POSTED RESPONSES TO A COLUMN BY JEFFREY SIMPSON IN TORONTO'S GLOBE AND MAIL
"...it should be evident that cost calculations can't capture the impact of elite athletic competition..."
Please, Mr. Simpson, this is the most fatuous argument possible for wasting immense sums of money.
What about scientific-achievement pride?
What about pride in our primary education institutions?
Or pride in the quality of our libraries?
It does seem to me that these last are pretty clearly a little threadbare, and yet they are far, far more important than adult games.
Sporting pride comes from people who only see what's on the television screen for an hour or two.
They have no sense of the costs involved.
And from an economics point of view, that includes "opportunity cost," what you gave up to have a two-week blow-out signifying nothing.
$6 billion-plus would build about 250 first-class schools which would serve our children for the next couple of generations.
Or it would build a comparable number of great libraries.
Or still, if you chose not to build new institutions, it could have provided great upgrades to several thousand such institutions.
Or it would fund some genuinely world-important scientific research projects, bringing focus to Canada by some of the world’s best brains.
Instead we’ve got beer-soaked memories and a set of tinny-looking medals.
The Olympics is a mug’s game.
And just look at the picture attached to this column: a group of pretty girls wearing ridiculous-looking hats - the kind of hats no one in Canada has ever worn - and, I'm sorry, but the poor women look like servers at some fast-food restaurant chain with a Northern theme.
Or how about the giant inflated Mountie? It resembled the things used at the openings of new car washes.
And that choice was particularly thoughtless considering in what low esteem so many today hold the Mounties, with Vancouver itself having been a focus of their criminal behavior.
What about the little Glow-Lite plastic candles everyone marched in with? Wal-mart Christmas merchandise, surely.
But we did not pay Wal-mart prices for any of this kitsch. It was all custom-designed and custom-made, and I’m sure it all cost a fortune.
Bad taste at sky-high prices.