After reading this piece, check out this link, which includes one of the insiders in the deal below, Tom Ryan. To add to the idiocies (for the public) of a proposal by a small group of rich political insiders to put a Minor League baseball stadium on land in the middle of Providence, may I remind people that companies have little loyalty these days to their employees or loyal customers. The loyalty in the current version of American capitalism is mostly one way -- the loyalty of the owners and senior execs to themselves.
Remember when one of the insiders, Terry Murray, moved Fleet Financial Group from Providence to Boston so he could be a bigger player?
When the new Pawsow owners get a a nice offer (as they will one day) to move the farm team to some other sucker burg (Omaha, Duluth, Ocala, Fla.?) they will do so promptly, leaving an empty stadium on land where there could have been hundreds of high-paying, year-round jobs.
Instead of having the taxpayers fork over millions a year for this boondoggle, why not increase Governor Raimondo's new $1.3 million "Real Jobs RI" project to better train and place workers.?
Employers cite the lack of skilled workers as the biggest impediment to moving to, or expanding in, Rhode Island. The lack explains much of why the Ocean State economy lags behind that of most of the Northeast.
Meanwhile, of course, staggeringly myopic (or just cynical) state union leaders push to build the stadium because of the construction jobs. When those jobs disappear in a year or two after construction starts, the only jobs at the stadium will be a few dozen minimum-wage positions --- for perhaps seven months of the year. The rest of the time the taxpayers will have to pay them unemployment compensation and help cover their Medicaid.
But the six-months-and-a-day residents of Florida involved in this project won't have to worry about that, as they laugh all the way to the bank with tax money from poorer people and get to show how masculine they are by associating themselves with a sports team.
Bread and circuses, and government by deal, march on.
-- Robert Whitcomb