The bright Amazon cloud in Johnston does have a dark shadow.
It would be difficult to argue against welcoming an Amazon distribution center in Johnston. That’s a lot of money that will flow into Rhode Island and one of its municipalities.
There’s even an important and encouraging observation to be made about the fact that it will be in Johnston, with its conservative-Democrat mayor, Joe Polisena. An electorate that would elect such chief executive — as opposed to a place like Providence, that may without notice elect a socialist — is a sign of stability and reasonableness to a massive company planning an investment of tens of millions of dollars over decades.
The concern is this: Amazon is going to immediately be a major player (read, “special interest”) in Rhode Island politics. The other special interests (unions, Democrats, environmentalists) will all make out alright, no doubt, but the average person and small businesses are going to find themselves being ushered a little more toward the back of the bus.