As Steve Benen notes at Rachel Maddow’s blog, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker draws his governing lessons from interesting sources:
Just imagine. Then imagine that Noah had to build his ark in a capitalist market economy, and had to be able to turn a profit on the deal simply in order to start construction. He might have to charge admission, treat it like a zoo or a theme park or something.
Now imagine that Noah’s business plan didn’t appeal to bankers, and even the people who supported his past ventures (like, perhaps, a museum about how the planet and all life on it was created a mere 2000 years earlier) wouldn’t pony up the cash for his enormous construction job. His initially plans might have to be revised, with the ark’s opening pushed back by years, or even indefinitely.
Answers in Genesis, a ministry founded in Australia, built the Creation Museum. The group seeks to convince others that the theory of evolution is wrong and that the account of creation told in Genesis is literally true. The result: a place that resembles a slick and entertaining natural history museum, even as it peddles the exact opposite message.
Now, the people behind this museum are looking to erect something much bigger: a 160-acre park with a life-size replica of Noah’s Ark built to stand 500 feet long and 80 feet high.…
But the ark plan now finds itself on troubled waters.
The group initially announced that it expected to break ground on the park in 2011, before eventually pushing that date back to 2014. But in June … Ark Encounter vice president Michael Zovath told Yahoo News that the group no longer has a date in mind for the construction to begin. It has been unable to raise sufficient amounts of money, despite pleas to the Creation Museum’s visitors to donate to the project.
“Fundraising is really tough,” Zovath said … the park would need to raise another $20 million before it can break ground, he said. So far, it’s taken in $5.6 million in donations and $17 million in private investments.
To add to the bad news, the Creation Museum is having its lowest attendance year yet. Last fiscal year, 280,000 people visited, compared to 404,000 the first year it opened in 2007. Zovath thinks that potential visitors have been less willing to travel to the museum because of the poor economy.
Yes, “fundraising is really tough.” Good thing Noah didn’t have to worry about that. The ark might have never been built.
If you read the relevant passages of Genesis and conclude that Noah’s story is about the dangers of zoning regulations or the pitfalls of labor economics, I think it’s safe to say you’ve missed the point. See slacktivist for more on that point.