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tv   Ali Velshi on Target  Al Jazeera  August 11, 2015 3:30am-4:01am EDT

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>> plenty more on our website. you can find out the latest as the protest grow on the reopening the sendai plant. www.aljazeera.com. i'm david schuster in for ali velshi tonight. money for nothing. taxpayers foot the bill. how we can close america's wage gap. convincing taxpayers that it pays to host big sporting events in their city becomes larder to do. boston dropped its bid for
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olympics in 2024. would have been covered by private developers, taxpayers complained they would still be on the hook for $600 million. mayor dumped the bid. the olympics are one thing but the national football league is another. nfl owners are used to cajoling cities into slick new stadiums in threats to leave. los angeles bolted for st. louis, leaving l.a. without a team. now the san diego chargers are threatening to move to l.a. unless cities come up with gows financingenerous fundings for aw stadium. between twod 2000 an 2000 and 2010, lost
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property taxes the team owners are able to force cities to pick up in its new stadium construction. of course the sports teams and their owners insist there's a return on the investment for that public funding in the form of increased public activity that state-of-the-art stadiums many proalt. proposed . they say they're giving up a lot of money for nothing. ali velshi reports . >> blow up an old stadium. build a newer, bigger one costing $1 billion or more. it's a pattern that's been repeating itself over the last 20 years among the nation's professional sports leagues. and some say these new stadiums especially income the success of the national football league or nfl, whose total revenue is
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$99.4 billion. but a large part of funding from these new stadiums comes not from the pro leagues like the nfl but from taxpayer dollars. some critics see it as a form of corporate welfare. and what few people realize is that even after a stadium is blown up and no longer exists, taxpayer money is still being used to pay off the stadium's debt. the king dome home to the mariners and seahawks, blown up in 2000, has outstanding government debt of $83 million. and giants stadium, demolished in 2010, has an outstanding government debt of $266 million. which won't be paid off until 2025. and yet, when it comes to football stadiums, cities keep
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building new giant facilities with state and local governments on average paying for 57% of all construction costs. that translates to over 6 billion taxpayer dollars to build fancy new football stadiums since 1995. take the minnesota vikings new u.s. bank stadium in minneapolis, minnesota. the total cost is slated to be $1.1 billion with state and local taxpayers shouldering at least 58% or $498 million of the total costs. proponents say this new stadium would bring a much needed economic boost to minneapolis. >> already $1 billion being constructed around the stadium, bringing all these major events and the people, in the economy stay in our hotels, eat in our restaurants, shop in our stores. that never would happen if you don't have this kind of facility available.
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>> but sports economists like craig depkin who have studied this issue come to a different conclusion. >> economists have contemplated whether or not the benefits outweigh the costs of publicly built stadiums, generally they do not, these are not good stadiums. >> that cost vs. benefits debate dates back to 1989. jesse ventura had a meeting with red mccombs. >> he had nothing. he looked at me with that texas drawl and said governor, i need a new stadium. i thought to myself, i'm going to have fun with this. i said red, why do you need to see me for? i'm sure there's a land owner out there who will sell you some land, go ahead you don't need my approval.
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>> the public relations value, and the day-to-day plugging of your city, you can't put a value on, because there's no other model or any other product to where you can get that. but on sports you get it everyday the year round. so of course it's worth it. it's more than worth it. it is the best value in the world! >> ventura said he told mccombs if he wanted a new stadium he can raise dollars to take for it. >> i told him let me tell you something, my wife, the first lady of minnesota doesn't give a rat's ass about football. you are telling me you can't charge your fans but you can go to these people and reach in their wallet and make them pay so you get a new stadium? i said don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.
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>> it would take two more governors, a new team owner and odecade and a half before the vie vikings would get their own stadium. >> much more patience than an individual politician or an individual taxpayer. the team kept waiting and kept offering and demanding and requesting and eventually did get their stadium subsidy through. >> for his part, ventura recalls the pressure he felt to build the new stadium. >> the real pressure comes from yourself because it's your legacy. any governor or high ranking elected official if a team does leave, well that will be your legacy. the only good thing for jesse ventura was, i didn't give a damn. i went there to serve. i'm not a career politician. i did the best job for people
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who elected me and the nfl didn't elect me. >> the new stadium is scheduled to open in july of 2016 and given that the average life span of a new football stadium has dropped to just 30 years, this new viking stadium will likely be demolished in 2046. >> up next. the numbers just don't add up. so why do cities keep catering to billionaire owners? >> when you actually go look at the economic data, whether it's employment, whether it's income, whether it's gdp, even things like travel related hotel occupation, everything like that you can never find large bumps associated with either new franchises, new stadiums or big events like the world cup and rld >> there's a line of police advancing toward the crowd here. >> ferguson: city under siege. >> it isn't easy to talk openly on this base. >> and america's war workers. >> it's human trafficking.
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>> watch these and other episodes online now at aljazeera.com/faultlines.
