The Greater Twin Cities United Way is under stress these days. With high & extended unemployment and underemployment in the Twin Cities, United Way offices have been working hard to make sure our fellow Twin Cities residents have some food on the table and a roof over their head. As the United Way explains it:
Food shelves used to provide emergency support for those in need. But as the economic downturn has continued, food shelves have become a regular source of food for hungry families, children and senior citizens. As food needs increase, hunger relief programs are struggling to meet the demand.
With that said, how could it possibly be a good idea to build a racino to fund a new Vikings stadium? Surely, that would increase the number of people in the Twin Cities suffering from gambling addictions. Jobs would be lost. Families not fed. Houses forfeited back to the banks.
And, for what gain? To help raise $300 million to pay for a stadium for Zygi Wilf’s private sports entertainment company, the Minnesota Vikings. To me, this sounds like a transfer of wealth from people suffering from an addiction to one of Minnesota’s largest corporate welfare queens, Zygi Wilf.
I decided to ask the United Way about this on Facebook:
I’m curious to find out if the United Way has a position on the proposed racino to fund a Vikings stadium. It seems like a racino would lead to gambling addiction, broken families, and more stress on the Twin Cities United Way.
Greater Twin Cities United Way kindly responded:
Thanks for asking, Ed. Greater Twin Cities United Way has no official stand on this piece of legislation.
They didn’t explain their reasoning behind not having a position. I don’t know if it’s a case avoiding political issues in general, not seeing a big enough impact on their clients to bother, or seeing more upside from Vikings related donations (financial, player appearances, etc) than a downside from dealing with more broken homes.
I would hope the United Way understands that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.