Friday, October 02, 2009

2016 Olympics: Good News, Bad News

The games won't be coming to Chicago.

On the good news side, the taxpayers will be spared the inevitable cost overruns, massive losses, and especially the graft and corruption associated with anything involving local Chicago politics.

On the bad news side, it's a bummer for the local restaurant, hotel, and construction trades, as well as the Chicago pols' dreams of lining their own pockets with millions in kickbacks, etc.

It's also a bit of moderately bad news for President Obama, who wasted some more of his prestige on this project. He doesn't have much to spare, and badly needs some sort of victory for American interests – even one as inconsequential as the Olympics – to be able to point to some bit of positive news.

Had he persuaded the IOC, the most carping you would have heard would have been about pretty dry cost benefit analysis. However, given the trillions tossed down the gutter in Bailoutistan, a billion or two to cost overruns and graft seems like pretty small potatoes. Additionally, the Olympics are a huge object of national pride, which would easily swamp the cost objections. However, to go to Copenhagen and come away empty suggests nothing but weakness.