When it comes to luxury purchases you will soon regret, I am nobody to scold.
But the economics on the Minnesota Vikings proposal for a new retractable roof venue are stupid enough to make you think the good folks up there have completely lost their minds.
A state that is $5,000 million in the red on their annual budget (Note: I wish all reporting of financial stories listed billions as the more viscerally understandable one-thousand-million figure) is going to somehow scrape together several hundred million in public money to make Zygi Wylf just a little bit more rich.
From the Washington Post, by way of Sally Jenkins...
Under the latest proposal favored by the Vikings, Minnesotans would pony up $650 million so Wilf can have a new $1 billion palace in the Arden Hills suburb of St. Paul. Ramsey County would get hit with a $350 million tab via a sales tax increase. The state, which is facing a $5 billion budget shortfall, would contribute another $300 million. The Vikings would contribute $407 million, but would pay no rent at all, and would get all revenues from the stadium, including parking, signage and naming rights. What a deal for the public.
That’s not all. The county would be on the hook for $1.5 million a year in operating expenses; the Vikings would be exempt from any state sales taxes on the building materials; and the state would be required to make improvements to roads and infrastructure that could cost $240 million more.
Well, that's just super. If I'm a taxpayer in Minnesota, and this thing passes, even IF it only nicks me 1/2 of 1 percent in sales tax in a single county, I'm gonna take this as a strong hint - along with testicle freezing winters - to move the fuck out of Minnesota.
I don't really have a dog in this fight, but it gets more and more sickening to think that we have devolved into a 2nd world nation where crony capitalism has run amok.
Crony capitalism is a term describing an allegedly capitalist economy in which success in business depends on close relationships between business people and government officials. It may be exhibited by favoritism in the distribution of legal permits, government grants, special tax breaks, and so forth.
Crony capitalism is believed to arise when political cronyism spills over into the business world; self-serving friendships and family ties between businessmen and the government influence the economy and society to the extent that it corrupts public-serving economic and political ideals.