On a very cool note my friend Danny appears in the NY times today, writing a comment in the City Section in response to the new Yankee stadium proposal/city benefits. Danny works for Good Jobs New York and commentated that the proposed benefits do not outweight the costs from a fiscal perspective (music to an economist's ears!):
To the Editor:
Andrew Zimbalist does not substantiate his claim that the new Yankee Stadium qualifies as a public investment that would yield a net economic return for New York. Moreover, he lowballs the public contributions to the project by excluding valuable tax breaks and is vague about what benefits the city and state would accrue.
Favoring the new stadium simply because it is not as heavily subsidized as other sports facilities around the country is a poor justification for this public expenditure. In fact, a city-sponsored analysis suggests that the fiscal benefits of the stadium wouldn't cover its cost to taxpayers. Of the $210 million Mr. Zimbalist says will be spent on neighborhood "improvements," $100 million would go toward uses that are hardly community amenities, such as parking garages and the demolition of the current stadium.
Calling this project a public investment is misleading. Subsidizing the wealthiest franchise in baseball at the height of its popularity is a loss for residents of the South Bronx and taxpayers across New York.
The writer is a research analyst with Good Jobs New York
The irony of all this is the fact that Dan is perhaps the biggest Yankee fan that ever grew up in Greenwich Village. Yankee baseball has always vied with Judaism as his most devotely followed religions. This is the same former freshman roomate who told me that his Yankee hat was in fact his yarmulke.
In fact you can see the proof in this picture (circa 2000, in my dorm room senior year...please disregard the numerous stuffed animals featured) where Danny is on the lower right. You can see that I am the dashing brown person on the left hand side. (from left to right: Me, Scotty, Adam, Mike,& Dan)
For the record you will notice that featured in the middle is Curious "The Funky Monkey" George, who I loved far before the current Curious George hoopla hit. George is flanked by Mister Smiley (in yellow, named for obvious reason) and my Osh Kosh bear Shit-Ox (named for unobvious reasons)