In his editorial New Rule, HBO's Bill Maher calls on Amazon to build its new headquarters somewhere in America's overlooked heartland.
On Friday's edition of 'Real Time,' the host argued Amazon should take a look at cities and states that have been economically depressed.
"Amazon picked two places that didn't need them at all. Two places where prosperity already was. Bezos, you're worth $135 billion, take one for the team. Stop playing cities off against one another and help a dying one come back to life," Maher said.
BILL MAHER, HBO: If Bugsy Siegel could invent Las Vegas out of a desert stopover for GIs, Amazon can turn Nebraska into the next Silicon Valley.
As I'm sure you know by now, Amazon has scrapped its plan to build a giant headquarters in New York because the city balked at giving the richest company in the world a $3 billion tax bribe. So Amazon took their ball and went home.
But herein lies a chance for Amazon to show the world that a tech company can actually do good. We have a problem in America called spacial-geographic inequality, which means that the most affluent and educated people are clustered in just a few cities.
Last year Hillary Clinton said, "I won the places that represent two-thirds of America's gross domestic product... I won the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward."
Yes, you did. And maybe that has something to do with why Trump voters are obsessed with "owning the libs." Because the libs own everything else. The blue parts of America are having a big prosperity party while that big sea of red feels like their invitation got lost in the mail. And they still use the mail.
They turn on the TV and all the shows take place in a few hip cities, there's no "Real Housewives of Toledo" or "CSI: Lubbock." There are no red carpets in Wyoming and no one ever asks you, "Who are you wearing?" Because the answer is always "Target."
There are two Americas, and it seems like one is where all the cool jobs are, where people drive Teslas and eat artisanal ice cream. We have orchestras, theater districts, world-class shopping. We have chef Wolfgang Puck, they have Chef Boyardee. Our roofs have solar panels, theirs have last year's Christmas lights. We've got legal bud, they've got Budweiser. We have anal bleaching, they have Congressman Steve King. The flyover states have become the passed over states. That's why red state voters are so pissed off.
They don't hate us, they want to be us. They want to go to the party. It's like we're the British royal family and they're Meghan Markle's dad.
How do I know this? Because 238 cities and regions submitted proposals to Amazon for the company to locate in their area. All desperate for jobs that don't involve guarding prisoners or murdering chickens.
And Amazon picked two places that didn't need them at all. Two places where prosperity already was. Bezos, you're worth $130 billion, take one for the team. Stop playing cities off against one another and help a dying one come back to life.
I know this sounds like a pipe dream, and it is true I was smoking a pipe when I dreamed it. But if liberals are serious about winning elections they have to start recolonizing the parts of the country they've abandoned.
Mississippi is the poorest state in the country. Amazon could buy the whole state and rename it Amazippi.
If we keep leaving the red states behind, they're going to keep getting angrier and crazier. Because if you're not invited to the party, the next best thing is to throw a turd in the punchbowl. As opposed to what happens when Amazon moves to West Virginia. People get better jobs that don't give them black lung. The locals meet people of different races and backgrounds and sexual orientations, none of whom kill them. They find out gays don't ruin anyone's marriage, but they do improve the karaoke scene. A yoga studio opens up, then an art gallery, a gym that admits women, then one of those trendy bars where inside looks like the outside. Asians come and open a Chinese restaurant, and then Jews come because there's a Chinese restaurant.
Before you know it there's legal weed and decent healthcare and the schools are teaching science again.