Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Fast Track to Crazy Town

Read it and weep. I am vindicated. In today's Daily News, the headline reads, Yanks' Stadium a money pit: "Taxpayers bill balloons to 325 M because of incompetence or worse, city controller says," in an article written by Erin Einhorn. In an earlier post I abandoned my usual feminist claptrap and ranted about the giant redundancy I see every morning on the 4 train at 161st Street. Not one, but TWO Yankee Stadiums.

I'm a taxpayer in NYC, have been for almost two decades and I have a problem with footing this bill. Maybe the next time the city decides to spend an ungodly amount of money on a baseball stadium in one of the poorest Congressional districts in the country, they might consider matching the dollar amount for improved medical care and education. Even if they had matched a nickel for every dollar, the amount of money raised would make the difference to thousands of children is substandard classrooms.

What about investing in the children of the Bronx? As I mentioned earlier, I've been teaching in that borough for seven years. One of my former students approached me the other day, and said, "Hey I'm a social worker now. See, professor it pays to invest in poor people." She's going out into the world with dignity and pride. You can't put a price tag on that. But maybe we should try.

But instead the city is on a fast track to crazy town as the tax bill for this ill conceived, badly managed, almost half a billion dollar project, gets bigger and bigger. I'm sorry, I fail to see the logic. The fact that my instincts told me there was something wrong--- as I watched the second stadium rise up right next to the first--- were dead on, doesn't make me feel better.

Invest in education. It is far more empowering than baseball and longer lasting.

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