Remember that one time when you negotiated to rob your neighbors and start a gambling scheme in order to build a billionaire a stadium paying premium prices for land to subsidize your biggest supporter? Remember the next day when you woke up and said,’I did what?’ That feeling is called “post-purchase dissonance” or more commonly, buyer’s remorse. It is exactly how poor Governor Mark Dayton is feeling right now.
“This kind of dissonance, called "buyer's remorse" by salespeople (Littlejohn & Foss, 2005, p. 78), arises after buying something valuable, such as a car or a house [or a multimillion dollar sports stadium.] Obviously, the chosen alternative is seldom entirely positive and the rejected alternatives are seldom entirely negative. A good way to reduce such dissonance is to seek out exclusively positive information about the car you chose and avoid negative information about it (Aronson, 2004,p.155). According to Smith (1993, p. 71), sellers should address postpurchase dissonance by reassuring the buyer with a congratulatory note, additional advertising, after-sales service and, most of all, a product or service that lives up to the promise made in the advertising.”
Maybe all Dayton needs is a nice note to make him feel better about his “purchase.”
What sent Governor Dayton into a hissy fit is the Vikings are doing what private, for-profit businesses do; maximizing profits. Dayton, never having held a job that wasn’t public sector, has never experienced that dynamic. In Dayton’s experience you call your union rep or legislator, sometimes that is the same person, and ask for more money. Then, they give you more money. You don’t have to earn it by providing a good or service. That’s for the plebes.
The Vikings want to sell licenses for their best seats as provided in the agreement. Dayton fired off a tantrum in the form of a letter to the Vikings.
"I strongly oppose shifting any part of the team's responsibility for those costs onto Minnesota Vikings fans," he said in his letter. "This private contribution is your responsibility, not theirs. I said this new stadium would be a 'People's Stadium,' not a 'Rich People's Stadium.' I meant it then, and I mean it now."
While the Pioneer Press didn’t report it, we’ve heard on Twitter he also stomped his feet and threw his sippy cup at the wall.
Minnesotans want to be respected as being reasonable, sophisticated adults, but instead we elect a surly teenager as our chief executive. City Page’s Aaron Rupar had this to report on how the local sports media is responding to behavior. “But ESPN 1500's Tom Pelissero argues that Dayton's letter "sounds like a lot of gobble gobble turkey." Pelissero also suggests Dayton "should do his job and read the damn thing" before signing bills into law.”
I’d hate to be as harsh as Pelissero so instead I’ll give Dayton some advice from a lifestyle article on dealing with buyer’s remorse. Maya Ackerman explains there are good ways to combat buyer’s remorse on a house or car or billion dollar stadium for that matter. She suggests remembering all the advantages. For example, Dayton’s deal gives the StarTribune a cash infusion and keeps Minneapolis sales taxes artificially high. Democrats love handing out cash and taking it from others.
She says you must realize there is no “Holy Grail.” Dayton should remember, someone is going to make a profit off his larceny. There is no “perfect” way to redistribute other people’s money without someone making a profit. Perhaps a few dollars will even fall into union thug pockets. Bonus!
My favorite suggestion from Ms. Ackerman is her last one. Since Dayton is behaving like a bratty child, perhaps this one is the most appropriate.
“While I was going through my most recent bout of buyer’s remorse, I casually asked my 4-year-old son which house he liked better: the one we used to live in, or the new one?
“The one we have now,” he answered.
“Why?” I asked, curious.
He looked at me with a puzzled expression. “Because this is where we live now.” He replied with finality.”
Sorry Governor Dayton. This is the plan we have now. You’ll have to get used to the fact someone’s going to make money from it. You will have to understand the “People’s Stadium” sounds creepy anyway. Sounds very cult-like and while I realize your party thinks that’s “neat” it really isn’t. Just live in the now, Mark. Live in the now.
h/t to Sen. Dave Thompson