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08/17/2008

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Wes

China is estimated to have spent as much as half a billion dollars to train their athletes for the Olympic games now underway in Beijing.Given that the USA is spending over a quarter billion dollars a day on Iraq (and that's just direct costs), if the USA could get out of Iraq two days early, it would save more than China spent on its athletes.When the US government gets so frugal that it's not longer spending money on frivolous stuff like landscaping (especially all those silly American flags), then I'll start worrying about government spending money on the Olympics. Until then, I'll take the attitude that if it makes people happy and it's not that expensive in the grand scheme of things (compared to Iraq, for example) then it's OK to spend tax dollars on it.

Benjamin

Dear Prof, I do think it's U.S who propagandaed U.S nation firstly around the world for many years during which U.S teams or Athletes topped the games. China is just mimicing U.S to be another power.

Benjamin

Dear Prof, I do think it's U.S who propagandaed U.S nation firstly around the world for many years during which U.S teams or Athletes topped the games. China is just mimicing U.S to be another power.

Benjamin

Dear Prof, I do think it's U.S who propagandaed U.S nation firstly around the world for many years during which U.S teams or Athletes topped the games. China is just mimicing U.S to be another power.

Saint Darwin Asissi's cat

What an interesting take on the Olympics (created in 776BC)..I would never have thought of the games in these terms ... thanks...

Vitaly

Re: "Since the United States is acknowledged to be the world's most powerful nation, it has nothing to prove by doing well in the Olympics, and so we are sensible not to allot any tax revenues to financing the training of our Olympic athletes."--perhaps there is more than being acknowledged as the most powerful nation? Winning at sports competitions creates goodwill and soft power, factors independent of GDP size or military strength.

I believe that goodwill is a positive externality that warrants spending tax dollars, especially when a country's reputation is tarnished by unwise international policy. This is not just entertaintment. In this regard, Michael Phelps' victories alone have done more to improve US worldwide image than any costly foreign policies intended to achieve this result.

Jaques

Actually, I consider that Olympic games indirectly imply some benefits to the society.The people internalize the values reflected by the athletes (effort, passion, suffering and so on), and these values are good for the most of the society. However I think that this effect dissapears as soon as the games finishes.

Frank

I do not like you you place Hitler's Germany and China in the same column,indeed, I think no one like his country to be placed to the Hitler's Germany together

Dan Dufresne

I agree that goodwill value should be considered. How does one distinguish between state-sponsored propaganda and investment in a national "brand"?

I am reminded of a minor scandal from the '80s when it was discovered that a poster for a pro-beef campaign was, in fact, a recycled Hitler youth poster.

The question of propaganda/brand-building seems to me particularly apt here in light of the emerging economic rivalry between the U.S. and China.

free bet

i love the olympics, they have been a great success......specially the Yelena cutie who got the world record for pole vault..wow shes hot

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