…super bowl! us parasitic poor vs us indigent corporations…Posted: 2014-02-01
…nothing like provoking questions and the search for answers…
In the US the artful distraction continued with the US President ‘fervently’ calling for an increase in the US minimum wage to a comic $10.10 (double ten?) – a figure mentioned a year before by another of his party – and for an extension of unemployment benefits to the long-term unemployed. And to reinforce the distraction, the US Super Bowl, more famous for the ads and entertainment than the game itself, dominates cable and network TV, even in countries where the sport is barely known or understood. Irony is that many in the US seem completely unaware of the enduring cynical game of deception being perpetrated, and its cost to them.
Since many an econ lecturer would have mentioned to the students the use of subsidies by those ‘advanced’ countries that then demand the less ‘advanced’ to not follow their example and instead remove modest subsidies to their respective industries, we provide the ‘hidden’ reality. Here we have a look at how the needy corporate sports industry, and the others, of the US fares. From over at common dreams we have the treat, The Super Bowl of Subsidies. From this we cite two teasers.
What comes to mind when you think of the Super Bowl? The Bronco’s stunning offense? The glitzy halftime show? Chicken wings and Clydesdales? Call me a spoil sport, but I can’t help thinking subsidies. That’s because even though the NFL (National Football League) generates $51 million a year in ticket sales, $2.1 billion in merchandising revenue, and an estimated $2.8 billion a year for television rights, they also receive about $1 billion each year in state and federal subsidies to cover their capital costs. Many teams also take a page from the playbook of the biggest global corporations by blackmailing local governments: unless taxpayers pony up for a new stadium or major improvements to the old one, the team will simply pack up and head elsewhere. The NFL also gets a tax break through a convenient loop-hole that deems it a non-profit organization.
I work for a very different size of non-profit in which all these millions and billions of dollars are impossible-to-fathom sums. However, the NFL’s ability to fleece the public is nothing compared to most of the big—and even more dubious—subsidies out there. The International Society for Ecology and Culture has been tracking corporate subsidies for more than two decades and these are some of the worst we’ve found:
[Bold added for emphasis]
No need to mention the obscene profits to that industry, and its studious avoidance of the real cost to the disposable players as suggested by the judge that rejected the proposed sum of US$767m – an issue the US MSM would avoid, substantial advertising revenue and all that.
The cost to US society, especially the middle class and lower from such largesse should be obvious. Of course, the benefit to the politician is significant enough for the game of deception to be continued with lots of distracting glitz and glamour. US$4m for a 30 sec commercial? So, then, what will be the ‘cutest’ tv commercial or the most ‘awesome’?