Red State Stadium: A Metaphor

Built at the same time, Giants Stadium cost $1.7 billion to construct in a Blue State, Cowboy Stadium cost $1.2 billion to build in a Red State.  Which stadium to you think is far superior to the other?

This weekend I attended the Michigan-Alabama college football game with my son at Cowboy Stadium outside of Dallas, Texas.  A Giants season ticket holder, I had been anxious to see Cowboy Stadium given all the talk about it in the press.  It didn’t disappoint.  It is truly amazing and it makes Giants Stadium, which cost $500 MILLION MORE to construct than Cowboy Stadium, look like a 1970’s relic.  Cowboy Stadium is simply stunning.

Let’s translate this to a political context and overlay it on the upcoming election.  Mitt Romney argues that free markets, reasonable regulations, minimal unions, and low taxes spur economic growth.  President Obama believes government is the center of the universe and that more taxes and regulations are needed and unions should play a larger role.  Let’s compare stadiums, and economies, in environments where each of these opposing philosophies manifest themselves.

Texas.  Their stadium seats over 90,000 fans (construction cost $13,000/seat), has the world’s 2 largest High Definition television screens, a roof that retracts, air-conditioning inside, phenomenal services, wide aisles, a plethora of dining choices, outstanding traffic control and parking, and courteous personnel.  The Texas economy?  Texas has no state income tax.  Sales tax in Dallas is 6.25%.  The current unemployment rate is 6.9%.

New Jersey (Could just as well be New York):  The stadium seats 82,000 (construction cost $20,700/seat).  It is open and exposed to the weather with no roof.  There is of course no air-conditioning or heat.  Parking is a nightmare, traffic is more of a nightmare.  Dining choices are extremely limited, and all aisles and escalators seem tight and crowded.  And the New Jersey economy? State income tax rates are 8.7%.  Sales tax is 7%.  Unemployment is 9.2%. 

Let me summarize that, Texas vs. New Jersey, Red vs. Blue:  90,000 vs. 82,000, $13,000/seat vs $20,000/seat, open stadium/covered stadium/temperature controlled vs. always open, $1.2 billion vs. $1.7 billion, 6.2% sales tax vs. 7%, unemployment rate 6.9% vs. 9%.

Now, who has the right economic formula, Democrats or Republicans? 

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