$1.6BB to build the new Meadowlands? Are they building it in a swamp or on the moon?
Letís cut right to the chase, last week the Giants announced their intention to slap the suckers with PSLís and by all indications the NY Jets are preparing to do likewise.
What this means in practical terms, and these captains of industry (Robert Wood Johnson III, John Mara, etc.) must know this, many of their most passionate season ticket holders are about to be given the old heave ho. To anyone who makes a modest living, the working class if you will, these PSLís are the equivalent of an eviction notice.
Oh sure, it creates the illusion of choice, but there is no choice, that is merely an illusion.
For example, I was born and raised on the lower eastside of Manhattan in a quaint but very affordable little apartment. That neighborhood and that building was distinctly working class. In fact my grandparents had an apartment in the same building and my grandfather shoveled coal. Another neighbor was a tailor and yet another worked for Con Ed. At some point had the landlord suddenly devised a PSL scheme, fork over thousands of dollars just for the right to live and pay rent in this building, he might as well have sent every tenant in that building an eviction notice. It didnít matter if they lived and paid rent in that building for twenty years, if he slapped them upside the head with PSLís, thousands of dollars per head, a separate PSL for each member of your family who resides in this building, he might as well have sent an eviction notice.
Theoretically he would be offering a choice, but for most if not all residents there would be only one realistic option, I canít afford it and I have to leave.
Is that really a choice?
Of course not, it may be more polite than saying get the hell out, but it will have the same effect when some corporate fat cat is sitting in what used to be your seat.
Now I have noticed a strange dynamic on the JI message board in recent days, a strange alliance of liberals and conservatives who are tickled pink by the idea of PSLís. Itís a very small group mind you, most season ticket holders at JI are furious because they know theyíre about to be evicted, practically speaking, but there is this small subset of liberals and conservatives, some who argue like cats and dogs in the political forum, cannot even agree on the time of day, often attack one another with an absolute vengeance, who are suddenly holding hands and singing hosannaís at the mere idea of PSLís.
Whatís that all about?
Itís very simple, these people (for the most part) are on the waiting list, they have money to burn and they want your seat. In other words greed has no political affiliation. It is not affiliated with this political party or that political party. Contrary to popular opinion it is not the exclusive domain of conservatives. Conservatives, those of the country club stripe, may be more overt where it pertains to greed; they may feel less obligated (than equally as well off liberals) to pay lip service to caring about the less fortunate (than themselves) so long as it doesnít cost them anything, but in the end if they covet something you have they will applaud any effort transfer that object of their desire from you to them, even at the point of a gun.
Remember that the next time some liberal starts crying crocodile tears for the plight of the working man. He doesnít give a bleep about the working man either; heíd steal your stuff just as fast as Ken Lay if he could devise such a scheme, heís just pissed off that Ken Lay thought of it first and didnít cut him in on the action. Their reaction to PSLís is all the proof you need. Youíre about to get hammered, perhaps lose the seats that have been in your family for generations, yet if they are on the waiting list and they have the money to burn, and so long as Mara and Woody intend to cut them in on the action (i.e. what used to be your seats), the well off liberals and conservatives have finally discovered a joint cause for celebration, taking what once belonged to the peasants. (Yippee!)
Then of course you have the objectivists, the Ayn Rand disciples if you will, who just feel it is their appointed duty to encourage Woody or Mara to stick it to the working man, many of their most loyal and passionate fans, just to prove they are unabashedly and unapologetically self-centered to the core, because that is a good thing.
Lastly you have the capitalists who give capitalism a bad name, also known as the greediest of the greedy. Donít get me wrong, I am a devout capitalist and a staunch anti-communist, most of my life was devoted to hating the Bolsheviks, but capitalism without a heart is just the pursuit of riches and nothing else, it is divorced from any sense of moral behavior or moral obligations, it is in essence as Godless as communism, it is a hedonistic, nihilistic and narcissistic form of capitalism and it is ugly.
In my view that is what you are seeing here with these PSLís, you are seeing capitalism without a soul. In one fell swoop thousands upon thousands of Jet fans will be evicted from the building, Giant fans too, many who have spent decades cheering on their favorite team in rain, snow or sleet, all in the pursuit of the almighty dollar.
Donít misunderstand me, I like a dollar as much as the next guy, I just donít like it that much. Dare I say it, some things are more important than money. I have spent a lifetime opposing communism and defending capitalism, but I have never held money in greater esteem than actual people and Iím not about to start now. Unfortunately I donít own the NY Jets, I donít get to make these decisions and neither do you. Technically Woody Johnson has every legal right to kick us out on our ears, a legal right he will soon assert by all indications, at which point many of you who are reading this column will no doubt become former season ticket holders.
As Cool Hand Luke famously said to the prison guard who tossed him in the box when his mother passes away, then tried to alleviate himself of the guilt by reminding Luke he was only doing his job ... Calling it your job doesnít make it right, boss.
On that note I would simply say to Mara and Woody; just because this PSL scheme is legal that doesnít make it right. Make no mistake about it, you are about to evict thousands upon thousands of your most loyal and passionate fans from the building. Do not try to alleviate your guilt by suggesting there is a choice. That is an illusion and deep down inside you know it. For many of these people there is no choice. Instead of these PSLís, you might just as well send them an eviction notice.
Are you guys really okay with that?