Miss America Blames Lack of Government Handout for Leaving Atlantic City

August 26, 2005

The Miss America pageant is leaving Atlantic City, and who are they blaming? The New Jersey taxpayer, for refusing to increase your annual subsidy to the pageant.

They argue that $725,000 per year in government handouts is just not enough to make ends meet; and therefore, it is now seeking a more “friendly” venue that will give an even larger handout.

Despite the fact that we would oppose any level of subsidy for beauty pageants, we commend the state of New Jersey for refusing to increase that subsidy amount, and telling Miss America to take their fledgling production elsewhere. From CNN:

Representatives of the 84-year-old pageant told the city Thursday the franchise can’t afford to continue losing money by producing the annual event at Boardwalk Hall and that it will either move it to a new city or go on the road permanently like the Super Bowl.

The pageant is in financial straits and last year lost its broadcast network TV contract with ABC. Pageant CEO Art McMaster said the show could save $1 million by finding a new venue that could pay a site fee and produce it for less money.

He told the Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority at a board meeting that the state’s $725,000 annual subsidy to Miss America wasn’t enough and he wanted the agency to release it from the last two years of its five-year contract.

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So as Miss America begins to fade off into the sunset as an institution, we thought we’d answer that famous final question, “What would you do to make the world a better place?”

Our answer: A fairer, simpler tax system across all jursidictions, and spending taxpayers’ money on necessary public functions, not beauty pageants.


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