December 12, 2018

AFF Community

Weekly Writers Round-Up: Amazon’s HQ2 Cronyism, Smartphone Spying, and Tinder Political Campaigns

By: Josh Evans

Each week, we’ll be featuring the work of the alumni and current participants of AFF’s Writing Fellows Program. A few highlights from the past week are below. For more information on how the program can help launch your career in writing, see here. Applications for the spring are now open until December 18!

Amazon’s HQ2 a Reminder Corporate Welfare Is Alive and Well by Andrew Wilford (Spring 2017) in The Daily Caller
Amazon’s decision to place a new dual-headquarters — HQ2 — in New York City and Washington, D.C., was predictable. Maybe the decision to split the new headquarters was a twist, but one that Amazon executives likely had in the works from nearly the beginning. That the “lucky winners” would have promised to fork over the big bucks to Amazon for the privilege of its presence is likewise no surprise. But most of all, Amazon’s HQ2 decision served as yet another reminder that if comprehensive change is to come to the status quo of wasteful tax incentives, it may need to be a national effort…

Santa Doesn’t Know When You’re Sleeping. Your Phone Does by Erin Dunne (Fall 2018) in The Washington Examiner
Singing “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” parents tell their children, “He sees you when you’re sleeping/he knows when you’re awake/he knows if you’ve been bad or good/so be good for goodness’ sake!”

Although that line was likely intended to push kids to watch their actions (and words) even when their parents were out of the room, in the modern world it’s smartphone-toting parents whose every move is monitored, and it’s not Santa who’s watching…

Republicans Need Voters to Swipe Right by Michael Shindler (Spring 2016) in The American Conservative
In the lead-up to the midterm elections, Democratic House candidates and their supporters took an unorthodox route to voters’ hearts: the dating app Tinder. In one extreme example, Suraj Patel, a candidate who ran in a New York Democratic primary race, invested $5,000 in Tinder-focused campaigning, which he colorfully termed “tinder-banking.” On Twitter, folks disparaged the tactic as “disgusting” and “deceitful,” arguing that it represented an inappropriate intrusion of politics into the romantic domain. And since Republican candidates have all conspicuously avoided the strategy, they seemed to agree…

Is There a Link Between Tech Addiction Among Teens and Public Policy? by Chloe Anagnos (Summer 2017) in American Institute for Economic Research
Technology has made everybody’s lives better, creating opportunities for entrepreneurs in medicine, manufacturing, and any other field you can imagine. But technology also has taken entertainment to a whole new level, making it more accessible to all, young and old. Over time, we have learned about countless young kids who made technology the most important part of their lives — but not in a very healthy way…