Libertarian commentator John Stossel has a bit of a fact-challenged record, but he mostly gets it right in a blog post for Fox Business on the new New York Yankees stadium fiasco, noting that federal taxpayers (including Red Sox fans) helped pay for it, and the often-overlooked opportunity cost of what else could have been done with the tax money. That is, until he gets up to this part:
Years ago, when I did a TV special called “Freeloaders,” Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf said I shouldn’t blame him for taking the handout:
“You mean, if somebody walks up to you and hands you money, you shouldn’t take it? The fact is — I was offered this stadium by elected officials.”
Bingo. It’s like Robin Hood in reverse.
What Stossel didn’t ask Reinsdorf: Does it still count as an “offer” when it comes after you threatened to move the team to Tampa Bay if you didn’t get the cash? As Reinsdorf later explained, “A savvy negotiator creates leverage. People had to think we were going to leave Chicago.”
But then, you’d kind of expect that Stossel would pin the blame on wasteful government rather than greedy sports team owners, given that this is a guy who’s on the record as saying that greed is good.