In the Star Tribune, Roger Goodell talks about the importance of getting a new Viking stadium in Minnesota. And perhaps it is important. But if it is so important, then Zygi Wilf can go ahead and build a new Viking stadium. I don't know that anybody is actively trying to prevent him from doing so. It is not as if the state of Minnesota is putting up roadblocks to stop a private businessman from building a profit-making building with his own money. What Goodell really wants, of course, is for the state to give Wilf public money to build the stadium. You know, money that could otherwise be used for matters such as transportation, education, health care, and other necessary programs that benefit a wide variety of Minnesotans.
For example, Goodell says:
"I think we have to continue to work with the governor and the leadership in that community to understand those priorities and figure out how we get a new stadium built. That is necessary for the Vikings. We all want the Vikings to be there in the long term, successfully. They need a new stadium, that's clear. I think it's recognized by all parties and we need to get down to the difficult business of figuring out how to do it."
Is it hard to figure out how to get the new stadium? I'll make a proposal: Viking ownership invests money into its business to build a profit-making building for that private business. The real challenge on how to do it will actually be up to the architects, engineers, construction crews, etc., that Zygi Wilf hires to build his profit-making building.
Goodell uses euphemism to distort what he really wants. When he says "we have to continue to work with the governor and the leadership in that community," he makes it seem as if they must work hard together in a spirit of cooperation to get things done. But we can easily define what he's doing differently: he's lobbying for taxpayer money to be used to build a very expensive building for a private business that makes a lot of money in profits.
I think we can use different--but still accurate--terminology when talking about building a new stadium in Minnesota. If we do that, the perspective changes drastically. Instead of "stadium," would say "profit-making building for a private business." Instead of "work with the governor and legislators," I'd say "find a way to get politicians to approve of giving away taxpayer money." And when Goodell talks about "priorities of the community," we could say "a stadium versus better funding for public schools, improved roads and mass transit, and other necessities and benefits that help millions of Minnesotans."
I don't oppose building a new Viking stadium, and I do recognize the benefits to the community that may justify using public financing for the stadium. But I'm tired of the euphemism. Nobody is stopping Zygi Wilf from building a stadium. Don't pretend that you need support to build the stadium, when what you really want is support to take our money to help build the stadium for you.