Stupid Quote of the Year Contender: Bob Reilly

All MMA fans hate Bob Reilly for keeping the sport out of New York, but today he revealed himself to be uncommonly stupid when he spoke to MMA Weekly:

Ultimate Fighting, that franchise is owned by interests in Las Vegas. If you have a gate in the city of Albany, the live gate would be 4 million dollars. There’s revenue that would stay here, lets us say a half a million. But three and a half million would go right out of our economy and out of our state to Vegas, and I think that’s harmful to our local economy. It doesn’t generate money on a long-time basis. It’s what I call a “false economy.”

There’s many examples of this. It’s a stretch from Ultimate Fighting, of course, but our whole problem with our financial industry and whatever. Or gambling, which I think is a better analogy. I think the projections of revenue coming in, you have to look at a bigger picture, and the bigger picture is not so beneficial. And of course, the real money in sports, which isn’t addressed, is the hundreds of millions of dollars taken in by television, especially pay per view.

This is classic mercantilist reasoning, and utterly unbefitting of anyone in public office.  New York's economy would absolutely melt down if legislators in other states kept New York businesses out because the money would go back to New York, but protectionists never think about things that way.  Of course, given his complex understanding of New York's "financial industry and whatever," this shouldn't be surprising.

I'd love to hear more of his theory of a "false economy," which is apparently what happens when people dare to buy things at the best value rather than being forced to buy substandard things from local interests connected to the government.  I call the latter position extortion, so it's really no surprise Bob Reilly favors it.

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