The headline juxtaposition boggles the mind
David Zurin from The Nation writes The headline juxtaposition boggles the mind:
The headline juxtaposition boggles the mind. You have, on one day, “Detroit Files Largest Municipal Bankruptcy in History.” Then on the next, you have “Detroit Plans to Pay For New Red Wings Hockey Arena Despite Bankruptcy.”
Yes, the very week Michigan Governor Rick Snyder granted a state-appointed emergency manager’s request to declare the Motor City bankrupt, the Tea Party governor gave a big thumbs-up to a plan for a new $650 million Detroit Red Wings hockey arena. Almost half of that $650 million will be paid with public funds.
Ever since I read “Shrub” during the Bush years, and saw how cities subsidize pro sports teams by building them stadiums or replacing old ones, I have been flabbergasted by the sheer hypocrisy. Mayors and even governors who bitch, whine and scream about how the private sector is the answer to all ills, fall all over themselves to fund privately owned sports teams.
We can’t fund any kind of day care for the working poor, or build new Section 8 housing, but by God, those Redwing fans deserve a new stadium, with sky boxes, of course.
We are a truly stupid species.
We recently had a similar juxtaposition here in Edmonton. Two articles, literally on the same page. The first said that signs were going up to announce the Oilers’ new arena, which is being built with around 150 million in public money. (The hockey club is owned by one of the richest men in Canada.)
The second was how the Edmonton Public School Board was going to deal with having its operations and maintenance budget cut by 45%.
Thanks, city hall! (Tellingly, the mayor decided to retire once the arena funding was secured. I wonder where his next job will be?)
The only thing on which there is much consensus in southeast Michigan is sports.
And besides, the Illich family kept Detroit alive when everything else was falling apart.
And besides, it is sports and this is the US of A!
Hey, the Red Wings are *popular* with Michigan wing-nuts!
Detroit … no so much.
STR, “And besides, the Illich family kept Detroit alive when everything else was falling apart.”
Not sure if investing long-term in distressed property counts as “keeping Detroit alive.” Some would counter that the property was kept vacated or undeveloped. Either way the new arena support will payoff big for the Ilitch family beyond simply a new home for the Red Wings. From the Detroit News: Ilitch poised to develop entertainment district as well as arena
From The Detroit News: “IlitchPoised to Develpop Entertainment District As Well As Arena”
The question isn’t whether the Ilitch family has invested in and supported Detroit. The question is why are tax payers contributing to their property development expenses? Apparently government isn’t too big or too intrusive when government is putting tax revenue in the hands of big investors.