by Ben Joravsky
According to the article in Bloomberg, the leaders of Oakland are preparing to fire 200 cops—roughly a quarter of the force—to help erase a huge budget deficit.
At the same time, they're spending some $17.3 million a year to "stage 10 games a season for the Oakland Raiders and to host the Oakland A's" in the local stadium, write Darrell Preston and Aaron Kuriloff.
For our readers who don't follow sports, the Raiders are a football team in the NFL, which may be the richest sports league in the universe.
And the A's are a baseball team in Major League Baseball, which may be the second richest sports league in the universe.
So Oakland's deciding to divert millions of dollars from the war against crime to the rich guys who own football and baseball teams.
As if they're not rich enough.
Apparently Oakland's leaders feel compelled to do so because the owners of the Raiders "may move to nearby Santa Clara and share an under-construction $1.2 billion venue with the San Francisco 49ers, or to Los Angeles, where the City Council has backed a $1.5 billion stadium hoping to lure the NFL," the article continues. "Losing the Raiders would leave Oakland with about $145 million in debt, which originated 17 years ago in part to bring the team back from Los Angeles."
OK, Oakland, LA, San Francisco, Santa Clara—let me explain this sports-team thing one more time.
You don't make money from them—they make money off of you. So you should be charging them, not the other way around.
Well, I guess it's sort of reassuring to know that we, the taxpayers of Chicago, are not alone when it comes to allowing our leader to waste desperately needed tax dollars on stupid shit that no one needs.
In Oakland's defense, I see no evidence that they're pretending that it's sound law-enforcement policy to divert millions of tax dollars from cops to gazillionaires.
As opposed to Mayor Rahm, who advocates an interesting approach to policing in which he attempts to crack down on escalating gang violence (500-plus murders last year) by cutting the number of cops through attrition.
'Cause as we all know, nothing does more to combat gun-blasting gangs than having fewer cops on the street to arrest them.
This is not unlike the mayor's interesting approach to education, in which he attempts to attract the best and brightest teachers to Chicago by doling out contracts to his nonunion charter school cronies, who pay their teachers less so they can keep more of the money for themselves.
'Cause as we all know, nothing attracts the best and the brightest teachers like a lifetime of indentured servitude.
Paying teachers less and getting fewer cops to do more enables Mayor Rahm to take the money he saves on salaries and hand it over to rich developers to build upscale skyscrapers in high-rent neighborhoods that are already bursting with development.
All in the name of eradicating blight in poor neighborhoods. Here, read all about it.
Well, at least Mayor Rahm's not giving money away to the Bears—speaking of which, heckuva high-octane offense you got there, fellas—like he's desperately trying to do to the Cubs and the Bulls and the Blackhawks.
While we're on the subject . . .
I think we should make the Bears pay a doofus tax until they can find a tight end who can actually catch passes. As opposed to letting them bounce off his fingers.
My advice to Oakland's leaders—whoever they may be—is to rip up that stadium agreement and tell the Raiders to get the hell out of town if they don’t like it.
As a general rule, no football team is worth 200 cops, even if their tight ends can catch.