The Best Statement I Read Today

“When it comes to professional sports, we become socialists. With everybody else, we’re capitalists.”

That’s New York Assemblyman Richard Brodsky commenting on public subsidies to the new Yankee Stadium.

He continues.

“Critics on both the left and right have decried these taxpayer subsidies as socialism, wasteful, corrupt, anti-free enterprise, and unfair to the average citizen,” Brodsky’s report stated. “Yet the phrases `economic development,’ `job creation,’ `growth,’ etc. retain enormous political clout. A real analysis of these subsidies has yet to be done.”

How is it that these phony economic impact studies get so much play in the media? A quick search of “economic impact stadiums” via Google News finds mostly reporting of stadium proponent propaganda. In terms of Gwinnnett, I don’t think I’ve seen a single critical comment of the County’s economic impact projection since several officials touted it after approving $19 million from the reserve fund.

Thanks to Zach and Cyril for the pointer.

Addendum: Here is the dumbest statement I read today.

“I don’t really favor giving away taxpayer assets for nothing,” Commissioner Mike Beaudreau said.

Yet, he voted for the Gwinnett Braves stadium and its cost increase.

4 Responses “The Best Statement I Read Today”

  1. Ken Houghton says:

    Yes, but they were selling ambulances, which are not needed in Gwinnett, since no one actually lives there.  (How else are we to pretend to justify that $19MM unless everyone who goes to the stadium is traveling from afar?)

  2. Matt C. says:

    Yesterday on E:60 there was a special about how Yankees Stadium took away parks and recreation space for a Bronx neighborhood.  Aparently the okay from the state came in the form of a bill presented just before the close of the assembly.  The neighborhood’s own representative at the state house voted for the bill, because she didn’t know what it was really about.  There was debate, no committee meetings, nada.

    My favorite comment came from Mr. Steinbrenner himself when he said that the new stadium was for the people of New York.  All I could think was “Bull Shit.”  Considering there are less general admission seats and more luxury boxes than the current Yankees Stadium.  It’s all about rich people more rich, not about helping anyone. 

  3. Zach says:

    Now even the feds are getting in on this thing:

    http://www.sportsline.com/mlb/story/10983989/rss

    And other economics/policy sites are commenting on it too:

    http://www.taxfoundation.org/blog/show/23624.html

  4. Marc Schneider says:

    The reason cities do this is that, for all the grousing, people want sports teams and will ultimately blame the politicians for losing or not getting a team.  It’s sort of a guilty pleasure.  I know damn well that Washington, DC has more pressing needs than a new baseball stadium funded by the taxpayers but it benefits me.  By the same token, people don’t want to pay taxes for additional social services that they don’t need and will benefit only poor people.

    But, as Matt C says, there is also the issue that political and business elites manage to help each other and the hell with the public.  It amazes me that so many ostensibly “conservative” politicians and business leaders never (or rarely) complain about spending on sports stadiums.