Friday, August 04, 2006

What the Hell?

by OZ

Keep in mind while reading this article the following:

1. I am an accountant, not a writer. I am not eloquent, experienced in literature, or even remotely up to date on current events. Therefore I apologize in advance if my writing sounds like a 5 year olds text messaging.

2. The only time I set foot in Tehama Hall (the communications building at Chico State) was because I was on the debate team (yes that’s right, an accountant and a debater…..I was just a Sorority girls dream). The experiences in debating lead me to a single conclusion that has worked well in all subsequent arguments; if it doesn’t lead to the destruction of the world, it’s not an argument.

3. I am writing this with a 12 week old baby on my lap kicking me in the chest, so if it seems a bit hastily written, well, there it is.

So, the point of this article is this; not passing a bill to build a new arena in downtown Sacramento will lead to the destruction of the world.

For those of you that are not familiar with the details of a formal debate, and thank god that is the vast majority of the country, the two sides of the argument are called the affirmative and the negative……and I’ve lost every reader because nobody cares. Stay with me here, I promise there’s a point. The affirmative lays out a situation or topic, in this case the building of a downtown arena in Sacramento with a raise in taxes. This topic is backed by irrefutable facts and reasoning surrounding its purpose, otherwise nobody would have thought it was a good situation or topic in the first place.

It is then the negative’s job not to contradict these facts laid out by the affirmative, but rather to bring other complications or scenarios into the debate that they feel are either potentially worse or a better, dependant on circumstance. If you pay attention, pretty much every argument you’ve ever had follows these guidelines.

My specialty was arguing the negative. In fact, I never lost a formal debate when arguing the negative (somewhere around 14-0). I’ve always found it very easy as to win a debate as the negative you have infinite alternatives to whatever the affirmative is proposing, and the affirmative must respond to every single one or the negative wins, but that’s in formal debate, which this happily is not. In this article we will not forget or bypass the irrefutable facts laid out.

Irrefutable fact #1: A downtown arena will earn the city far more income than it will cost.

Irrefutable fact #2: Without a publicly funded new arena, the Kings will move from Sacramento.

Now with these in mind, I’ll address some of the arguments I’ve heard against the proposed tax increase and arena in general. I know there have been articles and talk on this issue in many forms, but I haven’t read or listened to any of them as I’ve been busy with the aforementioned baby. In particular, there was an article recently written in the SacBee that I have intentionally avoided as I absolutely HATE that newspaper, mostly due to their impressive lack of basketball knowledge.

My personal favorite argument against the arena: “The money should go to roads or schools”

See irrefutable fact #1. I have nothing against money going to roads and schools. In fact, there is literally not a single east/west road from my house that is not under construction, and all the north/south roads need to be expanded. There are 2 new high schools within a mile and a third is being planned, which is excellent planning for the growing community that is Northeastern Elk Grove. But there is one very large difference between the arena and these projects……the arena brings IN money, the projects are expenditures and will continue to cost money in the future.

This is one of the many necessary inefficiencies that separate governmental agencies from private business. The revenue that will be earned from the arena will soon surpass the costs incurred to build the arena, and begin to be unrestricted funds that can be spent fixing the roads and hiring teachers for all these new schools.

Arguing the arena will take money from any other public departments is more than just shortsighted, it’s ridiculous.

My personal favorite argument against the tax increase: “I don’t want to pay taxes for something I’ll never use”

OK. Well let’s use the above argument again. For those that will be paying the minuscule tax, thst means you live in Sacramento and you have to commute to and from work, which is a horrible experience no matter where you live or how far you have to go. Driving in Sacramento traffic can be compared to child birth. It’s too large of an object using too small of course. Eventually, you’ll get to where you need to go, but it’s pure pain all the way there.

For example, if you were to make the trip from Arco to my house during non-drive times (not during 6:30-9 AM or 3:30-6:30 PM) it will take around 15-20 minutes. The distance is 23 miles, or 8 miles shorter than the distance between Red Bluff and Redding California. During drive time? Around 55-75 minutes, and sometimes longer. So there is a problem here. The money earned from the arena can go towards things every person in this city uses, and for what would otherwise cost more in tax dollars as the money is being generated from the arena, not from taxes. With this in mind, won’t we be paying less taxes, not more taxes?

To come:

“The Maloofs should pay for it because they have millions”

“The Maloofs will earn million without spending anything”

“The Maloofs are holding the city hostage”

Also, how not passing this tax increase will result in the end of the world.

1 comment:

sondog said...

Why is it that people have villified the Maloff's because of their unspoken-unmentioned-never said it-feeling that if this measure fails, the Kings will leave? The Maloof's are under no moral obligation to keep the Kings in Sacramento. They are business men, and in the current state of arena deals in the NBA (which you cannot compare to MLB or NFL arena/stadium deals), they have every right to get the best deal possible. It's capitalism at its finest. If Sacramento turns down the deal, that's absolutely the residents perogative. However, if they do, they lose the right (figuratively, not literally) to villify the Maloofs when they move the Kings.