Monday, February 5, 2007

Public Subsidies: you gotta be bad, bold, wiser, hard, tough, stronger, cool, calm, stick together...

Wonderful piece by Bill Toland in the P-G yesterday on public subsidies for private development deals, but it's hard to figure out anyting to do with it.

Anyone with even the thinnest libertarian streak hollers, "That's OUR money!" Meanwhile, folks like the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership are always screeching, "But we're the core! The CORE!!!" Politicians presume that by doling out cash, it'll come back as goodwill and campaign contributions, but that can just as easily backfire.

What's the solution? We guess you've just got to be canny. Pick the right development projects that seem like they're really going to help. And make sure your resume is sprinkled with occasions on which you've said "No!"

One thing's for sure: it would have been much easier to talk those legislators from Berks County and King of Prussia about public transit, or municipal pensions, if we hadn't asked them to build (probably) three sports stadiums in the last ten years. I'm just sayin'.

1 comment:

  1. Of course, those from Philly have also built a similar number of stadia in the same time period. Not that anyone from Main Line ever ventures into the city to use them, of course, but they paid for the Philly ones as sure as they paid for the ones in the Burgh.