Heritage tourism now pays for tourists

Just when you think the rubber Lincoln brigade has run out of crazy ideas, they surprise you with a new level of audacity.

Recall that heritage tourism is a civic religion that believes the gods of tourism demand historical attractions - build these shrines, and hordes will come to spend their average per capita $37 on hot dogs and T-shirts.

We've long speculated here on what is an historical attraction, why should they come, and what if they stay away?

Rick Beard's library and museum has come up with the idea of paying them to come. You pay them. They come and spend your money.

Consider it roundabout wealth transfer from taxpayers and museum donors to trinket sellers. It's the only level on which this makes sense.