Friday, September 14, 2012

Markowitz on the "good jobs" at the Barclays Center: "if you don't have a job, you can't pooh-pooh it"

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, speaking at a Brooklyn Public Library "Power Up Breakfast" 9/12/12, offered continuing rhetoric about the jobs at the Barclays Center and a new--though questionable--defense.

"Sports brings us together as a community and as a nation," Markowitz said. "It's the social thread that binds us together and gives us something we can collectively take pride in."

Sure, people may be interested in a team, and enjoy watching it. But should we be taking pride in a privately-run sports entertainment corporation?

Markowitz on jobs

"Traditionally, sports stimulate our economy and create jobs. Thanks to the magnificent Barclays Center.... roughly 2000 New Yorkers will have good jobs, full and part-time jobs, that will bring in money and create jobs for many local businesses as well, surrounding the area," Markowitz declared.

Whether they're good jobs is very much in doubt, since part-time workers without other income would likely qualify for food stamps, as I've written.

Workers line up on 9/12/12 to enter
Barclays Center for food service training
But Markowitz was undeterred. "Now, those who oppose the arena pooh-pooh jobs, but you know what--if you don't have a job, you can't pooh-pooh it," he said.

Is his point that people should be happy they have something?

Maybe they are, but that kind of trickle-down wasn't what was promised to Brooklyn. Markowitz should know better than to endorse it unthinkingly.

"The more people we put to work, the better it is for all of us and for those families," he said. "Besides the jobs in the arena, around the arena it will create so many jobs because of the thousands of incoming visitors that mean businesses around the arena will flourish as well."

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