Bucksdiary's unscrupulous plan to keep our Bucks in Milwaukee
Here's my plan to take advantage of Obama's trillion dollar stimulus package to keep the Bucks in Milwaukee.
Let me say first, though, I think Obama's stimulus package is one of those good notions that will not serve its intended purpose. To my eyes, the economy is currently caught in a liquidity trap. Therefore, to fix the situation, the government should be directly injecting credit into the economy, not spending money on infrastructure projects. Massive public works didn't fix the similar situation we had n the 1930s and they won't work now. The Government has to act more directly. Of course, if the Government gets in the lending business, as I'm suggesting, you have the problem of getting the government out of the lending business (ie, "creeping socialism"). So my recovery plan will never happen. We're just going to have to wait for the banks and suffer through. (By the way, its a myth that World War II got us out of the Great Depression... studies show no advanced economic gains in areas where military investment was concentrated. The country came out of the Great Depression in the late 30s when local and national banks began to reloosen credit requirements and money began to reflow throughout the economy. I'm worried that is what will have to happen in our current state. Banks have to get their courage back.. FDR was right, in a sense, the thing we have to fear is fear itself.)
Boy, I'm off on a tangent. This is not an economics blog, its a Bucks blog, so let me finally round off to my point.
If Government is giving away all this funny money for public works, Senator Kohl ought to have his "game face" on, and think about the future of the Milwaukee Bucks. He ought to see if there couldn't be a way to roll a new Bucks arena into some kind of Orwellian doublespeak project like a new "Convention Center" or something of that type. Perhaps he could gin up some kind of urban renewal project that included a fancy new gym for the team. God knows downtown Milwaukee needs renewing.
I realize what I'm asking the Senator to do is the absolute antithesis of his entire political philosophy. He models himself after the legendary William Proxmire (whom I met on the DC Metro in his very late years, after which I did some research and writing for him... he worked until the day he died... he worked out of a tiny office they give ex-Senators at over at the Library of Congress... he didn't always recognize me because of his age, and it sometimes freaked me out... but I'm meandering all over the place here).
The point is, Senator Kohl hates "pork barrel" spending. And I'm asking him to engineer the very worst kind of pork barrel spending -- spending that would directly benefit him.
So its unlikely to happen... unless Milwaukee's mayor or someone other than the Senator massages it through the legislative process. I mean, the whole thing is a cynical self centered action on my part, but the opportunity is there. And it may never come again.
Local financing will never happen. I assure you of that. If the Senator's waiting for that to happen, he'll be dead before it does. (For C's sake, THE PACKERS vote for public financing was only 53%-47%... in BROWN COUNTY... during prosperous times! If that's the case, I cannot imagine a scenario where the Bucks who are backed mainly by professional men and urban youth could win a public financing vote anywhere.)
So if we have to have a new stadium to have our Bucks stay local, we have to do it the sneaky way. Senator Kohl must, in his heart of hearts, recognize that.
Besides, there's precedent for my plan. Believe it or not, Milwaukee County Stadium, which was built in the early 1950s, was actually funded through a public works program created by The New Deal. (That's how long these so-called "ready to go" projects take... another reason a massive public works project is a bad deal). The Milwaukee Arena was also a public works project funded in part by federal spending. So its not a pipe dream to think it could happen again. Once public spending starts flowing, it flows into funny places.
Obviously this whole sneaky plan contradicts a lot of my past posts. I've always argued in the past that public spending on stadiums is a stupid boondoggle. But if we have to swallow all this public spending, and we will it seems, why not have a sweetener that will SAVE OUR MILWAUKEE BUCKS.