Again and again the same old story plays out in sports stadiums across the country. Team owners in the NFL, MLB and NBA demand hundreds of millions of dollars in public assistance in order to build new venues. Sometimes they offer a carrot: a vague, far-off promise of jobs and future tax revenue. But often they offer only the stick: the threat that they’ll move their team elsewhere if a city or state government does not comply with their demand.
Years later, the promised economic benefits rarely materialize, and taxpayers are left nursing old wounds. Yet sports owners start the process all over again — demanding new rounds of subsidies and tax breaks … or else.
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What if the U.S. Federal Reserve Board had to implement monetary policy according to a specific rule that would require specific policy actions depending on the circumstances?
That's the intent of a bill Republicans in the House of Representatives recently proposed. The Federal Reserve Accountability and Transparency Act would require the Fed to formulate and make public a monetary policy rule and provide added transparency about the reasons for the Fed's interest rate recommendations.
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Now rivetingly played by Bryan Cranston on Broadway, the 36th president is being remembered for his political skills and domestic achievements, not just his escalation of the Vietnam War.READ MORE
What happens when a stalwart American ally “postpones” the visit of a high-level US delegation for no reason? For Azerbaijan, apparently nothing. This September, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Melia and others were expected to arrive in the capital of Baku to “observe preparations” for the October 9 presidential election, but the Azerbaijani government postponed. These elections are paramount because Azerbaijan’s opposition parties have only symbolic representation in parliament -- the two-term limit on the presidency was abolished in March 2009 by popular referendum.READ MORE
A new alliance between Jordan and Israel, sparked by a secret agreement, could bring the two countries even closer. Israel and Jordan have had a peace treaty for almost 20 years. Recent reports show secret talks between the two countries could strengthen the existing alliance, but what they’re discussing would be geopolitically advantageous for many, including the United States: a natural gas pipeline from Israel to Jordan.READ MORE
In the "Ten Miles Square" blog for the Washington Monthly, Century fellow Harold Pollack analyzes the film The Butler in light of a recent op-ed in The Washington Post. The op-ed criticized the film for its negative portrayal of former president Ronald Reagan as being "racially insensitive." Pollack responds:
"Whatever Reagan’s inner racial views or his private behavior towards individual African-Americans, he chose to court what might politely be called race-conservative segments of the American electorate. He and his party prospered politically by making that choice."
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