What do the super-rich have against kicking in for the public good?
I was interested to read that Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, contributed $1 million to oppose a tax initiative designed to support education and transportation (“A race of riches,” Business, Sept. 13). Ironically, the initiative on the November ballot would essentially benefit the people who attend his football team’s games.
It flummoxes me why unimaginably wealthy individuals like Kraft; John Fish, of Suffolk Construction; a top executive at Bain Capital; and the chairman of New Balance, each of whom has gained so much from living in our state, would go out of their way to spend between $500,000 and $1 million to bankroll an advertising campaign that attacks an initiative being waged by teachers unions, among others, for the public good.
Worst of all, these multimillionaires are presenting an advertising campaign whose imagery and messaging features so-called people like you and me — a cranberry farmer, a lobsterman, a retired teacher — as opposed to the fabulously rich.
Robust public investment would boost our economy, not harm it
In “A race of riches,” reporter Jon Chesto notes that critics argue that the “Fair Share Amendment” would “spur entrepreneurs and companies to grow elsewhere.” But I wonder: Might not the exact opposite happen? Wouldn’t year after year of billion-dollar investments in public infrastructure and schools make Massachusetts more desirable for companies that are trying to attract workers?
Most people want to live in places with robust public investment, not the other way around. The primary relocation issue in this amendment will involve not businesses and workers but dollars — money from our highest earners being put to public use. Why vote against enhancing one of the very things — public investment — that has made Massachusetts a world-class place to begin with?
By bankrolling ads, Question 1’s foes are making a good case for the initiative
Regarding the money flowing into the battle over Question 1: With millionaires and billionaires funding opposition to the question at the levels that some of them are, aren’t they also making clear that they can afford to pay a bit more in taxes to improve our state’s education and transportation systems?