Saturday, July 28, 2012

Crazy Pills of Olympic Proportions

Why do I seem to be the only person on Earth who sees a connection between these two news stories?

Greece spent €7 billion on 2004 Olympics construction.

Greece is bankrupt.

So much for the golden goose of public works, eh?

Yes, you can find news stories that use the Athens experience as a cautionary tale for London, but not enough. Everybody on the planet should see the stupidity of the modern Olympic model. We should be back where we were in the 1970s, when nobody wanted the stupid things. "What?! How can you be anti-Olympics?!" I'm not; I love the Olympics, but I hate what the IOC has done to them. They are bloated extravaganzas that enrich the IOC at the expense of the "winning" bid country's taxpayers. When a fully-industrialized nation decides to waste real resources on velodromes, I guess that's their business; I also believe a fully-informed adult should be allowed to do drugs. But awarding the games to China and Brazil is unconscionable; literally billions of people could have been helped by the wasted money behind unproductive venues and overblown ceremonies. The IOC is telling the Brazilian poor, "Why don't you suffer in poverty some more so you can throw us a swingin' party?"

Is a stadium built today unusable in four years' time? (Ignore reports of the Bird's Nest being unusable for Chinese Super League matches.) Why do we need a new new stadium every four years? A rotation among three permanent Olympic sites (one each in North America, Europe, and eastern Asia) would be far more sensible than this traveling roadshow of poverty.

Sensible doesn't mean popular, though. Already there are a number of poor counties clamoring for the opportunity to spend money they don't have for people who won't lift a finger to help when the bill comes due.

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