Same Ol', Same Ol'

Glen Meakem's Post-Gazette op-ed -- which blamed the Rendell administration and anti-growth Democratic policies for putting the Steelers' family ownership at risk and turning Pittsburgh into a minor league city -- struck me as a low-grade version of the kind of politico-economic sloganeering -- long on emotion-laden rhetoric, short on logic -- that made Ronald Reagan so successful. (Bram R. also has some good comments.) I haven't been around this summer to absorb the details of the Rooneys' financial maneuvering, but their dealings with the Steelers seem to have lots to do with a problem common to family businesses -- intergenerational successorship issues, coupled with NFL rules that limit team owners' entanglement with gambling interests -- and nothing to do with the region's stagnating population or economic growth overall. And stagnating population and economic growth overall were problems in Pittsburgh long before Ed Rendell was elected Governor of the Commonwealth. The seeds of Pittsburgh's alleged minor league status were sown decades ago in decisions not to heed the signs of the decline of steel. The Democratic Party in Pittsburgh may have made those problems worse; Democrats aren't immune from criticism. Few people, including me, are fans of a high tax/low performance economic environment. But a prescription to let-business-be-business (or, to recall an earlier era, what's good for GM, etc.) isn't what we need.


3 Responses to "Same Ol', Same Ol'"

Anonymous said... 7/28/2008 4:02 PM

Good recruiment video for Pgh.

Schultz said... 7/28/2008 8:13 PM

Very nice, except I don't get why the winner of the competition did that terrorist fist jab at the end there!

Burgher Jon said... 7/29/2008 7:48 AM

I couldn't agree more Mike, if any laws deal with the Rooneys potentially losing the Steelers they are national (inheritence tax laws) and NFL by-laws.

Good to have you back in your blogging chair!

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Pittsblog 2.0 is written by Mike Madison, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Send email to michael.j.madison[at] Mike also blogs at, on law and technology. Chris Briem of Null Space drops by from time to time.

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