Say what you want about Amazon.com, the company knows how to deliver goods quickly to customers — things they want with a lot of convenience. Paying is convenient as well; for some maybe too convenient.
The company founded on a shoestring by Jeff Bezos in 1994 to sell books now is the largest internet company in the world and the second largest private employer in the United States. It also has been accused of knowing too much about its customers, avoiding taxes and damaging the competition unfairly.
However, the company has been growing rapidly in Arizona and many other places. With one of its 18 technology hubs already in Phoenix, it announced this week that it will have an expanded tech hub near Tempe Town Lake and add 500 employees. It already is one of the state’s largest employers, has 17,500 full- and part-time workers here, and the number has doubled in the last year and a half.
Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic and violent protests this summer have affected some cities and states severely. People have fled New York City in droves, and the city faces some dire economic consequences. That is the same city where Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez threw a fit two years ago when Amazon wanted to build a headquarters in a working-class neighborhood and hire 40,000 people. The socialist rock star said Amazon would be getting too many tax breaks, and the company went elsewhere. Now Amazon is busier than ever during the pandemic and New York is hurting badly.
The company and its owner may be controversial in some ways, but the jobs coming to Arizona and other places are real. Commerce is changing rapidly, and that has been spurred seriously by the pandemic. Arizona is fortunate to be a beneficiary of many new jobs. The state has much to offer besides its warm winters, and its very hot summers don’t seem to be hurting it much.