Bowling Subsidies Now!


Appearing on Rhode Island Public Radio’s “Political Roundtable” show, recently, Rhode Island House Minority Leader Patricia Morgan, who is running for governor as a Republican, had an exchange with political analyst Scott MacKay:

MacKay: It sounds, in a way, like you don’t really care whether the PawSox go or not.  Do you realize this is a part of Rhode Island culture and family entertainment that hundreds of thousands of people go to every year?

Morgan: I do understand, and I have taken my children, as well, to the PawSox stadium, but I still believe it’s a private company at this point.  We can’t build a facility for every private company.  I mean, why don’t we build bowling allies; a lot of families like to go bowling.  Why don’t we build miniature golf entertainment areas?  At some point, we really have to keep taxpayer monies for the things that actually are economic development, will actually build good jobs in Rhode Island.

Morgan should have concluded that thought by saying we have to keep taxpayer monies for things that are actually government responsibilities, but her point is otherwise right on.  The problem, however, is that conservatives can’t win this sort of reductio ad absurdum argument with progressives, because the latter will happily say, “Go ahead.”

Perhaps progressives won’t generally have the personal affection for bowling or mini-golf that they have for baseball, but nobody should doubt that they’d be happy to use government resources for family entertainment if somebody were to credibly propose doing so.  After all, family time is very important.  Why shouldn’t government build facilities to foster it?  Isn’t government supposed to do everything important for us?

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Of course, the conservative reply might be that the lack of a private market for a bolling alley in a particular area is simply evidence that people aren’t interested in that activity in sufficient numbers to make it worthwhile.  But however inexpensive the activity is, there might be some families that would jump at the chance if the price came down a little and who, without that opportunity, instead spend their time doing unhealthy things isolated from each other.  And hundreds of thousands of Rhode Islanders have fond memories of bowling with their families.

  • Northern Exposure

    No! No! It’s not that they won’t go. It’s that they can’t afford it because they can only stretch their full-time minimum wage so far what with the high cost of rent in the state. What we need is to provide subsidized, full family entertainment centers as locations for our state unionized day care providers. The centers can provide swimming, bowling, mini golf, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, health check-ups, video games, and a smoking and drinking lounge for mom and/or dad while their little one learns everything they need to know from the state. Then the rent can be paid and the body art, beer, and cigarettes will be more affordable. I think the Rep. is onto something here. Scotty will think it’s a must do.

  • ShannonEntropy

    Attendance at PawSox games has been dropping steadily — down 41% since 2005

    Baseball in general is dying as a spectator sport, similar to the changes boxing and horse racing underwent in the 20th century

    Nobody in their right mind would be for subsidizing a new horse-racing track… so why are we wasting our time even thinking about a new PawSox park ??

    Let them try to go to Worcester…. I would bet my house that Mass taxpayers won’t be stoopid enough to fall for this outrageous scam

    • Mike678

      Are you stating that our elites are not ‘in their right mind?’ After all, they get to use your money and get influence and, little doubt, some favored status in return. Seems like a win to me….

      • guest

        And they are “elites” because…you elected them?