Saturday, July 22, 2006

Portland is not a cowtown

The city of Portland, Oregon - where I am right now is an interesting place. It has a basketball team - whose arena has the following written about it - "The financing of the Rose Garden construction was widely hailed at the time of a good example of public-private partnership: most of the costs were borne by Allen rather than by taxpayers. The primary public contribution to the project was the transfer of the underlying land." Also " Its construction was funded in part by a $155 million loan from a consortium of lenders who included TIAA-CREF, Prudential Insurance, and Farmers Insurance."

Like Sacramento - it has free wireless at the airport. I haven't noticed any cows here even though the city contributed very little to the arena.

The call in Sacramento to keep us from being a cowtown (as opposed to being a rube town by agreeing to this kind of sports related rent seeking by a sports team) needs to be resisted. The voters should reject the 1/4¢ sales tax and avoid being rubes.

One is reminded of the call during our campaign against the Barbary pirates - Millions for defense but not one cent for tribute. Our call might be "Possibly some land but not 1/4¢ for tribute." Not quite as catchy but a lot more sensible than the current deal.

No comments: