New York's 9/11 Memorial: When Did Honoring the Dead Become an Occasion for Fleecing the Living?

More than a decade after the 9/11 attacks, a new World Trade Center is finally rising, along with a memorial, museum, and a transit hub.

When the projects are slated to open they'll supposedly symbolize America's strength, determination, and refusal to cave in. But they really tell a different story about taxpayer rip-offs, public-sector incompetence, and union and corporate greed.

One World Trade Center, formerly known as the Freedom Tower, will be the most expensive office building in American history by a long shot. Cost overruns have driven the price tag to $3.8 billionThe Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the public agency that’s running the show, is sticking commuters with part of the tab by hiking tolls across the Hudson River to $12.

The new complex will dump 3-million square feet of office space into a soft rental market meaning Condé Nast, the flush publisher of The New Yorker, Wired, and Vanity Fair, got beau coups subsidies to move in. And who-other-than the federal government signed on to fill up five floors at a cost of $351 million over 20 years?

Even The New York Times' stimulus-pimping columnist Joe Nocera has called World Trade Center rebuilding an "example of just about everything wrong with modern government," asking, "where's the Tea Party when you need them?"

Just down the street from the Trade Center, a federally-financed transit hub is a billion dollars over budget, now coming in around $3.4 billion. Construction costs for the September 11th Memorial and Museum have climbed to $700 million, with taxpayers footing a portion of the bill.

New York's politically connected construction industry has benefited the most from 9/11 largess, but the city's real estate and banking cartels have gone whole hog at the taxpayer-funded trough, too.

The Bush administration gave New York $8 billion in tax-free Liberty Bonds, only to see a big portion of that gift go for projects that have nothing to do with September 11th. Brooklyn’s Atlantic Yards benefited from subsidized bonds, as did a midtown Manhattan office project. Even Goldman Sachs, which has nearly a trillion dollars in assets, got almost two million dollars towards its new headquarters.

Since when did honoring the dead become an occasion for fleecing the living?

After September 11th, small townships in New Jersey and Long Island quickly built modest but moving memorials to pay tribute to the loved ones they lost in the attacks. In Lower Manhattan, something else completely is being built: an overdue, over-budget monument to the ease with which politicians, bureaucrats, and opportunists spend other people’s money.

Written by Jim Epstein and Nick Gillespie, narrated by Kennedy, and shot and edited by Epstein, with help from Anthony L. Fisher.

About 2.30 minutes.

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  • Randian||

    When Did Honoring the Dead Become an Occasion for Fleecing the Living?

    When was it NOT such an occasion?

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    When Did Honoring the Dead Become an Occasion for Fleecing the Living?

    Since the first collection plate was passed down the aisles?

  • Sam Grove||

    Since the funeral industry became an industry? or since licensing?

  • Romulus Augustus||

    Unless we can keep fleecing the taxpayers, the terrorists have won!

  • Randian||

    I mean, even Buddhism, allegedly material adverse, had the survivors perform almsgiving to monks.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    As the only one here who has actually visited the memorial, I can say with authority that this video reminds us why you can't spell treason without reason. (Or is it the other way around?)

    Having said that, I wonder if we should have just paid the terrorists $3 billion up front not to attack. You can get a lot of living virgins with that kind of dough.

  • Zombie Jimbo||

    Let's do the math:

    19 hijackers x 72 virgins = 1368 virgins

    Alas virgins are a consumer consumable, so you need to replace then every few months, lets assume every three months, since you have to spend time praying and all that. Also assume that the virgins will lose their appeal in 40 ish years, either that or the consumption rate will drop toward a limit of zero.


    1368x4 sets/year x40 years=218,880 virgins

    3,000,000,000/218,880 = $13706.14 /virgin.

    Should be manageable in some parts of the world, but the price may increase as you increase scarcity in a given area.

    OK it's a practical plan.

  • db||

    Hey, sacrificing virgins to the volcano terrorists makes as much sense as sacrificing our freedoms to the war on terror, so go with it. If it fails, we can always say we shohld have sacrificed more virgins, and only Krugabe could imagine the kind of carnage that would happen if we hadn't sacrificed any.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I don't like this characterization of my plan. We're not sacrificing virgins. We're subsidizing transactions between interested parties.

  • db||

    As with all subsidized transactions, there exists here an additional party whose participation, while required, was neither solicited nor agreed to.

  • db||

    Construction of the original North tower of WTC started in August 1968 with the first tenants moving in 28 months later. If one counts the demo work that began in 1967 to prep the site, the original building still went up well over twice as fast as the new one, which I think was started in 2006.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    You do realize that the Freedom Tower has solid rocket boosters at its base. When completed, the tower is going to be launched at the terrorists. This will have the dual benefits of saying "fuck you" once again to the world and also start a whole new round of construction contracts for its permanent replacement.

    The more you know.

  • db||

    I throught there was something fishy about them shutting down the Titan project wbile there were still a few old ICBMs to be refurbished...

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    I'm convinced that the Goldman Sachs building here in Jersey City is really a missile silo. It's half empty, and they have another new building in the city anyway.

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    well, I tried to post the pic but it was marked as spam. Oh well, look it up if you want to see the Jersey City missile silo.

  • ||

    When Did Honoring the Dead Become an Occassion for Fleecing the Living? long have state memorials to the dead existed?

  • Dr. Frankenstein||

    "When Did Honoring the Dead Become an Occassion for Fleecing the Living?"

    Since the days of the Pyramids.

  • BarryD||

    I helped a friend's family with funeral arrangements once.

    I discovered that honoring the dead is ALWAYS an occasion for fleecing the living.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Fuck the cult of victimhood parasites who have turned a bad day into a neverending quest for alms and special status.

  • BarryD||

    Yeah. What about the friends and relatives of descendants of the soldiers at Little Big Horn?

  • John Galt||

    Are you saying we shouldn't allow their park to go bankrupt?

  • Victoria Alexander||

    Why is anyone surprised? This is par for the course. However, things may change soon. The "most watched" new documentary on PBS for the last several weeks is about the 9/11 truth investigation. Guess what? There wasn't an investigation. Not one laboratory experiment performed, not one estimate made, not one measurement taken on the collapse sequence.

  • Patriotica||

    WE REMEMBER 9-11
    By Chele Stanton

    Smoke billows rolled
    As planes shattered glass
    Concrete and steel
    The trees and the grass

    An enemy attack
    On the Land of the Free
    How could this happen
    How could this be

    Our hearts gripped with fear
    In sheer disbelief
    Unbearable sorrow
    One hardly could speak

    As evil sought triumph
    Through catastrophic strife
    Towers fell and buildings crumbled
    Tragically ending innocent lives

    We cried out to God
    Fell down on our knees
    Hugged our families, friends, and strangers
    Helping anyone in need

    It was a day where we placed
    All our differences aside
    We were Americans facing tragedy
    With courage, tears, and battle-cries

    We remember 9-11
    Those who paid the highest price
    Those who bravely tackled evil
    Those whose courage rescued lives

    Unfathomable terror
    Unfolded before our eyes
    A day where heroes would die
    And warriors… would rise.

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    "Even The New York Times' stimulus-pimping columnist Joe Nocera has called World Trade Center rebuilding an "example of just about everything wrong with modern government," asking, "where's the Tea Party when you need them?""

    Marginalized by assholes like you, dickface.

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