Where’s my spot in the new arena?

Dear Wisconsin politicians,

Thank you for your wonderful work in keeping our state’s priorities straight in these difficult End Times. Few understand the need for a new professional basketball arena and helping those who can’t help themselves, but your tenacity has helped fight off greedy teachers, parents and others who would divert our critical public dollars into frivolous indulgences like education.

Now that we’ve taken $250 million in state funding out of the UW System and invested that exact amount into the new Milwaukee Bucks arena, I was wondering if you would help me reserve my spot in the new arena as my reward for supporting this public-private partnership. Even though, as a faculty member in the system, I am a pig in the public pantry, I’ve seen the light.  I want you to know what I’m willing to do before I become homeless.

BBC photo of Hurricane Katrina refugees at the Superdome.

BBC photo of Hurricane Katrina refugees at the Superdome.

Look, you and I know that when it comes to disasters, Wisconsin’s woes aren’t quite the same as Katrina was for New Orleans — after all, Louisiana will recover some day.  So your strategy is a good one; why not spend what we’ve got on good, wholesome fun while we wait for the apocalypse?

As you already realize, many faculty are already jumping ship while the rest of the state is just trying to tread water in a whirlpool. You, on the other hand, have sagely provided us with a spanking new arena at the bottom of the drain, and that’s good enough for me.

Despite your tacit admission that Wisconsin will be toast in a few years, I’m sure that you guys, as responsible stewards of our public finances, have an appropriate exit strategy with the Bucks and the NBA.  I bet you have a strategic community-relations plan that includes contingencies for opening the arena to victims of catastrophes.  Stuff like floods, tornados, or an unprepared workforce that will devastate our state’s economy and hasten mass homelessness. Continue reading