Were the 2012 Olympic Games worth it?

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Re: Were the 2012 Olympic Games worth it?

#21  Postby Chrisw » Jan 07, 2013 8:07 pm

shopping bags wrote:The question ultimately boils down to opportunity cost I think. There will almost certainly have been better opportunities out there and so the games were not worth it. They came at the expense of something the UK public really did need.

But should needs always win out over wants? Why can't we say that we wanted the Olympics more than we wanted some immeasurably small improvement to public services? It's not always wrong to splash out on an expensive once-in-a-lifetime holiday just because there are other, supposedly more "important" things to spend your money on.

Besides you could make a case for the Olympics being more than mere entertainment. It was a genuinely uplifting and inspiring event and who knows what positive effect that could have on this normally rather cynical, pessimistic country.
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Re: Were the 2012 Olympic Games worth it?

#22  Postby jamest » Jan 07, 2013 8:47 pm

Chrisw wrote:
shopping bags wrote:The question ultimately boils down to opportunity cost I think. There will almost certainly have been better opportunities out there and so the games were not worth it. They came at the expense of something the UK public really did need.

But should needs always win out over wants? Why can't we say that we wanted the Olympics more than we wanted some immeasurably small improvement to public services? It's not always wrong to splash out on an expensive once-in-a-lifetime holiday just because there are other, supposedly more "important" things to spend your money on.

Britain's in a lot of debt. I suppose the point is that we shouldn't be spending money at all, except on necessities. I know that most families wouldn't be taking expensive holidays if they were in thousands of pounds worth of debt. I guess the same principles hold for governments and sporting events. Though for the life of me I can't figure-out why, with all the money to be made from the media (not to mention ticket sales and increased tourism), the Olympics cannot run at a profit. The participants don't even have to be paid. It's quite puzzling.

Besides you could make a case for the Olympics being more than mere entertainment. It was a genuinely uplifting and inspiring event and who knows what positive effect that could have on this normally rather cynical, pessimistic country.

Of course, but those are short-term gains. Imo, our country should be focussed on reducing the debt lest we end up like Greece etc..
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Re: Were the 2012 Olympic Games worth it?

#23  Postby shopping bags » Jan 09, 2013 7:00 pm

The olympic games cant run a profit because these 'Mega Events' are never sustainable Jamest. They require massive public support. The private sector would never invest in such folly. This to me is one part of the case for the games not being worth it.

Ticket Sales £600m
Sponsorship £700m
Funding from IOC £700m

So £2bln income to stage an event that cost £10bln.....

As for "immeasurably small improvement to public services" Chrisw... you know all those stories you hear on the news about people getting refused treatment for this or that in the UK? - Cancer drugs and wot not. Well I would guess the money would cover this for a few years.
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Re: Were the 2012 Olympic Games worth it?

#24  Postby jamest » Jan 17, 2013 11:58 pm

shopping bags wrote:The olympic games cant run a profit because these 'Mega Events' are never sustainable Jamest. They require massive public support. The private sector would never invest in such folly. This to me is one part of the case for the games not being worth it.

Ticket Sales £600m
Sponsorship £700m
Funding from IOC £700m

So £2bln income to stage an event that cost £10bln.....

What about media investment? That's the biggie, surely?

There's also the issue of increased interest in a country (amounting to more tourism and business opportunities); as well as the fact that certain newly-constructed stadia have the potential to bring in more wealth after the games. We could also talk about media interest after the games, and the wealth this generates. For example, I've lost count of the number of times I've seen articles/books/programs about the 'British heroes'. All of this involves money, of course. Your figures seem a bit short-sighted to me (?).

As for "immeasurably small improvement to public services" Chrisw... you know all those stories you hear on the news about people getting refused treatment for this or that in the UK? - Cancer drugs and wot not. Well I would guess the money would cover this for a few years.

I suppose Chris' point is that anything that improves infrastructure and service is only going to serve to generate long-term wealth?
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Re: Were the 2012 Olympic Games worth it?

#25  Postby Jumbo » Jan 18, 2013 1:35 am

The money could have been spent within the NHS its true. Though it likely would have been not all that noticeable long term. The NHS spends over £106 billion a year. The Olympics was about £10 billion over many years so the entire Olympics budget would run the NHS for less than three and a half days. An extra £10 billion for the NHS would be lovely but that doesn't mean that everything else should be put on hold or scrapped.
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Re: Were the 2012 Olympic Games worth it?

#26  Postby I'm With Stupid » Jan 18, 2013 2:25 am

To me, this is like asking whether it was worth it to go to the moon. You can make all sorts of arguments about new materials that were invented and new discoveries that were made that were turned into something useful, but at the end of the day, they went to the fucking moon!

If we're arguing about purely tangible benefits, then it probably isn't the best use of money. Investing £10bn could have created far more and longer term jobs than the Olympics did if that was your aim. They probably would've gone to locals too, rather than just the 25% that did in the end. Similarly, this level of investment in grass roots sport and proper facilities (rather than successive councils selling off playing fields year after year) would've done far more to encourage long-term participation in sports than the Olympics ever will.

I think Will Self's views here still ring true:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqhvmwjFXMg[/youtube]

But at the end of the day, I don't think it's necessarily about the logical arguments.

Incidentally, there was a report a while back about when we can expect to be able to claim that the Olympics made a profit (it's quite a long time), but they did expect London to make a profit.
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