Pouring Money Down the Drain

This past month, it was announced that the city of Richmond and the Commonwealth of Virginia would pour more than $35 million into a new brewery for the California-based Stone Brewing Co.

Politicians love being popular. Much of their political survival depends on it. It’s no surprise, then, that they constantly try to associate themselves with popular things. It seems the more popular something becomes, the more politicians will try to subsidize it.

Take, for example, your hometown sports team. Its local popularity can help explain, to some degree, why we’ve witnessed such an explosion in public financing for stadiums across the country. This might also explain why many state and local governments are beginning to shower public funding on another popular American pastime: craft beer.

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