It’s funny how things work in the US. They don’t want to spend public funds for health care, fiber-based high-speed broadband networks, repairing crumbling bridges, parks, schools and other important matters that serve the general public. But, when it comes to helping wealthy corporate sponsors and their investors suck money from the public, US politicians are heading the charge. This article in Salon by David Sirota says it all: The House That Taxpayers Built about NYC spending public funds to build a stadium for the richest sports team, the Yankees, thanks to the city’s mayor (excerpt):
“Nothing better captures the moment’s destructive greed than a billionaire politician using the municipal office he bought to defend charging $2,500 a ticket to a new Yankee Stadium he forced the public to finance. If there is a single act showing how kleptocracy and let-them-eat-cake-ism are systemic and local rather than momentary and exclusively federal, Bloomberg turning the House that Ruth Built into the House That Taxpayers Built is it. Foreign oligarchs use guns to confiscate citizens’ wages. American oligarchs rely on government to give theft the aura of legitimacy, and Manhattan’s richest man is no exception. As an investigation by Democratic Assemblyman Richard Brodsky documents, Bloomberg used various public agencies to extract between $1 billion and $4 billion from taxpayers and then spent the cash on a new stadium for the Yankees, the wealthiest corporation in sports.”
I run Muniwireless.com, a site about citywide wireless broadband projects and WiMAX, and for years, many people screamed, “oh don’t use public funds to build broadband networks!” Or “it’s a waste of public money to build fiber-based broadband that all ISPs can use as backhaul.” A waste? Building high-speed networks that benefit businesses and residents and are open to service providers?
Yet, when it comes to wasting money on a sports stadium, suddenly, the public purse is open and ready to be picked. The reason: politicians get lots of money for their campaigns from corporations and rich people, so they do what they are told by their benefactors. Corrupt is the only word for this.