Noam Chomsky, a celebrated American linguist, social thinker, and political activist once said in an interview with DemocracyNow.com, “Changes and progress very rarely are gifts from above. They come out of struggles from below” (“Noam Chomsky”). This phenomenon, as it applies to both community progress and regress, can be seen in the endless fight for social advancement as activists push for a world of social justice and fairness: fairness in our institutions, in our corporations, in our infrastructure. As corporations like Walmart, General Electric, Amazon, and Microsoft grow in capital, they simultaneously grow in their power, often resulting in increased control in government and causes externalities which affect the working class and people in their communities. Amazon, which quickly and powerfully grew and gained control, not just in the community surrounding it’s headquarters in Seattle, Washington, but across the United States and the wWorld. Amazon has affected commerce both nationally and internationally in an unprecedented tactic of growth which government regulation is struggling to keep up with. Detroit, Michigan, which has seen the full effects of this capitalist growth and fall, is now a contender to fall subject to Amazon’s vicious, dominating tactics, as they recently announced their Request for Proposals (RFP) for a second corporate headquarters: Amazon HQ2. This begs the questions as to how political economics in the context of corporations like Amazon changes, grow,s and affects cities and how they interact with the principles of social and economic justice as new social organisms move in and change. Further, questioning how capitalism leads to their rapid growth and downfall and how does the government enables or regulates these inequalities to take place *need to rework thesis*. As defined by Understanding Capitalism, pPolitical Eeconomy is the theory that analyzes capitalism on three dimensions: of competition, command, and change. Capitalism and democracy, as they exist in the United States of America, are two separate systems of control and governance that work efficiently together. Capitalism, and the ways in which it is understood, hasve evolved since it was first theorized by famous economists and philosophers– most noteworthy of which is Adam Smith’s introduction to laissez-faire in The Wealth of Nations. This new theory suggested that the existing embedded economy, in which the economy “was so fully integrated into the whole society that it did not have a separate or specialized existence” (Bowels, et al., 73). Thus, Smith proposed that it was necessary to disembed the economy from society, and analyze it as a separate, yet incredibly complex, function of the world systems. And, although, Smith and the capitalist thinkers that came after him, like Karl Marx, Joseph Schumpeter, and Amartya Sen (to name a few), proposed further points that lead to the foundation of Political Economy, their theories present many problems that have yet to be answered especially when it comes to understanding the government’s role in the “independent” economic system (Bowels, et al., 74).Now a rust-belt city built on the foundations of a capitalist system, thatwhich socially failed it leaving it searching for new economic engines, parts of Detroit are haunted by the remanence of what once-was. Although the land had been inhabited by the native Anishinabek peoples for hundreds of years before, Detroit is widely considered to have been founded in 1701 by Antoine Laumet de la Mothe Cadillac and his French soldiers. French fur traders making their way through the St. Lawrence River and into the Great Lakes stopped at “le détroit” (the straits) to buy and sell supplies. The city later served as a port for the (mid-)western United States. Wood, iron ore, and other production and war supplies made their way through Detroit on the way to and from Chicago, New York, and eventually across the ocean to Europe (“Timeline of Detroit”). Over the 300 years that followed Detroit’s founding, her population grew as immigrant groups moved into the area forming new communities and a thriving , diverse city evolved. Powered by the boom of Henry Ford’s assembly line, the $5 work day, and the automobile, the City of Detroit grew fast, growing exponentially in population as people from all over the country and the world flocked to the city to be unskilled, but high paid labor. Infrastructure from the M-1 Woodward Highway, the first paved road in America, to the innovative multi-storied Packard plant pop up providing all over the city, provided homes, work, schools, and entertainment for the families of the nearly 300,000 manufacturing workers of manufacturing jobs by 1950. But However, as the movement of jobs lead to white flight, racial tensions increased in the city eventually leading to the 1967 Rebellion, on Twelfth and Clairmount, which is often pinpointed as the turning point towards the city’s downfall– although in reality it started much earlier. While considered the Arsenal of Democracy, Detroit, like most American cities, has had a rocky history with social justice and