Margaret O’Mara has a word of advice to Amazon as it builds new HQs

Historians in the News
tags: Amazon, Margaret OMara

Margaret O’Mara, a professor of history at the University of Washington, is the author of a forthcoming book, “The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America.”

... Amazon has an opportunity to forge a new approach, one where big tech is neither savior nor antagonist. Jeff Bezos and his leadership team can apply the strategic thinking that has made Amazon such an extraordinary company to the task of building a tech hub that encourages growth and widens opportunity. 

This means breaking out of the bubble and redefining the corporate bottom line to include measures that reduce inequality, sustain existing small businesses and protect housing affordability, and, yes, even supporting cities in raising the tax revenue they need.

This isn’t an impossible dream. The secret of Silicon Valley wasn’t tax breaks and cheap real estate; it was a postwar era of generous public spending on research and education, as well as on affordable housing and public infrastructure. These investments were designed to help everyone, but they were critical to helping tech flourish.

No place or industry rules forever. Ask Detroit, once the most innovative place in America. The new capitals of tech should not take this prosperity for granted. ...

Read entire article at NYT

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