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As Inga pointed out, Philadelphia already has a relatively small software sector. Wages aren’t the problem — skilled building-trades workers are scarce everywhere — but good union medical and retirement benefits cost more.

It’s true that the most obstreperous of Philadelphia’s building-trades unions — the Carpenters and the Ironworkers — have had their leadership ousted in the past two years, leaving the more forward-looking John Dougherty of the Electricians and the Building and Construction Trades Council to negotiate terms that might make a massive building project that would keep members busy for years more attractive.

But that means big changes in the way the city does things, and the power structure.

And that’s not gonna happen until it’s made very clear how exactly that will benefit the people who still run things and the constituencies who keep them in power.

(Inga also noted Bloomberg reported Boston has the inside track, while the New York Times has triangulated Denver.) There are also, of course, less-prejudiced endorsements for Philadelphia as Amazon’s choice, including these, from city-lovers close to Adam’s and Inga’s sensibilities: • Stephen Smith, a Brooklyn-based, Georgetown-educated, self-described supporter of “liberal urbanism” who runs the @Market Urbanism and New York feeds, lists “Philly (University City)” alongside New York’s Hudson Yards and undefined sites in Boston, Toronto and Denver as “top guesses for Amazon HQ2.” • Jon Coppage, a “conservative urbanism” fan and UChicago alumnus who is a visiting senior fellow at R Street, a conservative think tank in Washington, made his social-media choice @RSI for “an early bet on Philly … Needs to fix its taxes, but otherwise.” • Lyman Stone, a U. Department of Agriculture economist writing on medium.com, makes a more persuasive Philly case that works around Amazon’s preference for growing metro areas. cities Stone listed where weak growth has kept office and even housing rentals relatively affordable.

Cohen may say publicly about supporting Philadelphia growth, Comcast bosses are somewhat in the position of the major employer in any factory town in America: A larger tech-based competitor would compete for talent and other resources.

Especially because Comcast, since about 2012, has seen the writing on the wall with regard to the decline of television and is betting hard on proprietary apps, tech patents, and start-up acquisitions — and the engineers it needs to make this work. Unions have invested in Philadelphia political support to maintain their hold on commercial construction projects.

City Council is notoriously hands-on and tends to drag out or sink sweeping initiatives that members perceive as a threat.

Planning, zoning, historic review, and councilmanic prerogative can stop or slow big projects.

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