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In a city where I once lived the town fathers decided to build a basketball arena and a baseball stadium side-by-side. Though it amounted to a billion-dollar giveaway to the richest guys in town, the people generally favored it. Sports tend to be the peasants' chief form of entertainment. And who could argue against public investment in the people's joy?
But just to soothe the naysayers -- those who either didn't like sports, or didn't like giving their money to guys way richer than themselves -- the town fathers hired an esteemed consultant. For a great deal of money, said consultant dug deep into his anal cavity to render a verdict: This new project would create 27,000 new jobs, he decreed. The people were sold.
Scroll forward 15 years, and these 27,000 jobs have yet to show. Maybe they're stuck in traffic. Best as anyone can tell, that billion-dollar investment gave birth to perhaps a dozen or so bars and restaurants. The job estimate, of course, was lie. Unless Alice Cooper's joint happens to employ 26,572 bus boys.
So forgive my amusement that Nashville is now running the same scam. Backers of the new convention center estimate that it will create 36,000 new jobs
. Over at May Town Center HQ, they're expecting 35,000 jobs
. All they need is a very large pile of welfare to get started.
They can't tell you where these jobs will come from. Or who will provide them. Or what kind they'll be. All they can say is they've been culled from some highly respected anal cavity and splattered across an impressive report.
It would be cool if it was true, but it never is. In my old hometown, they ran Ye Olde Fictitious Job Scam so often that everyone joked about having five jobs. They're easy to come by. All that's required is massive transfer of wealth from you to someone way richer than you. But there is a downside: Fictitious jobs don't pay so well.