mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Beating the balls...

Well, DC is going to be getting it's own baseball team... again. The Montreal Expos will be moving there starting in 2005.

This seems wrong on a ton of reasons.

The first is that I had a college professor (Dr Stephen Walters) who was big into Sports Economics and wronte a very compelling article (which is not online, unfortunatly)that any teams that are created or moved should be moved to the NY/NJ area based on the population of the DC/Baltimore area compared to NJ/NY in terms of potential fanbase.

The second thing is that I hate public financing of sports teams. I don't like any government redistribution of wealth, but taking money and giving it to baseball team owners and sports fans makes no sense at all. I'm against any government efforts to create jobs, but creating part-time jobs in the beer man and peanut vendor industries makes no sense.

Funding will come from more taxes - and who doesn't love more taxes? From this article:

Williams emphasized the new stadium would not require funding from Washington residents. He said the costs would be covered by annual lease payments from the team's owners, a baseball tax on the city's largest businesses and user taxes on tickets, parking, memorabilia..."

Obviously lease payments makes sense - but shouldn't the lease payments cover all the cost. I mean, it's not like my landlord needs tax revenue to cover all the costs of my apartment. User taxes on game-related stuff is fine, but the tax on the businesses burns me up. I saw part of the press conference on the news last night, and someone made a comment that "this will not cost the residents of DC one penny". Huh? Nobody in DC owns or works at a business? Nobody in DC owns stock in a business? Nobody buys something from a business and now will pay higher costs passed on by the business? There is no magic source of revenue that produces free government - all that Washington is doing is taking money from people who have earned it running businesses and giving it to people who are politically connected - taking it from an efficient use to an inefficent one that isn't desirable enough to make it without government funding.

Then there's the issue of a name. From the original article:

The new team doesn't have a name yet. Williams said he opposes using "Senators" again because Washington "has no senators." The district has only one nonvoting delegate representing it in Congress, a sore point for many in Washington, where license tags bear the protest line "Taxation without representation."

Umm, guys, there is a reason that you don't have a senator - BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT A STATE. The whole point of having DC be a District instead of a state was so that it would not be overly politicized. Also, giving voting power to a "state" that is a small city presents a huge imbalance of power.

I don't like DC - I once had the opportunity to take a job there, and picked being unemployed and living with my parents over taking the job. Giving them a baseball team seems like the equivilant of giving a drunk guy the keys to your Hummer.


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