I just want to say for the record I am dissappointed at the lack of traffic my Rudy, baseball, and politics post has gotten. C’mon, people. That’s some of my best work.
Well, let me say this about that. One of the things Rudy did as mayor which I did not like … nor did my barber by the way … was to go along with a proposal to publicly fund a new stadiunm for Steinbrenner and the Yankees. About the only thing his successor has done (Bloomberg) that I care for is to tell Steinbrenner that NYC does not have the money for such frivolity and if the Yankees want a new stadium the Yankees can damn well pay for it. I know this issue is somewhat more complex than meets the eye but, bottom line, I come out where Bloomberg came out. After all, how likely is it that the Yankees would would move out of the city if they had to pay for their own stadium? If they did, someone else would be happy to move in to fill the hole. So, all in all, Guliani’s love of baseball, if it exists, means nothing to me. In fact, its a strike against him because it puts im squarely on the side of tax and spend and in alliance with those who would take money from the have nots and give it to the haves just as is being done in the recent eminent domain cases sanctioned (narrowly) be the Supreme Court. So, as far as I am concerned, you should not be too unhappy that you haven’t gotten many comments on your piece because they culd well sound like this one.
As we’ve discussed off line, the primary point of the post is that baseball is the sport of politics, and as such Giuliani is the clear choice for president.
Now, as a tangent, you may imply his fanhood of the Yankees made him a credulous consumer of all those specious studies that claim sports stadiums and arts centers generate lots of money for urban areas. Nevertheless, though, I do depart from conservative fundamentalism a bit on this subject. Personally, I think our major metropolitan areas serve valuably as magnets for culture and the source of regional identity and pride.
Given this, I think occasional subsidies for the arts, and even sports stadia, are appropriate. It may be irrational, but sports teams enhance social identity and community. This should be supported. And as for arts organizations, a look at most of the movies that make the most money will indicate that an unfettered market can lead us to a cultural lowest common denominator.
This can be mitigated through government support. Of course, I do think, in both cases, this means the government ought to be able to twist some arms as a result. If the municpality helps finance these things a certain amount of civic-minded influence should not be feared, or unexpected.
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