People never complain about “welfare” for the rich. When we toss money at the rich, it is invested overseas and only makes the rich more reliant on that pipeline of money. One such area of welfare is professional sports.
Each major professional sports league constitutes an oligopoly: “Control or domination of a market by a few large sellers, creating high prices and low output similar to those found in a monopoly.” Black’s Law Dictionary, 10th ed., 2014, p. 1260.
In 1922, the United States Supreme Court held that Major League Baseball (MLB) was exempt from anti-trust laws - whose main purposes include encouraging economic competition by stopping monopolies.
The Court ruled that MLB was not engaged in interstate commerce. Not until the 1980s did owners realize how to play cities against one another for dollars that arose from the teams played against one another.
Indianapolis - despite lack of an NFL® team - built a stadium and, thanks to Mayflower® moving trucks, the Colts came from Baltimore in 1983. Pro sports franchises had relocated before (e.g., the St Louis Browns’ move to Baltimore).
But what Indianapolis built a new stadium, offered tax incentives, and enabled the owners of the Colts to reach billionaire status. One article reported the deal made the Colts the NFL®’s most profitable franchise.
Other franchises and franchises in other sports took the hint. Elected political officials of cities and States will fall all over themselves to offer spiffy incentives to lure a team, or spiffier incentives to keep a team.
Studies show: the economic benefits from this flurry of sports-related activity leave taxpayers in the cellar. Owners are up in the really cool suites. Elected political officials are the owners’ guests.
And don’t think owners of franchises have any qualms about threats. The Jacksonville franchise might move to London, what could be the first of a flood of “American” sports entities that leave the USA.
It is pathetic that billionaire sports franchise owners can squeeze money out of governments and be praised, but the poor are shut out as much as possible when they need food, clothing and places to live.
This is precisely the type of economic activity that only the Federal government can stop. If I am elected to the U.S. House, I shall propose a ban on such bidding wars. We could call it The Anti-prostitution of State and Local Governments Act.
I am Mark Small, a candidate for U.S. House in Indiana’s 5th Congressional District. I am fiscally conservative and proud to be a progressive. I approve of this blog. Hell, I wrote it.