Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Fester, through some freak nexus in teh INTARWEB, posted over at Comments From Left Field on Rendell's comments regarding potential tradeoffs on a new Arena.
In sum: $90,000,000 could buy you an arena or new sewers. Take your pick.
Of course the opportunity cost isn't the only factor here. There's also the existence value of a new arena, namely, how much value would the citizens of Western Pennsylvania find in just knowing that there's a new arena in town or just knowing that they are keeping the Penguins around.
Basically, it's the same question as: how much money would you pony up to save ANWR? Given my recent track record, I would say that my answer to that is, unfortunately, $0.00. I did, however, give money to support local arts and culture, so you can see where my proprities lay: fuck the elk.
I don't really mean that, but my donation patterns reflect that sentiment.
So anyway, here's the question, and it is a difficult question to answer, "How much money would you be willing to give voluntarily to ensure that a new arena is built?"
If you do the calculations right, you need to come up with some god-awful number to balance out the Cost-Benefit equation of local, public funding. Something like eleventy bagillion dollars. That's a lot really; my calculator doesn't go that high.
Point is this: in order to sufficiently justify the spending of public dollars on an arena project, there needs to be a whole lot of intangible benefits to make the equation work, or it needs to be part of a larger project in which these costs are subsumed by larger benefits.
Moreover: I need that $90,000,000 to help pay off the increase in my health care costs.... but that's a later rant.