Thursday, March 5, 2015

More Corporate Welfare for Sheldon Adelson?

By Thomas Dilorenzo

For the past year or so I have been smelling a big, fat rat from reading the news in Florida about a proposed government-subsidized commuter train called “All Aboard Florida.”  Some zillionaires have been telling the public that they would like to build a train line from Miami to Orlando (home of Disney World) that will run 32 trains/day.  That’s 32 trains per day passing through dozens of residential communities blowing their horns with a decibel level that is said to be the equivalent of a rock concert.  The public has been very skeptical, and so have I.
A financial analyst figured that to be profitable the “All Aboard Florida” train ticket from Miami to Orlando would have to be about $250.  So it would cost mom and dad and two kids $1000 just to get to Disney World from Miami, as opposed to a four hour drive in the family car at a cost of about $50.  And then they would be stranded without a car in Orlando.  At least 12,000 people a day, every day, would want to do this, says All Aboard Florida. Hmmm.
Now along comes Palm Beach Post columnist Frank Cerabino who has unmasked the Big Fat Stinking Rat — Sheldon Adelson.  It seems that the Seminole Indians’ monopoly on casino gambling in Florida expires this year.  Adelson, owner of The Venetian in Vegas, and his business partners are planning to build a gigantic building that will be the biggest skyscraper in Florida next to the Miami train terminal.  Taller than the Chrysler building in New York.  He wants to bring Vegas-style casino gambling to Florida, and donated $5 million last year to the Florida Republican Party, which controls both the legislature and the governorship.  The state of Florida is planning on offering billions of dollars in subsidized loans (revenue bonds) to All Aboard Florida, the real purpose of which is apparently to ship gamblers from Orlando and elsewhere in the state to Sheldon Adelson’s new Miami casino.  Frank Cerabino appropriately suggests that it be called All Aboard Gamblers.
The only good news here is that every $5 million Adelson spends bribing politicians to subsidize his gambling business is money that is not spent bribing politicians to start another war in the Middle East.
The above originally appeared at

1 comment:

  1. Interesting take from DiLorenzo. I live near the areas affected by trains. A federal sustainable living plan is going to help subsidize the rails and though this plan was rejected by the more rural outlying areas the power centers accepted the subsidies happily.
    I agree that this train should get zero subsidies but from a property rights perspective shouldnt the owners of the railway have the property right to increase usage of their property?
    My view is that property owners that owned land before the railways existed would have nuisance claims against the increased rail since they were there first. But the vast majority of the opposition to All Aboard Florida has not been about subsidies but attacks on the property rights of the rail owners to use their rails for more trains.
    The opposition largely focuses on their perceived right to some quality of life and the bitching of their hindsight for buying property next to a railway knowing full well trains traveled on that property.

    The financial analyst was paid by the opposition. But should business enterprises starting or not be subject to whehter they are estimated to be profitable? its just frustrating down here that nobody opposes subsidies (largely noone at least) as they all love subsidies and want more of them for themselves. The area I live in is particularly bad. its called the Treasure Coast but the statists have plundered it.