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>> last week, a judge in st. louis gave the city the green light to build a new stadium without going through a formal public vote. the rams have been demanding a new stadium and are threatening to move to, you guessed it, los
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angeles if the city doesn't build a new stadium for the team. a new stadium would cost nearly $1 billion with almost $400 million being covered by public funds. by the way, the owner of the rams stan kronke has a net of more than $6 billion. ali velshi talked about the financing of sports stadiums with victor matheson. who studied the financing of stayed yim. >> if you actually go down and look at game day and you see all those thousands of people spending money on hot dogs and tickets and all this you can't believe there's not some sort of gigantic economic benefit. when you look at the data whether it's employment whether it's income whether it's gdp, even things like travel related hotel occupancy everything like that you actually can never find
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large bumps associated with either new stadiums news franchises or things like the world cup or the olympics. >> let's see what the minnesota vikings site says about the new stadium scheduled to open in 2016. it says it's going to create 13,000 jobs during construction, part time jobs and full time jobs supported 50 economic activity generated 50 steady yum. tax revenue and over $145 million in direct spending by vikings fans inside the state of mercedeminnesota. that's a good pitch. >> well it is a good pitch. unfortunately it is simply not right. had the vikings actually left and left camp and went to l.a. you wouldn't have seen anything like a $26 million drop in tax revenue or a $150 million drop in economic activity in minnesota. away sports teams generally do is they don't generate a whole
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lot of new economic activity. what they in fact do is they kind of shift around the way people spend entertainment dollars in the local economy. the vikings disappear, bad for vikings fans, pretty good for theaters, museums, shopping malls all sorts of other places where people can use their disposable income. >> we talk about if rams, and l.a., benefiting the nfl a lot with everybody threatening to go to l.a. >> yes, who would guessed 20 years ago having to leave l.a. for other places and leaving the city open for two decades would have had an actually positive benefit on the nfl but in fact what has happened is at least a does teams over the past two decades used a very credible threat of a team relocating to los angeles to be able to bill being citizens
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out of money for new stadiums. spent around the united states specifically because those home teams had made the threat a very real threat to move to los angeles and of course we just had the most recent one here in the last couple days with st. louis looking like they're getting about $400 million to keep the rams at home rather than have -- >> go to l.a. >> move to ingelwood in the outskirts of l.a. >> the mayor said there's no way a pro sports franchise is coming to oklahoma city without, stadium renovation. the supersonics became the oklahoma city thrurnd. thunder. was the mayor right? >> we have to give credit to the mayor here. the mayor explicitly said he didn't think it was going to
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make the city of oklahoma city richer, wasn't going to make the average person have a lot more money in their pocket but it was going to be a fun place for people to spend that money in their pocket and to have a nice amenity for the city. i don't think any economist would argue that pro sports make life a lot more livable. they're a great amenity for the city they're fun but they certainly don't make people rich. >> part of your argument -- i'm a big infrastructure guy -- part of your argument is, the city could spend money on infrastructure or on other things the city doesn't spend funds on. >> what is the role of your government? is it basically to build a factory? because that's what an arena is, to build a factory for billionaire owners and millionaire players or general types of infrastructure to benefit the society as a whole? here in boston about 20 years
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ago bob kraft, the owner of the patriots, built the stadium for his own players, we should encourage him to spend his money in any way he wants, but the city did kick in for infrastructure improvements that allow people to use that stadium much more easily than in the past. i don't think anyone from the most conservative to the most liberal economist thinks that's a poor use of taxpayer money. >> what value do you place on marketing, you look at green bay and the packers, i don't know if the packers weren't there what we would know about green bay. is there a way to monetizize that? >> there is no do you believe that a prosports team does put your city on the map mind you we do have subsidization of places like dallas and boston that are already on most people's maps.
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that being said, you would wonder exactly how to moneys moins monetize that. i really like that sports franchise there -- [simultaneous speech] >> a lot of companies in small towns they do say it. when you talk about what's neat about cincinnati osh what's neat about these smaller cities, the sports teams, state-of-the-art sports teams. you look at giants stadium, yankees stadium, city field, there hasn't been remarkable commercial development around these places. so this concept is if you build it they will come. they do come, people come and they spend their dollars in the stadium. but it's not always clear they spend their money around the stadium and in the community. >> of course that's exactly right. if you are a team owner you're
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not in the business of local development, you're in the business of revenue generation, a modern stadium actually does an extremely good job of separating people from their dollars. that's kind of their business. but they want to make sure they separate people from their dollars inside the walls of the stadium. >> walter, we're on the wrong side, we need to be building stadiums. victor thank you so much. >> thanks for having me. >> coming up the boss gets rich while the workers get very little. we'll look at what one candidate wants to do about make's growing pay gap. ng pay gap.
