According to David W. Maurer, writing in The Big Con (1940), there was a saying amongst con men: “There’s a mark born every minute, and one to trim ’em and one to knock ’em”. Here ‘trim’ means to rip off, and ‘knock’ means to persuade away from a scam. The meaning is that there is no shortage of new victims, nor of con men, nor of honest men.


Elvis did a movie that was based on spring break in Ft Lauderdale. One of the songs in it was about the Ft Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce message about girls and boys. You can imagine that it is a very positive one — depending on your point of view.

The Missouri House committee on Government Oversight and Accountability will be holding a hearing today at which Governor Nixon’s team led by David Peacock will attempt to undoubtedly explain why it would be foolish not to extend bonds for a new stadium After all, there would be no tax increase on taxpayers according to the con, er, I mean the ones who wish to involuntarily put taxpayers into a position of paying for another 30 years for another stadium that will end up costing them at least another $700 million when interest and upkeep is taken into account. And those numbers don’t include renovating and maintaining the Edward Jones Dome which is already becoming a money pit.

Whatever is said and you can be sure the St Louis press will be groveling and licking up every morsel. They have demonstrated they are not interested in reporting the facts, especially those not supportive of fleecing the taxpayers to build a new stadium.

Click here to let the Governor and your legislators know you oppose public funding of a new stadium!

It’s also likely that the numbers you hear will be based on models that are often used to support government’s participation in crony capitalism.  What you aren’t likely to hear about those models is the truth — they can be made to say anything the modelers want them to say and have a track record that is dismal. To be fair, I think those associated with trying to sell the stadium to legislators and taxpayers actually believe in their product. They just don’t look very hard at the past and similar promises that never come true. Here are some recent examples of bad deals gone even worse.

Some might recall the MAMTEK disaster in Moberly a few years ago when Governor Nixon was all gung-ho based on these models and a Chinese sweetener plant promises.  Didn’t take long for that deal to go sour and Governor Nixon quickly backed away from any knowledge or support. He even said he doesn’t run the department of Economic Development although he is directly responsible for it.

Click here to let the Governor and your legislators know you oppose public funding of a new stadium!

And just a year ago the legislature was called into special session to cut a special deal to get Boeing to move their operations from Seattle to St Louis. While it was obvious to most states that Boeing was just leveraging their union in Seattle and  refused to even get engaged in the bidding war, Jay Nixon was doing all he could to give as much away as possible. The models once again showed what a wonderful deal this would be. Unfortunately for the bureaucrats, they actually admitted that they had changed some salary numbers, increased them above what Boeing had given, that went into the model and low and behold what a financial deal it came out to be! Except it wasn’t.

One thing is for certain, Jay Nixon has the side step shuffle from the “Best Little Whorehouse In Texas” down pat. He and his “team” will be dancing away trying to convince legislators and taxpayers that if they will just agree to build this once in a lifetime stadium that all will go well.  All the problems of St Louis will be solved and peace and tranquility will come along with all that prosperity that a new stadium will bring.  Of course the same type of people were saying that about the last stadium state taxpayers built here. Same song, second verse.

Click here to let the Governor and your legislators know you oppose public funding of a new stadium!

It’ll probably take a week or so to uncover all the facades and fantasy contained with the stadium numbers to be presented. So for about a week those who wish to burden taxpayers with a huge debt will be reigning high. They might want to keep in mind the old saying “the bigger they are the harder they fall” when doing so.

In the meantime, take a look at our posting, Myths and Half-truths: Stadium Proposal. It’s quite popular among those who want you to pony up a few bucks every year so they will have a stadium to go to.

PT Barnum is often credited with saying “there’s a sucker born every minute”. Researchers have come to dismiss this being anything Barnum said but con men have been saying something like it for ever.

Make no mistake about it, the stadium “deal” is a con being foisted on taxpayers. It may be a well meaning con but a con none the less. The question will be how easy of a mark will we be? Early indications are not that easy!

Click here to let the Governor and your legislators know you oppose public funding of a new stadium!