Tax-Funded Circuses

Steve Fainaru has a long article in today's Washington Post about how Major League Baseball convinces city politicians to fund stadiums built from taxpayer money to attract franchises.

I wonder if this is what Matt Yglesias means by "the vital role coercion has to play in building a better tomorrow." After all, the problem of building a ballpark is also what Matt calls "the collective action problem". Just as Matt walks past beggars every day without giving any of his own money because that would be merely "symbolic", and instead suggests coercion of all others to pursue his goal of the 'good', so does the individual sports fan have little but "symbolic" power in the pursuit of a several million dollar ballpark. It's a good thing we have benevolent rulers to force us to act virtuously.

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I supposse the Yglesias

I supposse the Yglesias solution would be to levy a "Beggar" tax on airport rental cars. That way transients through my city will pay for a retractable roof over my city's beggars.

Geez, Talk about a verbal

Geez,

Talk about a verbal kick in the nuts Jonathan. :-)

Oh well, perhaps is Matthew were so sanctimonious I'd feel bad for him.

"I wonder if this is what

"I wonder if this is what Matt Yglesias means by 'the vital role coercion has to play in building a better tomorrow.' After all, the problem of building a ballpark is also what Matt calls 'the collective action problem'".

I wonder if Mr. Yglesias also realizes that there are such things as forced riders, i.e. people who pay for the costs of goods even though they do not benefit from the good. Federal programs that shift money from the east coast to the west coast come to mind.

I don't give money to

I don't give money to beggars because most of them will just spend it on booze, drugs, lotto tickets, or all of the above. Symbolism (or the lack thereof) has nothing to do with it. :)