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>> i don't
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>> six months ago if you had predicted that senator bernie
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sanders of vermont would have attracted a lot of interest, would you have been called crazy. on sunday, the independent from vermont drew the largest crowd of any 2016 presidential candidate so far. nearly 20,000 supporters jammed into a basketball arena in portland, oregon for sanders rally with another 8,000 gathered in overflow areas outside. sanders decried the political influence of the billionaire class and promised a better lot for the working class. >> we can be a nation in which everyamerican regardless of his or her income can get a college education . >> sanders is keeping the pressure on hillary clinton who addressed student debt. she proposed a $350 billion plan to cut the cost of public school
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tuition and cut student loan interest rates. sanders though is clearly tapping into the voters, by seizing on the wall street movement, let's bring in al jazeera's political analyst michael shure. 28,000 heard it in portland, bernie sanders railing against the billionaire class, is that what is attracting all this attention or is something else going on? >> well it's a little bit of geography. i believe you touched on a important. there is a touch of the occupy, the us vs. them. that always touches a chord. bernie sanders, with the exception of a notable appearance in arizona a few weeks ago has been going to white liberal strongholds, that's where his power base is coming. it's no surprise, when you look at the
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polling in iowa and new hampshire, starting out in two of the whitest states in the nation and when you go after white liberals in those states and you go to the other places where a kind of white liberal mentality among democrats exists you're going to draw well. also he draws well because of the message he's sending. it's a social message and a message of inequality. that draws true especially among the young democrats in that state. >> there was hillary clinton today with the first of two speeches talking about college affordability and the way to pay for student debt and there's bernie sanders talking about free tuition for all. so does hillary clinton get lost somehow in that conversation? >> i don't think she gets lost. it's saying she's being crafty, she's addressing it the way bernie is. he goes after younger voters and when you promise something big
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to young voters, they're very excited about that. but the do-ability of that comes into question. there's hillary clinton saying, bernie is striking a chord, let's make this message more real. her message says, we're going to cut student debt, make it so the loans happen but they're not repaid like regular student loans. we are going to, this is aan important part of her proposal, refinancing existing debt. there are a lot of people with existing debt, a lot of people in bernie sanders audience are new or don't even have it yet. the ones with existing debt are the voters. she's also taxing the wealthy here. she says you can't take luxury dutiondeductions on your taxes. co-opting a little bit of his message. i think the hillary clinton
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proposal would probably have an easier time appealing to both democrats and republicans in congress. that's what has to be done. the do-ability and the dream, although there is something tempting in the dream. >> increased number of democratic voters in iowa, the latest poll shows hillary clinton still with a large lead among democrats. she's ahead of bernie sanders by 27. but last month she was ahead by 48 points. in other words she has lost ten points, bernie sanders has gained 11 in just a month. how nervous should the hillary clinton campaign be? >> of course they're nervous and they have to pay attention to it. but i think they're paying attention to it in their own way. this bernie sanders campaign is an enigma. i don't think they're prepared for it to be as successful as it has been but it also has a ceiling. people look at electability. similarly on the republican
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part. donald trump has a ceiling. there is a sealin ceiling to that because people look at electability. right now they're enjoying what sanders has to say but when it comes down to electability, i think clinton people feel they don't have to worry that much. iowa and new hampshire, even closer in new hampshire than in iowa, he is being taken seriously. >> a comparison between bernie sanders and donald trump, are there people on both sides who are sick of political institutions who feel that government can't work and therefore we have to have a person who breaks all that china as that bull in the china shop donald trump did in the debate, there's something appealing to people about that. >> well, it certainly makes good political theater, it's happened historical, these are the first two men that have done it but not quite with the exclamation point that donald trump is
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putting on it. people, when you poll them about washington you and i know this, they can't stand the place. what do you do, look at an outsider who really wants to break it. bernie sanders is the sitting u.s. senator but the only independent senator, that holds some appeal. you mentioned occupy wall street. there's something about taking it to them. whatever them is. donald trump is taking it to them and his party and bernie sanders is doing the same thing to the democrats. it's got great appeal but people look at the viability of bernie sanders and say you know what this guy has got the message, he's basically done it before but maybe we want to glom on to him. historically, the suck rate stops at a point. when and if it happens, they are polling pretty well, donald trump way ahead of the game there. >> you were at the debate in cleveland just a few hours after, the polls suggested he had done well, there's a new
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poll that says he has increased his lead despite the comments that he made over the weekend, some provocative comments about one of the debate moderate coorm ors,megyn kelly, fox news part f the establishment and therefore is donald trump being treated unfairly? >> well, the number of republicans who i spoke to in cleveland who really don't like fox news were astonishing to me. you lump them as one and the same. anything fox news says i'm against and that i found pretty surprising. but i think when you see trump's numbers go up, nobody has a theory. once this herd thins a little bit, the numbers for donald trump will stay where they are and someone else's numbers will go up by virtue of the fact that these republican mainstreamers
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will drop out and that is what makes this theater so great. >> michael shure, thanks for being on the program, we appreciate it. tomorrow "on target," ali velshi returns and taking his show on the road to the city of brotherly love. ali velshi "on target" from philadelphia for the rest of the week at 10:30 p.m. and that is our show for today. i'm david schuster in for ali velshi. thanks for watching. >> it creates a huge opportunity for the small business owners. >> these are all different strains.
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>> saudi backed forces say they have recaptured a yemen province from houthi fighters. hello. you are watching al jazeera, we are live from doha. coming up on the program, anger in japan as the country restarts its first nuclear plant since the fukushima disaster. an accidental toxic spill as a

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