Mayor Bloomberg is calling George Steinbrenner a “quintessential New Yorker.” If so, that’s too bad for New York. Overlooked in all the encomiums to the late Yankee owner is this:
He was constantly threatening to leave New York City unless he got the conditions he wanted
That’s from former Mayor Koch. Steinbrenner made a career of extracting subsidies from New York City. Only recently, the new Yankee Stadium was financed to the tune of $1.2 billion of public subsidies. (See this excellent post several years ago by Ilya Somin of the Volokh Conspiracy.) George Will apparently once wrote that Steinbrenner “overflow[ed] with the animal spirits that fuel capitalism in its rawer forms.” If Steinbrenner was a capitalist then give me socialism! He made a fortune through corporate welfare of the most egregious kind. Too bad Major Koch didn’t tell Steinbrenner to take his Yankees elsewhere.