the new facility.
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BECAUSE THERE ARE parts of Illinois that lie right across the Mississippi River from downtown St. Louis. The decrepit city of East St. Louis, Ill., is literally in the shadow of the Gateway Arch – that city’s great landmark and supposedly the entry-way to the western United States.
Meaning that if Amazon.com were to locate there, it would be possible for some Illinois residents to gain jobs. Even though I’m sure that Missouri officials would love to concoct some sort of deal that would treat the river as an impenetrable barrier to prevent any of the economic benefits from flowing eastward.
But I’m also sure if Rauner comes out too strong in favor of a Chicago site (or even hinting at cooperation with Hoosier officials to get a Gary site), those people of rural Illinois who always rant and rage about Chicago taking everything would complain. Maybe even turn on the governor at a time when he’s trying to build up a strong “urban vs. rural” dichotomy to get himself re-elected.
So Rauner has to offer up some way of bringing downstate Illinois into the debate. Even if it’s probably a long-shot, and it would be more likely that Chicago would get serious consideration – that is, unless Amazon.com ultimately decides there’s nothing about the Midwestern U.S. that appeals to them.
WHICH WOULD BE a mistake.
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And anybody who claims we’re too political in Chicago or Illinois ought to realize the ridiculousness of their argument if they’re also amongst those who are talking up the District of Columbia as a potential site.
Besides, just as there was a time in the 20th Century when people shopped mail-order through the Sears catalog, it enhanced the city’s image that Sears, Roebuck & Co. was located here. Maybe Amazon.com in Chicago is the perfect 21st Century continuation of that character.