Monday, August 15, 2016
The True Face of The Olympics: State Capitalism on Steroids And a Bane on The Plight of Brazil's Destitute
State capitalism (i.e. corporate capitalism, corporatism, crony capitalism, neoliberalism etc.) is the predominate economic system in the world; the collusion between a handful of well connected, wealthy businessmen and their political puppets in office exchanging favors, tit for tat, campaign donations and lucrative job offers (after their term ends) for favorable policies at the expense of everyone else. In Brazil, the Olympics have exacerbated the scourge of state capitalism and the primary beneficiaries are landlords and private developers. First, it is of note to mention that funding sports is not a proper function of government; let the private clubs and associations fund their own sports. The proper function of government is the administration of justice in congruity with the law of equal liberty; something Brazil's national government and Rio's municipal government have failed at miserably, as evident by the fact that about 2/3 of all homicides in Rio are committed by the police and death squads, made up of soldiers and former officers, who work in tandem to 'socially cleanse' the streets of vagrants (mainly children) and evict working class Brazilians from their favelas. The 16,340,00,000 reais (9,700,000,000USD) of taxpayer money spent funding Olympic projects, which doesn't even include the cost of adjacent public infrastructure projects, could've been more wisely appropriated to reform a criminal police department and move vagrant children from the streets in to shelters or possibly boarding schools (through some kind of voucher program): a dramatic reduction in crime rates, especially homicide and robbery, would ensue. The most egregious breaches of moral law, which the IOC has been complicit in, have been committed in the years prior to the Olympic games. Starting in 2009, the Rio government initiated a 'social cleansing' campaign in Barra: evicting favela residents from their homes, tearing them down, and giving the land over to private developers like Carlos Carvalho. Some 77,000 favela residents have been evicted from their homes and that is not the complete extent of the damage. An uptick in police violence against vagrants and protestors coincided with the mass evictions; the social cleansing also entailed the mass murder of vagrants and protestors who resisted their criminal government. The IOC is complicit in these atrocities because they failed to act, let alone acknowledge the atrocities committed to host their event, despite receiving complaints from several Human Rights NGOs concerning the circumstances in Rio.
The real motive for hosting the Olympic games: to abet the rent-seeking proceeds of landlords and private developers
The land value in Rio has tripled as a result of winning the bid to host the 2016 Olympic games, and has continued to increase with the addition of new public infrastructure and Olympic venues built through private-public partnerships. Public infrastructure projects everywhere disproportionately benefit the titleholders of landed property, a government granted privilege, who capture the value added by government contractors, commerce, and population growth in the form of land rent; furthermore, most governments only recapture a small fraction of the land rent through property taxes leaving the titleholders with most of their unearned increment. The Olympics differs from ordinary public infrastructure projects in its cost, which will be in the tens of billions, and in the profits it will generate for private developers like Carols Carvalho. Indeed, the Olympics was a massive windfall for private developers who not only received a 300% + surge in land rental value, but were gifted lucrative contracts to build housing for the event, which they can turn around and rent as condominiums after the Olympics is over. This undue fortune comes at the expense of the average taxpayer, who has not only foot the bill for the Olympics of which they receive very little in return, but who are deprived of their natural right to an equal share of the land rent.
We needn't look any further than the electoral process to see through the facade of pageantry and grandeur to discover the true motive for hosting the Olympics. Brazil, like most countries, has a private campaign finance system. The current mayor of Rio unabashedly admitted that he received 1,140,000 reais in donations from a few wealthy private developers during his 2012 campaign, and he had the gall to expect everyone to believe that they donated out of the kindness of their heart and they didn't expect anything in return. Anyone with at least average intelligence knows better.
A bane on Rio's destitute working class and underclass
Having been evicted from their homes and deprived of their share of the incremental land rent, the former residents of the Barra have been left in a worst condition than they were in before Rio was awarded the Olympic games. The IOC has failed, on every occasion, to live up to their values of equality, respect, excellence, and friendship: meaningless platitudes that signify nothing sincere, only empty promises and a cozy front for an inherently corrupt organization.