Gongol.com Archives: September 2009
Brian Gongol

September 21, 2009

Socialism Doesn't Work Jerry Jones didn't pay for Cowboys Stadium
If the stadium cost $1.15 billion, and the city covered $933 million of that with bonds, plus $150 million from the NFL, then the Cowboys (and, by extension, Jones) paid no more than $67 million. That's certainly not chump change, but it's a miniscule portion of the total. It doesn't matter how impressed Matt Lauer is to take a tour of the new stadium, municipalities shouldn't be in the business of spending billions of dollars to build sports arenas. Promoters and boosters will talk in circles about an utterly meaningless "multiplier effect" which promises that every dollar "invested" by the community in a huge project like a stadium will create five, seven, or ten times itself in new "economic activity." But unless we're going to apply that same multiplier effect to our other ordinary activities like going to the grocery store or mowing the lawn, then it's absolute nonsense to use it as a justification for spending public funds to build sports arenas that primarily benefit the owners of the teams playing there. Teams are portable; stadiums are not. And if it's hard to even offload a house built of Lego bricks once a television show has been recorded and aired, imagine what a drag an empty sports stadium turns out to be when a team leaves town. And stadiums rarely last as long as people might think: Seattle's publicly-owned Kingdome was around for just 24 years, and the Metrodome in the Twin Cities will be gone at about age 30. The public shouldn't have to subsidize team owners -- public financing of stadiums represents a powerful example of "heads I win, tails you lose" risk aversion by team owners that steals billions of dollars from other businesses and private taxpayers.

News Forget the "red state"/"blue state" nonsense in the US: Scotland may try to get out of the UK next year
Coincidentally, there's more than one massive problem with the "red state"/"blue state" nonsense so frequently leaned upon by lazy analysts and reporters in the US: First, most Americans have more in common with one another politically than they do even with other people living in democratic countries like India and Brazil, so the divisive hype is mostly nonsense from the outset. But it's also evident that at some time in the last 30 years, someone got confused about what the blue and red stood for respectively, and flipped the two. Blue has traditionally been the color of the right-leaning parties, and red the color of the left-leaning parties. And that was even how it was done on US television in 1980, when blue was used to signify the states won by Reagan.

Health University of Chicago researcher may have died of a plague-related bacterium

Iowa When to look for fall colors across Iowa

Broadcasting Why cable television news is unwatchable
(Video) The US cable news networks are trying to act like Internet linkdumps (in the flavor of Fark.com) rather than actually covering the news. That represents a terrible long-term strategy. Related: Newspaper advertising is in a freefall.

Water News Canada's largest city could face a huge environmental fine

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