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Of subsidies and suds

I read the Sunday paper and here's my takeaway:

Nothing to brag about: I'm pretty sure the Erie County Industrial Development Agency thinks it's a good thing that 71 percent of the companies it has subsidized have added jobs, or at least not shed them. But my math tells me 29 percent have downsized since accepting tax breaks and other goodies from the IDA.

Which begs the question: why is the public helping to subsidize companies that shed jobs, that don't deliver as promised?

Highly subsidized high tech: Some folks say Buffalo Niagara is gaining a toehold as a hub for digital data storage. You know, Yahoo! and the like. It's cutting edge and the jobs tend to pay well.

But -- and you know there's a 'but' coming -- this is a good thing if and when it's not subsidized out the, well, yazoo, by government.

Keep in mind that data centers are energy hogs that don't produce many jobs. When all the cheap hydropower and tax breaks are added up, the public is providing Yahoo! a subsidy of about $1 million per job over the coming 15 years.

Sorry, but that's not a good ROI.

Simple solution: The Buffalo Bills are OK with what goes on the parking lots before games. Well, they have half a point. I mean, these days, it's not as ugly as what goes on during the game on the field.

But, having read the story and lived the experience, the answer is simple -- have the police enforce the open container law.

According to opencontainerlaws.com:

Did you know in most states it’s even illegal to have an open container of alcohol in public?

There is no federal law on the restriction of open containers, but the states are free to legislate the issue. In some cases the state leaves it entirely up to the local level. As a result, from coast to coast, state to state, and even town to town, the United States has quite varied open container laws.

Every state has an outright ban on open containers except for Georgia, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, and Pennsylvania.

Yeah, some people in Bills nation would hoot and holler if the law was actually enforced, and it might cut down on attendance, at least in the short run, until word gets out Ralph Wilson Stadium is a place you could actually take your family for a game.

But, really, if your business model depends on droves of customers showing up blasted, you've got problems. And let's face it, the Bills have problems.