A Lesson in Concentrated Benefits and Dispersed Costs

File under: Mancur Olson was right.

From San Francisco Chronicle:

The vote came after the football team spent an astonishing $4 million-plus on a campaign in a city with only 46,000 registered voters. Signs backing the 49ers sprang up in front yards across the community as the team carpet-bombed the city with TV spots, radio ads and campaign mailers.

It was a different story for opponents of the stadium, who managed to collect about $20,000, enough for some yards signs and some campaign handouts for the volunteers who knocked on doors.

4 Responses “A Lesson in Concentrated Benefits and Dispersed Costs”

  1. Ken Houghton says:

    “By putting the stadium in a redevelopment area near the convention center and Great America amusement park, [Santa Clara officials] could use redevelopment money to finance its share of the project without ever touching its general funds.”

    By taking up space in an area keyed for redevelopment with an expensive structure that will be used possibly 50-75 times in a year, the city wasted “redevelopment money” guaranteeing that its tax base will remain forever impaired unless it sponges off the general fund.

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