Saturday, November 3, 2012

Bradley Center Boosters Keep Pounding That Drum

Sheehy Plans Task Force To Study New Arena

Don Walker begins the article stating, "By mid-2014, the community needs to have a good idea of what role the private and public sectors will play in the construction of a new, multipurpose arena in Milwaukee."

We hear tales about the omnipotent private sector and free efficient, so perfect.

Simultaneously, we're also told how the government is wasteful, full of slackers, and just can't do anything right.

Yet (for some reason) the inefficient, know-nothing government needs to play a major role in the planning and funding of private sector activities.

Enter sport stadiums. These privately controlled initiatives are (supposedly) such game changers, job creators, catalysts, no-brainers. [They're not.] But, again, for some unexplainable reason, the inept public sector needs to invest heavily and absorb most of the risk.

Living wages, universal health care, pensions, unemployment insurance, Medicare, Social Security - that's just a bunch of welfare for moochers. But corporate welfare - such as the public sector picking up most of the tab to build teams new stadiums - is just good policy?

The question should be - why is the public sector involved, at all, in the financing of these private sector playgrounds? If Herb Kohl and the Bucks want a new stadium, go ahead and build one. But the public shouldn't have to shoulder most of the cost.

Where does such a corporate welfare policy end? This misguided corporate welfare is why we now must pay blackmail money to Harley-Davidson and Mercury Marine when they threaten to take jobs away.

If the public is now responsible for the cost of building private businesses, shouldn't the public have a greater say in the operation - the pay scales, the retirement plans, the health care options, the environmental footprint, etc.? If the public sector is a necessary partner in construction, financing, and maintaining the viability of a business, shouldn't they have a representative voice in the organization making sure the public is getting back a fair return on their investment?

For Further Reading:
Basket Case 
Buck The System
Buck You 
Economic Engine Or Albatross?
Is There Anything A Stadium Can't Solve?
Overblown Bradley Center Impacts
Stadium Swindle
Will Herb Kohl Blackmail Milwaukee?

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