civil rights. Often given undeserved credit for progressive actions, social and institutionalized segregation often inhibited equality for groups including (but not limited to) Native Americans, Jews, and Blacks. The institutional inequalities that existed in Detroit during its founding (settler colonialism and segregation, for example,) still exist in modern forms today. The remanence of redlining and socio-economic immobility have kept the city segregated.The rise and fall has created Detroit in two different worlds: an “old” Detroit, which exists in memories of Model- T cars, assembly lines, coexistence, and economic prosperity, and today’s Detroit which conjures images of a city of ruins, crime, and poverty. During its Motor City Boom, Detroit was the epitome of capitalist success. Competition, cCommand and cChange worked in tandem to create a rapidly growing yet sustainable economy. Today, for the first time since the 1960s, Detroit’s economy is growing again. Big businesses are moving into buildings that have stood vacant for 50 years. The employment ratio has increased from 25 jobs per 100 residents to 30 jobs per 100 residents since 2010. For comparison, the state of Michigan’s employment ratio is 50 to 100 (“Michigan Economy”). This is an important step in the regrowth and redevelopment of the city. NonethelessBut, these new jobs are not going to Detroiters, but suburbanites in surrounding communities, who only inhabit the city between 9am and 5pm. Detroit’s problems are intersectional. Her failing public schools, for example, are a result of emergency management and lack of government coordination, but they leave as little at 33% of Detroiters with a high school Diploma or a GED certification (Kaffer). (*Find DFC report*). Lack of adequate education or technical training is one of many reasons why employment has risen more for the city as jobs have moved into downtown. To help solve this problem, the development deal between the City of Detroit and the contractors for the new Little Caesars Arena, just north of downtown, required that the construction team was comprised of majority Detroiters (51%). And as such, contractors paid nearly $3 million to training construction workers in the city to complete the project. But, per a Detroit Free Press report, “the average percent of total hours worked by Detroit residents at the arena was 27 percent” (“Hiring enough Detroiters”). The urban renewal and gentrification projects in the “7.2” – the focus of redevelopment that is comprised of the 7.2 square miles that surround downtown (Downtown, Greektown, Midtown, and Corktown) – get a lot of press, highlighting Detroit’s so-called comeback. But coming back to-what and for whom? The “other” Detroit, full of institutional inequalities has always and continues to exist. The other 95% of the city, not included in the downtown development efforts have had increased poverty and unemployment. They are targets for water shut offs, unresponsive law enforcements, and tax foreclosures (Jackman). *awkward transition*Just over a quarter of a century after the 1967 rebellion, half way across the country in Seattle, Washington Jeff Bezos, founded Amazon, an online product fulfilment service Partnering with individual businesses to maximize options Bezos founded one of the most successful and revolutionary companies in history (Hartmans, “The fabulous life”). In 1995, after spending many years working at D.E. Shaw firm, a computer use company on Wall Street, Bezos settled in Seattle (Hartmans, “15 fascinating facts”). It took many years to make his first Amazon profits, but the company quickly became the world’s largest bookstore, before revolutionizing the industry with the Kindle in 2007. In 1995, sales were only $510,000, rising to over $136 Billion in 2016 (Gonzalez). Bezos has since purchased the Washington Post, Whole Foods, and Audible, among other technology and communications companies. Amazon’s domination of all worldly markets is an indication of Bezos successful foreseeing and navigation of the internet’s success of the internet. Their use of social media to fuel international expansion has allowed them to achieve unprecedented amounts of power. Logistically, they have nearly have a market where it is so incredibly efficient to use use their services, that individuals and businesses lack incentive to continue to shop local. Per a study by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR), “Amazon captures nearly one in every two dollars that American’s spend online” (LaVecchia). In a Vice article written by the co-director of ILSR titled “Amazon is Trying to Control the Underlying Infrastructure of Our Economy”, author Stacy Mitchell outlines the misunderstood position of Amazon in the economy (Mitchell). Amazon has established power by changing the ways customers live their lives. *Include information about Amazon and Kindles, Alexa, Dash Buttons, instant downloading, producing shows, loans, delivers restaurant orders, controlling commerce and media*. A 2016 Bloomberg Technology report explained how Amazon has changed the way consumers search for products. Rather than