Watching someone grovel is a particularly sickening experience and watching a whole country lick the boots of a big corporation makes me long for a nice, bracing, below-zero day in Malone, with a 20-mph wind blowing in from the west, swirling against the walls of the three state prisons that are located there.

I lived in Malone for three years, and I can say with confidence the town won’t bother to bid for Amazon’s new headquarters.

But other places are bothering to a degree that is positively revolting. Amazon has cities across the country prostrating themselves in the most submissive positions they can assume -- think of a dog tipping over onto its back to expose its belly – to tempt the corporate behemoth to bring its jobs and cachet to their communities.

It’s unseemly.

Cities are coming up with attention-grabbing stunts — placing huge Amazon boxes in public plazas (Birmingham), sending Jeff Bezos a big cactus (Tucson) — and are offering enormous tax breaks, which, as always, undermine the financial justifications for debasing themselves in the first place.

I’m glad the Albany-Glens Falls region hasn’t joined in, at least not yet. Perhaps we got a bellyful of boot-licking with the more-than a billion dollars of breaks we gave GlobalFoundries.

Amazon is being clever, because by putting out the word that it intends to locate a new headquarters somewhere, the company gets desperate cities everywhere to do all the site work. Usually, a company has to spend its own money finding a good site for an expansion, but Amazon (and other big corporations) are reversing the process.

I have to wonder, after all the money is spent to attract the company and hundreds of millions are promised in tax breaks, at what point does the new Amazon HQ become a white elephant, with the expense of having it in your city outweighing the benefits?

Will Doolittle is projects editor at The Post-Star. He may be reached at will@poststar.com and followed on his blog, I think not, and on Twitter at

@trafficstatic.

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