This week, the state government of Minnesota pledged to take $1 billion (give or take) of taxpayer money and spend it on … a gift to the 1 percent. Specifically, the money is meant to buy a stadium for the Minnesota Vikings, a team owned by a multimillionaire real estate developer, and the NFL, a league with annual revenues of $9 billion per year. In the grand scheme of things, it’s a small example of bad public policy. Claims that stadiums provide a great economic boost are bogus; taxation used to build stadiums is almost always regressive; the money could be used for far more fundamental public purposes–or left in the private sector; and so forth.
I’ve written a lot about this subject, so I won’t rehash everything here. But in this space, I’m conducting an experiment for anyone whom I might reach via Looke True North, or my Twitter feed. Leave a comment about this sweetheart deal. If you’ve ever seen the feature “That’s Outrageous!” in Readers Digest (dating myself, I know), then you know the kind of comment I’m looking for. (And yes, I will practice “censorship,” or as we call it in the private sector, editorial discretion. All comments are subject to moderation, and pro-giveaway comments will be deleted.) I would prefer that you leave a citation for any quotations.
So let the games begin.
@5hauser: Stadium supporter Sen. Tom Bakk says if you don’t buy a pulltab or go to a game, the new stadium “is free.”
@adamwwolf The best part is that the Vikings have said the offer is ‘unworkable’. Entertaining that a bill of law is called an ‘offer’.
All of the local corporations who are lobbying for a new Vikings stadium will buy up all the tickets to prevent a blackout. Also, there are unicorns. – Bob Collins, Minnesota Public Radio