$50 billion for Sochi? Only a fraction of that cost is required
Are the Olympics worth it? Every two years, Olympic critics argue that the money should be better spent on causes such as fighting poverty and disease. I am a staunch defender of the Olympics, but I think it's time to draw spending boundaries.
Reports claim that China and Russia each spent in the neighborhood of $50 billion on their Olympics. The London Games cost at least $15 billion. Greece's $11 billion Olympics pushed the country toward collapse. Arguably, the Olympics would be worth every penny if the spending were absolutely necessary. But it's not.
Atlanta and Salt Lake City each spent under $3 billion, including security and inflation. Necessity is the mother of frugality. In the United States, unlike every other host country, the money for the Games comes almost exclusively from private sources: sponsorships, broadcast revenue and tickets. The exception is government spending on security and transportation. But in every other host country, the government picks up nearly the entire check.
Why do governments spend so much?
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