Topping the list of things that regularly infuriate me are Billionaire Socialists begging taxpayers to subsidize their businesses or fund their hobbies. My attitude is if you are a member of the 3 Comma Club, then you should spend your own lucre instead of pissing away mine.
Whether it is socializing risks to cover their bad trades, having the taxpayers subsidize the costs of their labor force, or manipulating cities to cover the cost of constructing stadiums for their wildly profitable sports franchises, this sort of bullshit socialism needs to stop. Deep down inside, I nurse a hot ember of anger, which requires the slightest of breezes to send me into paroxysm of furiously loud clacking on this old-style mechanical text entry device. “The keyboard of fury,” the missus calls it, and it is audible for miles around.
Occasionally, my annoyance may give way to amusement ad even joy when I see across someone else who shares my ire. Such an occasion occurred this weekend courtesy of the Sydney Morning Herald’s Peter FitzSimons. I literally LOL’d when I read his take on stadium subsidies down under. (This could be my favorite personal media quote/citation ever):
Here is FitzSimons:
You know the Bloomberg crowd, yes? The last word on providing analysis on global Big Business, right? Of course you know them. They are the red-blooded, hairy-chested, crusaders of capitalism. They love red-meat, mergers, acquisitions, and biting the heads off whippets! They’re not your inner-city lefties, drinking soy lattes and whining about social justice. They live in penthouses and eat lefties for lunch!
Well, how funny I should say that. Because in August, they put out a thundering editorial, written by the most hairy-chested of the lot, Barry Ritholtz. Take it away, Bazza:
“Your tax dollars are being wasted, on an enormous scale, by uncompetitive socialist enterprises that ignore the basic rules of economics.”
Great opener. Who is Bloomberg Bazza referring to, do you think? Welfare payments? Tax breaks for basket-weavers? Some absurd environmental measure to prioritise saving the planet, ahead of the figures for the next quarter?
Keep going, Bazz, we’re listening.
“I refer, of course, to the practice of politicians who give taxpayer dollars to subsidize the business of sports by paying for the construction and/or renovation of stadiums and arenas. These exercises in crony capitalism make no sense whatsoever. There has never been a decent reason to subsidize these successful businesses, which rarely produce a real return on the public’s investment.”
Goodness! But hang on, what about . . .
“Nor is civic pride a justification. The bottom line here is very simple: The cost of building and maintaining these facilities should be borne by the people who attend these events via their ticket purchases, and not the people of an entire state and/or metropolitan region, the vast majority of whom will never set foot inside these enormously costly structures.”
Goodness! And this, friends, was written about building stadiums from scratch. The idea of knocking down 20- and 30-year-old stadiums within a few lazy kilometres of each other?
In Sydney’s situation, Bloomberg would blow a gasket!
FYI Pete: My tatt, the one at the bottom of my 8 pack, is simply one word in Engravers Old English BT font:
Final whistle comes for Thornett after glorious period of extra time
By Peter FitzSimons
The Sydney Morning Herald, 18 January 2019