The MLB announced last Tuesday that the Braves will soon be moving from downtown Atlanta in Fulton County to an area close to Marietta in Cobb County. The announcement came shortly after the Cobb County Commission voted 4-1 to approve the Memorandum of Understanding that called for approximately $300 million in taxpayer funds to be used to construct the $672 million stadium. Not only will taxpayers be on the hook for constructing the stadium but they will also be on the hook for covering half of the stadium’s capital maintenance expenses.
So why should anyone be upset, especially if the the development is going to support more than 5,200 jobs with a payroll of over $235 million?
In an article written by Georgia State Representative Charles Gregory titled “Move would be ‘legal plunder’ of taxpayers”, he says that everyone is ignoring one problem and that problem is theft.
“Sadly, I’ve come to realize that not everyone readily makes this connection. Far too many of us have become desensitized and accustomed to, or are simply OK with stealing (or having government steal on our behalf) from others as long as it’s for something we like or benefits us.” Gregory goes on to say, “Classical political theorist and free-market economist Frederic Bastiat refers to the phenomenon as “legal plunder” — when a group of politically connected individuals use the force of government to commit theft from the masses in the name of the so-called “greater good,” or what he calls “false philanthropy.””
Gregory finishes his article by stating that he is ok with private development of Braves’ stadium in Cobb County as long as taxpayer money is not used. “If private developers want to risk their own money and resources seeking greater profits, fantastic! If individuals chip-in voluntarily, that’s great too! But, if this venture won’t stand on its own in a free market, it’s immoral and a violation of the public trust and of natural law to force taxpayers to pay for it.”
Georgia State Rep. Charles Gregory lives in Marietta and his website can be found here.
To read a free version of Frederic Bastiat’s famous book “The Law”, click here.