>This weekend, Chicago was not awarded the "privilege" of hosting the 2016 Olympics. For many reasons, this brings me great joy.
Economists have long demonstrated that events like the Olympics does not bring economic benefits to the host city. The cost of building the necessary infrastructure is not remotely covered by the event itself. Once the Olympics are over, the host city is stuck with specialized buildings that require maintenance but are essentially useless. This is all paid for by the taxpayers, taking important revenue away from services that actually meet the needs of the citizens. Chicagoans should be celebrating now - the burden of paying for all this is lifted from their hefty shoulders and transferred squarely unto the slender ones of Rio de Janierans. What a relief!
I am also pleased that the Olympics were not awarded to Chicago because I loathe Mayor Dailey. This was not always the case. Twenty years ago, he was a fresh-faced mayor who did some great things for the city. Today, he's a dictator and a bully. His decision to green the city is great, but he did so at the cost of services to thousands of low income residents. (Budgets are not infinite, and a lot of services - like bus transportation in poor neighborhoods - got cut as the city prettified itself. When he decided that he wanted to turn a small airport into a nature preserve, he dug up the runway in the middle of the night, leaving planes and passengers stranded the next morning. It may be a more laudable goal to have a lakefront nature preserve, but the way to create is not through sneaky force. He pledged that Chicagoans could have more public transportation if they got the Olympics, but that is fucked up. People should be able to get around their cities whether or not there is a big event. It is, in fact, essential to a city's health. I wanted a big, fat, public failure on this man's record, and it pleases me to no end that it happened.
When NYC was denied our Olympic bid for 2012, I was similarly overjoyed. We have enough problems as it is. Rio, a city plagued by extreme poverty, has a big challenge ahead of them. I wish them luck, and I send my condolences to their citizens.