Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Time to End the Bread and Circus Olympics - They Are Inhumane and Huge Taxpayer Ripoffs

Publicly subsidized sports are always huge taxpayer ripoffs. The Olympics are no exception and it's a very expensive show.

Why does anyone persist with the Greek mythology that the Olympics are an engine of economic development, sportsmanship, or peace on earth? London is spending $15 billion on the hope that it can sell enough tickets to synchronized swimming, and earn enough from television ads, to cover the costs of the 30,000 rent-a-cops and military personnel being deployed in the spirit of Olympic harmony.

Even though the Games break few economic records, except those for non-performing sovereign debts, governments around the world scramble madly every four years for the right to act as host, as if influence peddling were an Olympic sport.

The original cost estimate, sold to the British public to convince them to get behind the bid for the 2012 Games, was about $4 billion. Those budget forecasts imagined that, after the event, Olympic sites would be recycled for use as schools, homes for the aged, and handicapped parking, even though earlier Olympic cities have found little use for their table tennis stadiums and aquatic centers.
Gary North provided more information on the amount of the taxpayer subsidies for the Olympics.

London Olympics’ Cost: 2012 vs. 1948
The cost of the 2012 Olympics will be at least £9.3 billion, or $14.5 billion. (1 pound = $1.56)

Originally, money from the private sector was to pay for the games, but as the 2008 financial crisis took hold the Olympic project was bailed out costing the British tax payer £5.9bn.

The latest government report has the cost of the games on target at £9.298bn of public sector funding package. However a recent public accounts committee report warned the full cost of the games could amount to about £11bn.
The security costs are quite astronomical and it's unclear if the massive security for the events are even calculated in the cost. Furthermore, the athletes are treated like pampered Hollywood royalty and celebrities.

It's even been speculated that the Athens Olympics help to expedite the Greek financial crisis, not that the Greeks aren't perfectly capable of bankrupting themselves without the Olympics. Despite spending gobs of money on the 2004 Olympics that Greece didn't have, there was no economic miracle resulting from the Olympics as predicted by the politicos.

Did the Olympics Break the Greek Government?
Greece's federal government had historically been a profligate spender, but in order to join the euro currency zone, the government was forced to adopt austerity measures that reduced deficits from just over 9% of GDP in 1994 to just 3.1% of GDP in 1999, the year before Greece joined the euro.

But the Olympics broke the bank. Government deficits rose every year after 1999, peaking at 7.5% of GDP in 2004, the year of the Olympics, thanks in large part to the 9 billion euro price tag for the Games. For a relatively small country like Greece, the cost of hosting the Games equaled roughly 5% of the annual GDP of the country.

Of course, the Olympics didn't usher in an economic boom. Indeed, in 2005 Greece suffered an Olympic-sized hangover with GDP growth falling to its lowest level in a decade.
The Olympics are nothing but a taxpayer subsidized party for the elites, the rich, the politicos, corporate CEO's and celebrities of all stripes.

But there is a mournful, deplorable and immoral human cost that is the real face of the Olympics. Poor folks are being forced out of their homes and entire neighborhoods are being bulldozed.

Brazil is hosting the 2016 Olympics as well as the 2012 World Cup. To construct 5 star accommodations to entertain and house the wealthy, Brazil is literally emptying out entire neighborhoods.

Brazilians face evictions over preparations for Olympics, World Cup
Rio de Janeiro is giving the stadium's neighborhood a $63.2 million facelift as it prepares to host the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics. Maracana will be the jewel crowning both events, with the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics and the final World Cup matches held within its storied blue and gray walls.

The shantytown where Santos has lived with his family for 19 years, known as Favela do Metro, does not fit in that picture. It's being bulldozed; hundreds of families have been bought out as part of a "revitalization" process for the big events and the hordes of foreigners they will draw.

"They're destroying our neighborhood for a game," Santos said, standing in the convenience store and bar he runs in the front of his family's house.

All across Rio, people are being pushed out of their homes in dozens of communities like Metro to make way for new roads, Olympic venues and other projects.
In China, USA Today reported that a staggering 1.5 million folks were displaced for the Beijing Olympics, here.

Not only are poor folks kicked out of their homes so the rich can have a gargantuan 2 week playpen every 4 years, taxpayer are forced to subsidize these hideous events.

Massive human relocation at the point of a gun and extraordinary public expenditures cannot possibly justify such an egregious abuse of humanity and taxpayer cash.

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