In hopes of inducing Amazon to build its proposed second headquarters in Chicago, the city has offered to pay it the taxes paid by Amazon's own employees. In effect, Amazon's workers would be paying taxes to their own bosses.
Chicago and the state authorities of Illinois have jointly offered to hand Amazon more than $2bn in tax breaks, including $1.32bn of its workers' income taxes. The scheme, known as a personal income-tax diversion, would mean Amazon workers pay full income taxes, but instead of the state getting the money to use for schools, roads and other public services, Amazon would keep it.
New Jersey's offer is less morally obscene, but even more desperate: they'll pay Amazon $10,000 for every job it creates in the state. Meanwhile, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is now apparently the world's richest person, with a fortune surpassing $100bn.