Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Just Say No (to the Olympics)!!!

The official position of the Chicago Freedom Forum is "Just Say Not to King Richard Daley II and his bid to host the 2016 Olympics in Chicago!"

Here are but 10 reasons why liberals, conservatives and all conscientious Chicagoans must oppose the hosting of the 2016 Olympics in Chicago:

1. The Daley Machine has basically guaranteed a blank check to the Olympic Committee: this means that losses would be public, while profits would largely remain private.

2. You cannot trust Daley's financial projections: I cannot think of a single major project that was completed within the allotted budget and time frame. For example, Millennium Park was budgeted at $150 million, but ended up costing the tax payers $475 million and was nearly 4 years late! And if we cannot trust Daley to properly manage the privatization of parking meters, how the hell can we trust him to manage billions in tax payer Olympic funds?!?

3. Tremendous potential for long term losses: the city of Montreal hosted the Olympics in 1976 and it took over 30 years to pay off the $1.5 billion debt it incurred!

The 2012 London Olympics has not even started and already the budget of $4.9 billion has surged to $13.5 billion! Even the minister for the Olympics, Tessa Jowell admitted that in hindsight the city of London made a mistake by bidding for the Olympics.

4. Clout, corruption & nepotism: dominate the distribution of contracts within Chicago. We can be certain that the vast majority of the contracts and profits will go to cronies of the Daley Administration. As we see in petro-states like Nigeria and Iran, the infusion of capital into a corrupt system benefits very few people and actually worsens corruption. The only difference is that instead of oil fields, Daley will pump money from the already beleaguered tax payers.

And surprise, surprise the City Council has appointed Alderman Ed Burke (14th ward) to head the financial committee. If that's not the lion appointing the wolf to guard the chicken's coop, I don't know what is.

5. Chicago is already facing a $2 billion budget deficit: so we are clearly in no position to risk expanding that deficit with very costly projects.

6. Chicago's streets, schools & infrastructure are in dire straits: so, it would be criminal to siphon off badly needed tax revenue to fund projects of questionable benefit.

7. Affordable housing: residents of Washington Park and Woodlawn fear that this will drive up the cost of housing in their neighborhoods and spur their exodus.

8. Compromise of parks and public space: Daniel Burnham's vision of broad boulevards and open park space would be violated by the construction of stadiums and Olympic buildings in Washington Park. And the construction will surely limit the public's access to these parks.

9. Costly Olympic construction runs the risk of long term under-use: for example, China constructed a $500 million stadium for the Beijing Olympics, which has only been used once or twice and is scheduled to be demolished. Economist Huang Yasheng stated:

“They wanted to build ‘the world’s biggest this’ and ‘the world’s biggest that,’ but these buildings have almost zero long-term economic benefit."

10. When traffic gets worse because of the Olympics I will lose my f*ck*ng mind!,chicago-2016-olympics-finance-chiacgo-0908.article,chicago-2016-olympics-finance-chiacgo-0908.article,chicago-2016-olympics-finance-chiacgo-0908.article

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