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10/29/04: Post by Unknown

Posted by: BLOWBACK
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10/15/04: Post by Craig

Posted by: BLOWBACK
Aren't you guys supposed to be pro-labor?Anyway, as I stated, I saw this study some years ago. The primary emphasis was on labor productivity the day following a loss by a city's sports team. Don't recall any comparison between cities with and cities without.I've concluded that the 'skins just aren't worth the stress. In fact, I'm contemplating finding something better to do with my time.At least the national team clinched a spot in the next round of World Cup qualifying this week, crushing Panama 6-0.

10/12/04: Post by Seņor

Posted by: BLOWBACK
OK, I can't resist.Might that same study have shown that towns with crappy sports teams have shitty workers? What's the delta for good/bad teams against productivity with no sports team at all -- is your town's commercial success inexorably tied to that of your sports team? Hey I know this is all just kindof a psychological shot in the dark. But I've spent too much fuckin' time stressing over the 'skins to think there's not some sort of deadweight loss there.

10/09/04: Post by Craig

Posted by: BLOWBACK
I seem to recall that the article on labor productivity and local winning teams was in the Post, but it was at least a few years ago. If you'd like some anecdotal evidence, talk to some Redskins fans on Monday mornings after a loss, which is pretty much every Monday morning these days. The Post editorial this a.m. goes after the China trip you reference. There seems to be no evidence from the city that prior trips have led to greater investment, created jobs, etc.There is some populist grandstanding among anti-stadium politicans. It depends on how the argument is being crafted.Finally, in an ideal world, I agree that owners should build their own stadia. But that's just not how these things work anymore. Nonetheless, the stadium is not a "give-away;" it would be owned by the city, which would collect rent and taxes on its use.

10/07/04: Post by Franklin

Posted by: BLOWBACK
good points, as usuali'm particularl;y interested in the productivity-football success study - do you happen to remember a source?you're right - council is in session BUT it is a lame duck session for several of them; funny article about the junket Mayor Williams and other members of the council are taking to China and Thailand. Councilmember Evans is quoted as saying something ot the effect that he doesn't want to be around all the people that are anti-stadium; kind of dove-tails with Mayor Williams' remark quoted yesterday that people railing against it are nothing more than populist grandstanders.I agree that the revaitalization arguments appear sound but something about the gazillionaire baseball owners who are going to make a pretty penny not ponying up anything, while the city's decay cntinues, seems fundamentally flawed.I also agree that the system is broken. But i don't think giving major league a baseball stadium is the way to do it.Finally, you're right, i'm not drawn to sports but that doesn't mean that i'd deny someone else the right to watch and be entertained by sports. But that is different from thinking that we should be prioritizing a give-away stadium when there's so much more pressing work that needs to be done.

10/03/04: Post by Craig

Posted by: BLOWBACK
Before I get to the stadium issue, let me join a part of your rant about casualties by decrying the report that the Bush Administration plans to cut VA staff even as the backlog for processing claims continues to grow. This is the same crowd that demands that we all support the troops, but refuses to make the difficult choices that would assure that the troops get everything that they need.You know that I'd support their fixing the schools and all the other public infrastructure. And I don't know where all the money goes, but my impression is that the system is broken down; I certainly don't think it's all being sucked up by a bunch of overpaid teachers. And to quote a certain ex-Senator, one does get the feeling that it would be just more money down the rathole. I can tell you that we here in Maryland have been pumping money into Baltimore for years and things don't seem to have improved there either.The stadium project seems to offer an opportunity to redevelop a quite blighted area of DC, and some seem to think will also lead to the clean up of the Anacostia. IF it works, it should bring in new jobs, housing, and business, and increase tax revenues in the long term.Don't know if you read the artcle that I referenced, but it points out that the city has directed about $400 million in public funds into Ward 8 in the last three years.Although you consider the team, and I think professional sports in general, to be a diversion, you should not dismiss the fact that regardless of how you feel there are people of all economic backgrounds who derive enjoyment from it. (There have been studies correlating work production and the success of a town's football team -- this may explain why Congress is doing such a lousy job the last few years). Surely some DC residents who want a team are paying taxes to fund projects and institutions that you value but that they don't frequent.And the city council is still in session, isn't it? It's not like they've been called back into a lame duck session. And how many executive orders did Clinton issue on his way out the door, just for the sake of making Bush overturn them?

10/01/04: Post by Franklin

Posted by: BLOWBACK
i'm talking about diversion of attention and human resources, which these big boondoggles invariably do.i've heard about the per capita spending; we need to ask some DC public school teachers about what that really means; i know DC public school teachers are not making a killingi did not say the incumbents got the boot for being pro-stadium; for me, their pro-stadium stance is symptomatic of their being out of touchand no, no chance these three primary victors will be meaningfully opposed in Novemberbuilding a stadium woudl create jobs; so would fixing the roofs that leak water on kids, heating systems that don't work, dilapidated school yardsit's a monumental diversion and it's quite significant that they could not get it passed with the City Council that's just been elected; they'll have to rush it through with the lackeys that got the righteous boot

10/01/04: Post by Craig

Posted by: BLOWBACK
In my post below, I should have allowed for the possibility that the three primary winners in the city council race are unopposed in November. Sorry 'bout that.

10/01/04: Post by Craig

Posted by: BLOWBACK
Well, I knew this gripe about the baseball team was coming.The DC proposal, and the financing legislation, has been on the table for some time. The election results had nothing to do with DC's position, or the Mayor's. They did, however, get Major League Baseball off its ass and force its hand to finally decide about moving the Expos.Three pro-stadium councilmembers lost their seats in the primary. The victors in those races, however, will not become members of the council unless they win in November. That's probably a technicality, since DC is unfortunately controlled by one party, but it's worth mentioning, since you assume they've already won. One party dominance is never good, regardless of the party.Of more significance, while these three are anti-stadium, I'm not aware that any of them made that position the centerpiece of their campaign, or that it was a determining factor in any of the three races. Do you have some info that this is the main reason, or even a significant one, in why they "got the boot by the voters?"I read an interesting piece in Sunday's Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A50520-2004Sep25.html) about the Ward 8 race. Turnout was 26%, meaning that Barry was elected with 15% of the registered vote. Not only is that not a mandate for anything, but the stadium project wasn't mentioned as a major issue. In fact, the stadium project arguably addresses some of the gripe in Ward 8 that there is no public spending or gov't attn to that part of DC.Also, none of the funding comes from new taxes on individuals or their property. The business community, with it acquiesence and support, will bear the new taxes necessary to finance the stadiums. Arguably those costs will trickle down, but that would be the case with any gov't spending increase. This proposal would appear to have the biggest impact on those with the deepest pockets.Building stadiums will create jobs, and I'm talking about he actual construction and not selling beer at the park (liberal argument -- public works), and the mixed development around them, for businesses and new housing, will bolster the tax base (conservative argument -- promote business and homeownership).As for crumbling schools and DC's myriad social problems, the last time I looked at this in any detail, and it's been a few years, DC's spending per capita on education and social programs was equal to or higher than most major cities. I am not one to oppose spending what it takes to solve a problem, but it's not at all clear to me that more money is what's needed. Maybe a better-trained and more accountable bureaucracy and a better allocation of resources would be more effective?