Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Business As Usual

Signs of the All-Star Game are already popping up around the neighborhood.

“Those billboards in the subway stations are huge,” Javier said. “Maybe the extra advertising dough will help keep the trains running this summer.”

The guys gathered around Juan Carlos’s coffee cart laughed.

Javier shrugged.

“I’m sorry,” he said. “I almost forgot where I was.”

This is the South Bronx where the carpetbaggers roll in and the money rolls out. It’s always been that way around here and in every other poor neighborhood in this country.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority will continue to raise fares, cut service and allow our infrastructure to crumble. That’s business as usual for them.

Major League Baseball – a $6.075-billion-dollar industry – is estimating record profits from this All-Star Game. Those profits will flow from the Bronx and into the pockets of 30 of the richest men in the world. That’s business as usual for them, too.

The signs are up. The carpetbaggers are in. And the money will roll out. That’s the way it always goes in this neighborhood.


JoeyBoy said...

The rich have been ripping off the poor since the beginning of time. They have put many different labels on it: monarchy, dictatorship, etc. Here in America they call it capitalism.

Olivia said...

When will things change? When cities completely collapse and a few rich people are sitting in their mansions with all the money?

Henry said...

You answered your own question, Olivia. It will end when a few rich people have ALL the money.

Danny said...

I fail to see how the All Star Game is going to forcibly take property from poor folks in the Bronx and hand that property to the owners of the 30 ball clubs.

Henry said...

I would guess you are the only one that doesn’t understand. The All-Star Game ticket revenues go to MLB and are distributed among the 30 team owners. People in the Bronx pay for the infrastructure to generate those revenues and receive zero.

Todd Drew said...

Thanks for stopping by. The point is that the system works for the wealthy at the expense of the poor. This isn’t unique to Major League Baseball or New York City. This is where we all live and what we have become as a society. Not everyone agrees with that, but most people in my neighborhood do.

Danny said...


I assume you aren't arguing for the privatization of roads, bridges, water sources, etc. If we are talking about the public financing of ballparks or other infrastructure for private business than I am in full agreement with you. That isn't a evil created by a free market system. Quite the contrary. The evil is the collusion between business and government, which is the antithesis of a free market system. If you and joeyboy are in agreement than I would add: It is rather illogical to suggest that a few people could somehow have all of the money in a free market system. Capitalism is not the enemy. Government coercion and its handouts to special interests (in this case, big business) are.

Henry said...

We are a long, long, long way from capitalism. MLB is the perfect example of the “Government coercion and its handouts to special interests” that you mention.

The collective bargaining agreement in MLB unfairly taxes the Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, Cubs, Angels, and Dodgers.

MLB wants us to look at that as a tax on those teams, but it’s a tax on the fans of those teams. The consumer pays for everything.

That tax money goes to people like Kansas City Royals owner David Glass, who adds to his huge fortune while baseball fans in KC watch their team wither. So that is money sucked out of the Bronx and Queens and Boston and Chicago and LA.

MLB owners, with the help of an anti-trust exemption, have managed to combine the worst of capitalism and the worst of communism in to their very own twisted system where there are only 30 real winners.

Donna said...

I actually think Danny and Henry are on the same page whether they want to admit it or not.