starting with a search engine to find a product online, customers turn straight to Amazon (Spencer). It’s Web Services division, which (among many other services) stores information for companies in the cloud, controls nearly 44% of the cloud competing for businesses and holds data for large companies like Netflix and Wal-mart (Green & Stevens). And soon, Amazon will provide everything in door to door service delivered by it’s own system: drones. As a further example of Amazon’s power, in order to get Nike to sell its full line of products through Amazon’s website, in competition with Zappos.com, amazon turned in a list of counterfeit production companies to the police as a bargaining tool (Statt). Further, Amazon has patented technology that would prevent consumers from comparison shopping between other retailers for cheaper prices, allowing page blocking or re-direction back to Amazon’s own page or Amazon owed sub-companies. With these tactics, Amazon has framed itself as a keystone in the economic online infrastructure. Amazon has framed itself as a monopoly over nearly every other web and in-person retailer. Amazon has market power allowing it undue control over allocation of resources (Fung).In efforts to continue to expand, Amazon announced that it will open a secondHeadquarters, Amazon HQ2. In late Summer 2017, Amazon released the RFP, prompting a bidding war, as municipalities scrambled to assemble packages– offering tax deductions, free land, and other resources. Strategically, Amazon framed a month of free publicity as seemingly every local and national media source speculated what city had the most to offer, framing the Amazon HQ2 as a coveted prize, only to enhance the commerce of a city. In the RFP, Amazon HQ2 announced that they plan to, “hire up as many as fifty-thousand (50,000) new full-time employees with an average annual total compensation exceeding one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000)… and expect to have over $5 billion in capital expenditures.” (*Cite RFP*) But, Amazon is not only looking for places to build office buildings and new warehouses, they are looking for a city canvas where they can build restaurants, coffee shops, and hip-new developments for the 21st century workplace environment they hope to create– both in and out of the physical workplace. The City of Detroit, Detroiters, Dan Gilbert (founder of Quicken Loans), and those from the surrounding areas were eager to pose Detroit as a candidate, and encouraged by the opportunity to have another Quicken Loans-style economic boost. Hopes of boosting the local economy with the trickle-down effect, and providing jobs to the educated people who lived in the Detroit suburbs, not the uneducated people who are immobile and have been living in the city since its previous economic boom. The proposal process was very secretive, and local newspapers published quick articles announcing everything they could find on the issue for eager community listeners. The final proposal was developed by Dan Gilbert in conjunction with city Mayor Mike Duggan, Governor Rick Snyder, and other civic leaders from both Detroit and Windsor.And as such, many Detroiters and metro-Detroiters see Amazon as the proverbial silver bullet that may come to save their city. But many of those who have been in the city for longer, or who live in the other 100+ square miles of the city do not necessarily feel as optimistic. *elaborate more here*Quicken Loans in DetroitAmazon in seattleDetroit has a lot to offer for Amazon’s HQ2. Detroit Metropolitan airport is one of the nation’s largest, and centrally located airline hubs. Michigan is home to great educational institutions such as the University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Wayne State University, training young people who are likely to stay in the area if such jobs arise. Detroit, in many respects, is a canvas with low population, vacant land, and updatable infrastructure which could be an asset to a company like Amazon who is looked to take-over a city like it did with Seattle. *Include stats about % of vacant land, city built for X million, etc.* But, this can also be seen as a drawback. Detroit and the region lack coordinated transit networks, making it difficult for existing Detroit residents to navigate the city without cars. *include examples of how it was developed: TOD, uncoordinated developments* Further, out of date infrastructure like the combined sewage overflow system hinders opportunities for population growth without vast amounts of redevelopment (Gallagher, “Detroit’s Amazon). Just like Quicken Loans controversial entrance into Detroit, success for Amazon and the City of Detroit will not be achieved without problems. When analyzing Seattle’s difficulties with gentrification, and overabundance of Amazon employees does Detroit want these problems? Street congestion, rapid and un sustainable redevelopment, housing prices rising, and gentrification. Critics also call that Seattle has also not receive proportionate support and consideration from Amazon for the problems it has created for the city (Gallagher, “Amazon HQ).