By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Common sense from Dan Shaughnessy

Not a headline you see every day. In this case, though, his curmudgeonliness meets the perfect topic: the please-kill-me-now idea to bring the Olympics to Boston. No, no, no. One quibble, though, as Shaughnessy writes:

Just for kicks, I ran the Olympic idea past a Boston business tycoon — a local lifer who has dealt with all the big shots on the business and political scenes.

“The Olympics in Boston would probably finish the city off for good,” he said, calmly.

Even if the lack of attribution doesn’t bother you, I would have loved to see an explanation as to why said tycoon wouldn’t let his name be used. Is he afraid of crossing the pro-Olympics crowd? Why? That could prove more interesting than his quote.


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  1. Mike Rice

    The Boston Herald has been all over this proposed boondoggle for months.
    Welcome to the conversation Mr. Shaughnessy.

  2. Rick Peterson

    Dan, my business is with the pro-Olympics crowd too but there is such a thing as a tipping point. 1. We have one of the largest per-capita burdens of bonded debt in America in MA.
    2. Our economy has historically allowed us that luxury. But looking at subsets of tax revenue is a scary exercise. Pretend you’re a bond underwriter for a minute. Education was once a scarce commodity that guaranteed employment and was skewed toward New England and the East. Now you can go to college anywhere, (if in fact you need to) and the education debt balloon is about to pop. Hospitals tend to follow universities, thank God but the ACA has people pondering needs vs. wants. Medical research and equipment manufacture, while they can’t be just anywhere, are also becoming less location sensitive, Cambridge and So. Boston notwithstanding. Ask someone from MassDevelopment how much of that business we DON’T get. Tourism has historically had a sensitive relationship with economic development here. People come here to see pristine scenic and historic sights on a smaller scale. People who want Disney go to FL or CA. There. I just described over half of a $400 billion dollar economy and never mentioned folks like Fidelity decamping to other states.
    3. The Big Dig demonstrated how well we do major infrastructure projects. Looking for synergy with construction piggybacking on existing campuses is a pipedream that would see the same politicizing of the project. Neither Tip nor Ted are walking through that door to save the day however. Elizabeth Warren is our SENIOR Senator.
    4. Given that 5 of the 10 wealthiest zip codes surround our nation’s capital, you don’t need to be an economist to see where American money is flowing. Do you really think we want to compete with Washington, DC?
    Boston is a fabulous place to live, work or visit. We need to make sure however that we don’t “fix” something that’s not broken.

  3. Mike Benedict

    This is the first time I’ve ever agreed with Shaughnessy. And yet … I have to wonder why he’s commenting on it now. After all, Bob Ryan wrote basically the same column in February:

    And we all know how much those two great sports journalism mediocrities love each other.

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