Since 1997, the Ronald Reagan Legacy Project, an organization founded by Grover Norquist, has sought to name at least one notable public landmark in each U.S. state and all 3067 counties after the Ronald Reagan. Norquist's efforts have been so successful, it's been estimated (by me) that by 2025, 90% of all government infrastructure in the United States would be named for the 40th president.
Unfortunately for people who feel that Reagan's legacy should take the form of re-named government buildings instead of sprawling homeless encampments, strapped budgets have led local governments to sell naming rights and advertising space to corporations.
As reported in the New York Times, New York City and Philadelphia have renamed subway stations for Barclays and AT&T. The Baltimore City Council adopted a resolution calling for advertising to be sold on the city's fire trucks. Pizza chains advertise on school buses. And KFC "temporarily plastered its logo on manhole covers and fire hydrants in several cities in Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee after paying to fill potholes and replace hydrants."
Concerning as this may be to those who care about the integrity of public institutions, this trend is here to stay. Here are some suggestions for our cash-strapped federal government, if it seeks to hop on the Yum-branded bandwagon…
* The Securities and Exchange Commission, brought to you by Goldman Sachs.
* The Firestone Tire Occupational Safety and Health Administration
* EMPA; The Exxon-Mobile Environmental Protection Agency, and
* The Central Intelligence Agency, by Facebook
Though perhaps the KFC Department of Health and Human Services is taking things too far.
Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Corporations, Money, Ronald Reagan