The football stadium in Allen, Texas is a useful example for the dilemma of the rational world, and I’ve used it a few times in talks. It’s a beautiful stadium, built for a public high school, that cost $60 million. That’s stunning, that a school district in America can be so rich that they can raise that much money…and then they spend it on something as superficial as football. But here’s the rub for liberal America: there was nothing illegal in what the community of Allen did, and they raised the money in a democratic referendum, and a majority of the residents wanted this obscene temple to sports. Of course, at the same time, because we have an awful patchwork system of school funding, other districts 10 miles away from Allen are struggling on shoestring budgets and failing to meet the requirements of the No Child Left Behind act, so there is an injustice being done here — but we always hesitate to take action in these cases. I’d also rather see the people of Allen grow up and be inspired by learning to do better for their kids, than that someone come along and slap the football out of their hands and yell at them for being stupid.
Anyway, your schadenfreude for the day: the Allen High School stadium is closed. It’s already falling apart and has developed dangerous cracks.