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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 20, 2005 / 13 Tammuz, 5765

Robbing the poor to build a rich man's stadium — it's just plain wrong

By John Stossel


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Politicians want to build palaces for rich people. OK, they not palaces — they're sports stadiums — but the difference is subtle. In recent years, New York politicians have talked about a football stadium, a basketball arena, and two new baseball stadiums. All four projects would require financial help from the government, for the stadiums, nearby facilities, or both. Why? Why should they get our money?

If the wealthy owners of sports teams want new stadiums, let them build them with their own money. They're not entitled to our money.

Just as cities take people's homes so rich corporations can do what the politicians call "urban renewal," telling the courts economic development is a "public use," sports tycoons argue their stadiums are in the "public interest." Their politician friends tell voters that a stadium will "bring jobs," be "good for the city," "pay for itself."

Bunk. Study after study finds stadiums cost far more than they return.

"Assume it did create a thousand jobs," economist Mark Rosentraub, author of "Major League Losers," told me. Then a $170-million stadium costs $170,000 for every single job. "You could have done better just saying to the people who would have been hired, here's $50,000 — start a business!"


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Subsidizing stadiums isn't capitalism — it's big-money socialism. When the government subsidizes a stadium, it takes your money, decides for you what form of entertainment is worth funding, and makes you bear part of the cost of someone else's business.

Most wealthy team owners would not talk to me about their subsidies. But Jerry Reinsdorf of the White Sox did. He told me the government "had to" fund his stadium. "I couldn't have" raised the money privately, he said. "You have to pay it back."

Welcome to the real world, Jerry. Students get loans and pay them back. So do homeowners and small business owners. You want a ballpark? Build it with your money.

"You mean, if somebody walks up to you and hands you money, you shouldn't take it?" asked Reinsdorf. "The fact is, I was offered this stadium by elected officials."

Bingo.

Reinsdorf got his stadium after James Thompson, then governor of Illinois, leaned on some legislators. When the park was built, the governor threw out the first ball. Thompson and Reinsdorf are friends from law school. Cozy.

It's Robin Hood in reverse. Politicians take money from taxpayers and give it to people like Reinsdorf and George W. Bush. (Years ago, Bush, along with his fellow owners of the Texas Rangers, got taxpayers to build the team a stadium.)

I confronted Governor Thompson: Wasn't he just taking money taxpayers were forced to give the government and giving it to a rich friend?

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"It wasn't our tax money," he said. "I mean, the whole baseball field is built on the hotel/motel tax. Chicagoans don't pay hotel/motel tax. Guys from New York like you pay hotel/motel taxes. What a great deal."

Not for the out-of-towners, it isn't — and not for the Chicago businesses where they might have spent the money. Thompson's reasoning is as muddled as the fallacy in economist Frederic Bastiat's story of the broken window:

In a small town, an idiot breaks a shop window. He's called a vandal, until someone points out that a window installer now must be paid to replace the window. The window installer then will have enough money to buy a new suit. A tailor will then be able to buy a new desk. And so on. The whole town apparently gains from the economic activity generated by the broken window. Of course, if this made sense, cities should hire people to run though town, breaking windows.

But it doesn't make sense. It's a fallacy because the circulating money is seen; what is not seen is what would have been done with the money if the window were still whole. The shopkeeper, instead of paying the window installer, might have expanded his business, or bought a new suit or a new desk. The town is worse off because of a broken window.

Subsidizing stadiums is equally foolish.

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