The tabloid press (including, interestingly, the Wall Street Journal) has been making a load of hay about how the two daughters of Formula 1 mogul Bernie Ecclestone are spending tens of millions of dollars buying up trophy real estate around the world.
To some, the very idea of two single twentysomethings using trust fund monies to buy $80 million homes is repugnant. We at the Bull Moose have nothing against wealthy young people spending their cash, because we believe that it is better for all of us that they should spend it rather than sit on it.
Where we have an issue is that to some degree those fortunes were built with public subsidies. Promoters are keen to hide government assistance, but two examples are notable. The U.S. Grand Prix, to be held in Austin beginning this year, is getting a $25 million annual gift from the people of Texas for the next 10 years. The Singapore Grand Prix is carried by a $90 million annual shot-in-the-arm from the republic’s government. In the case of Austin, the money raised from the taxpayers goes directly to Ecclestone’s F1 organization as a “sanctioning fee.”
Again, we have no issues with racing events or of Ecclestone’s fortune. But if these events cannot be supported by private funds, they should not be held. That goes for the Olympics, the World Cup, the Major League All Star Game, and the Republican and Democratic National Conventions.