The Vikings Stadium Opposition Coalition #wilfare

Any ?#GoDFL? Lib that whines about corporate ?#wilfare? while pushing LRT choo choos or green energy is a hypocrite. Just different cronies

One of the interesting things about the Vikings stadium debate was the unusual coalition that formed between people on the far left and right of Minnesota politics in opposition to ginormous corporate welfare giveaway (with gambling as the revenue source).

On the right were legislators who opposed new taxes, opposed gambling as a revenue source, and opposed violating the Minneapolis City Charter in order to impose taxes on Minneapolis residents without a referendum.

On the left were legislators who opposed giving corporate welfare to a company that clearly does not need it (especially when the amount is so great that it exceeds the revenue the business would generate for the state over 30 years), opposed gambling as a revenue source, and opposed forcing Minneapolis to pick up such a large portion of the tab for a state facility that happens to be in Minneapolis.

But, now that that’s over, it sounds like things are returning to their usual political divisions, as Andy Aplikowski’s tweet suggests. Folks on the far right will continue to oppose subsidies of forms of energy that don’t cause asthma in kids. And continue to oppose transportation plans that move large numbers of people in and out of the urban centers without destroying even more urban neighborhoods.

Folks on the left will continue to push for increases in the percentage of clean energy created within the state of Minnesota, and efficient transportation options in/out/within urban areas.

Hopefully, the next bill sold as a jobs bill will build something that benefits the public rather than as a subsidy for a private business. At least that would be a bit closer to matching the role of government.

5 thoughts on “The Vikings Stadium Opposition Coalition #wilfare”

  1. Your arguments and measured reasonable responses to the Vikings turned my opinion on that issue. I’m not there on LRT. It believe that it’s also a misuse of public funds, mostly becuase it’s so ineffecient financially when compared to bus service, commuter lanes etc. The cost of the rail between MPLS and STP was running about $100M per mile. I would be less inclined to oppose LRT if there was a more realistic cost for ridership.. Elimiate the subsidies.
    My 2 Cents.

  2. Gov’t creating public subsidies of private business are a good discussion point, subsidies like these–

    Money Quote = “From 1918 to 2009, the average annual subsidy was $4.86 billion. By comparison, the nuclear energy industry gets around $3.5 billion per year.”

    Now, I’m not anti-gov’t subsidy, but I am against continuing subsidies for mature and profitable businesses. Oil companies are and have been for decades among the most profitable companies and oil executives among the most gluttonous ever to collect paychecks, so when can these subsidies be ended?

    One of the great arguments for subsidies is when a business would provide public benefit and needs a boost in their fledgling years…kinda like where green energy and LRT is now.

    As a society, we need green jobs to increase as it is the only fledgling industry poised to grow and could be the greatest job boost in our lifetime. The jobs, engineering challenges to be addressed and more efficient energy to come on line is needed sooner not later.

    And as a city, we need alternative transit to the old school idea of just adding lanes everywhere, just look at LA area highways to see how that approach has a tipping point and just doesn’t work.

    Only gov’t can absorb the combination of high cost and risk of these investments, similar to how only the gov’t could create the auto company bailout plan when private investors backed away.

    But people have been convinced instead that subsidizing pro sports stadiums and arenas are better for our communities. Sorry, I got distracted by an older gentleman who just walked by the coffeehouse with some garbage bags and is pulling glass bottles and aluminum can recyclables out of the bus stop garbage can.

    I don’t know if he is a Viking fan or rides the LRT, but this guy lives in the community I live in and we need to do better as citizens and as a community in making these what-to-subsidize decisions. We can’t blame politicians alone, mostly they are just weather-vanes, while we’re the folks with the hot air that seems to always blow in the wrong direction.

  3. “As a society, we need green jobs to increase as it is the only fledgling industry poised to grow and could be the greatest job boost in our lifetime”

    I don’t know.. Fracking is certainly growing by leaps and bounds these days and its about as far from green as you can get. I’m having trouble arguing for green industries with my conservative associates these days thanks to Solyndra and other debacles like that.

  4. @Sank, good points about LRT. I haven’t looked closely at the numbers for LRT in a while, so can’t say with confidence how good/bad LRT compares to other urban transportation alternatives, but I can say that the University Avenue option for LRT has seemed odd to me from the start. It seems too slow for LRT trains, and will cause too much congestion for N-S traffic. I hope I’m wrong about that.

    Regarding Hiawatha, there have been a lot of new developments along Hiawatha Ave since the train opened. Not quite what was projected due to the housing bubble, but there is a lot of action today making up for the downturn.

    Based on my own experience, trains offer a level of transportation confidence that buses haven’t managed to achieve. For example, I often take the LRT to the airport from my house (after taking the 21 bus to Hi/Lake). I’m confident that the train will take me where I’m expecting to go (compared to buses that could terminate early or take a different route based on the letter after the number). Trains tend to stay on the tracks. The same applies for me when I’m in other cities. I’m confident that I’ll get to my destination from an airport I’ve arrived at, or based on reviewing a train map, when I take a train. Less so with buses (although the blame could also go to the generally piss poor quality of bus route schedules and maps in many cities). Put another way, I’m confident that there would be far less development on Hiawatha if there was a bus route rather than LRT along that route. Does it justify the cost compared to alternatives? I don’t know right now.

  5. I’ve been a bus rider for 17 years.. I can probably count the number of times the bus hasn’t gotten me where I’m going on one hand. I do have to be a little more flexible on time however, I do occasionally arrive later than I thought but usually only when there’s weather or an accident.
    My point sane lanes, dedicated bus lanes, that sort of thing seem to make more sense to me. I do agree that development has increased dramatically on the Hiawatha corrider, and I do love taking the train to the Timberwolves, it’s almost an end to end ride for me and works really well.

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