Thursday, January 17, 2008

The must think we are complete morons!

There are very few things you can get most Economists to agree upon. The benefit of free trade is probably at the top of the list. But it also seems that the stupidity of public funding, via tax dollars, for sports stadiums is another. I’ve never read a single article or study that says this makes sense. This is also one of the few issues my dad and I agree upon. Yet the politicians and snake-oil salesman keep convincing voters their money is better spent building playgrounds for the rich than on their own needs, or on education or infrastructure. A recent post on The Sports Economist speaks to this.

About 11 years ago the voters here in the Denver area voted to tax themselves to build the Broncos a new palace. The issue actually passed more easily than an issue a few years ago to allow the state to keep money it had to refund to taxpayers (google “TABOR” if you want more details). The money from that is being used on frivolous things like infrastructure and higher education, so it makes sense that an important thing like a football team would get into our pockets more easily.

Well, some folks around here must think we are real suckers. A story on the front page of The Denver Post today describes a plan to build a massive complex that will include the Great Western Stock Show, the US Olympic training facility, and a NASCAR track. No talk yet of how much they are going to want us to pony up, but I’m sure they will make it sound like SO little for SO much! They must think we are morons…..and maybe their right.

The article says the proponents haven’t yet decided what areas they want to include in the region that would be taxed. They hope to have an issue on the ballot in November. Fortunately for me, I live in Boulder, where folks will tax themselves like crazy for wild animals, but probably not for cow, and definitely not for NASCAR. Boulder is one of the most educated cities in America… stock car racing fans here! This is my best hope of not having my pocket picked for this ridiculous boondoggle: that they will realize this is a loser here in Boulder, so leave us out of it.

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