New Olympic Games to be hosted in North Korea, China, and by various other pompous dictators henceforth

After decades of more or less irresponsible spending in most of Western welfare-state civilization, the return on investments of throwing money down bottomless pits aren't looking so good. A few of us caught on many years ago:
Sports teams bring little net economic benefit. No disinterested economist has found any justification for the premise that they improve the local economy - instead, they just shift benefit around.

Teams take better care of stadiums they actually own....

Teams always underestimate the tax burden of the stadium and the implied subsidy. Often you see them arguing that the stadium will be funded only out of the revenues from the stadium itself -- well if that's the case, then why does the public need to be involved at all?
Fast forward to 2014, when it's time to bid on the 2022 Olympics. The only bidders left interested are Kazakhstan and China. Haha:
Bidding on the Olympics has been justified for years by one big economic lie: investing in hosting Olympic Games will lead to long-term economic growth.

It doesn't.

In a 2006 paper, "Mega-events: The effect of the world's biggest sporting events on local, regional, and national economics," Holy Cross economics professor Victor Matheson took this idea to task:

"Public expenditures on sports infrastructure and event operations necessarily entail reductions in other government services, an expansion of government borrowing, or an increase in taxation, all of which produce a drag on the local economy. At best public expenditures on sports-related construction or operation have zero net impact on the economy as the employment benefits of the project are matched by employment losses associated with higher taxes or spending cuts elsewhere in the system."

Matheson also argues that Olympic economic impact reports often ignore the significant costs for things like security and conflate "general infrastructure" with "sports infrastructure."
Read the whole thing, and be sure to check out the video showing a lot of the abandoned Olympic stadiums of yesteryear. The only places left willing to throw money down that hole are desperate countries/dictators attempting to prove themselves to the rest of the world.


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