February 08, 2006

The Curse of the Host City.: Maybe cities shouldn't get all hot and bothered about winning the right to host Olympic Games. The ones that are big to begin with tend to benefit afterwards, while those that have to spend crazily to get ready tend to suffer many years after.

posted by worldcup2002 to other at 06:49 PM - 6 comments

Hosting the Olympics costs money, and there are public benefits that come from that spending. For example, as noted in the article, money put into infrastructure is not wasted if that infrastructure is put to good public use afterward. Also, there is evidence that hosting the Olympics helps you do better at future Olympics (my analysis). Whether these things are important to your society or not is a matter of debate, of course, and right now it isn't an honest debate. I don't think there is much doubt that the taxpayers get left footing a big bill. "The Olympics are going to generate a big economic windfall" is a lie right up there with "this new baseball stadium will pay for itself" or "cutting taxes will not reduce revenue." Today, politicians use the excuse of the Olympics to spend a lot of public money that they otherwise wouldn't have access to. If the bill was laid out for them, along with an argument about the social benefits, would taxpayers support a bid? Probably not. As far as the IOC encouraging "gigantism," I don't think that this is as sinister as the article implies. The IOC has spent considerable amount of time studying the problem of rising costs, and has lots of ideas about how to limit growth (and check out the quote on page 3 of that document). The central problem is the way that the host city is selected. Jacques Rogge can make as many suggestions, recommendations, and pleas as he wants, but as long as the host is chosen by majority vote of the 100+ IOC delegates, of course the flashiest, most impressive, and most expensive bids are going to win. Especially when it's not the IOC footing the bill.

posted by Amateur at 07:33 PM on February 08, 2006

Excellent link, and Amateur, you have my mind on this one.

posted by chicobangs at 11:42 PM on February 08, 2006

Cutting taxes increases revenue, Amateur. It's a fact. Get your head out of your ass. And leave your politics out of your posts. The majority of the people here don't have any wishes to hear idiocy and lunacy to create an argument or position.

posted by mrhockey at 09:52 PM on February 09, 2006

I'll leave my "politics" out of my posts when you start taking your own advice, mrhypocrite.

posted by Amateur at 07:26 AM on February 10, 2006

Cutting taxes increases revenue, Amateur. It's a fact. Get your head out of your ass. No, it's not a fact, it's a political opinion. How 'bout that. You couldn't prove that statement because it's too vague. Cutting taxes under some economic conditions may lead to economic growth. There's a bedrock statement. What does "increases revenue" mean anyway? It can't affect the money supply.

posted by yerfatma at 08:30 AM on February 10, 2006

Say, is that your own petard you've been hoisted by?

posted by The_Black_Hand at 07:06 AM on February 11, 2006

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