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Capitalism and progress unfold the politics of comparisons

Derek Joy

Derek Joy

Capitalism and progress unfold the politics of comparisons

By Derek Joy

Ah, yes!  The sporting world is abuzz with action.

The NCAA’s March Madness shows how college basketball competition captures the attention of America and other parts of the world.

Locally, we see the Miami Heat being seriously challenged in its bid to win a third consecutive NBA Championship, while the SONY Open Tennis Tournament on Key Biscayne is a big draw and the lowly Miami Dolphins struggle to renovate Sun Life Stadium.

Smack dab in the middle of the NFL’s free agency period, heading in-to the annual NFL Draft. Both offer a crystal clear view of myths associated with free agent acquisitions, trades and draftees.

A real capitalistic comparison. Precisely the kind of stories that put the sporting world front and center in the news spotlight.

And in the end, the athletic competition is all about economics. Money. Capitalism at its comparative best. The bottom line of profit rings the bell. Same is true in politics.

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is in the throes of battle. He bombed in efforts to renovate his Sun Life Stadium with funds from the hotel bed tax increase. Blown right out of the waters.

Bombed again when he attempted to target members of the Florida State Legislature who opposed his efforts. Got worse when he donated some $200 million to his alma mater, the University of Michigan.

Now, Ross has launched an all out effort to sway the public for its dollars. He plans to fund the $350 million re-novation project in exchange for one million dollar tax relief.

Wait a minute. Ross will pay for the renovations, give ownership of Sun Life Stadium to Miami Dade County and receive a one million dollar per year tax break. Isn’t that the same as “Quid Pro Quo?”

Isn’t that the same as bribery and taking kickbacks that come into play when a private citizen or typical business bids on government contracts? Investigations are initiated, allegations made. Indictments, arrests, even trials and convictions at times.

Right. Government is different. Po-litics are played by different rules. Profit has its many layers. Capitalism in the political is like that.

Miami Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, while justifying a tax increase for the citizenry in lieu of layoffs and reduced services, is almost certain to give the super wealthy – Ste-phen Ross – another tax break.

Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert II is insisting on a “stream of re-venue,” as opposed to promises written in water.  Stuck in Ross’ craw.  Gimenez’, too.

And they say, “To whom much is given, much is expected.” Sure seems quite the opposite: To whom much is given, give them more. Just what it is in capitalism. The poor and disenfranchised are simply an afterthought, like slaves during the Civil War.

And there you have the sporting comparison in the politics of political comparisons.


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