Brazil’s Olympics: Cronies Feast While the People Starve

by Ryan McMaken

For this year’s Summer Olympics in Rio, the Brazilian government spent $4.6 billion — that’s a conservative estimate that covers facilities used for sports only. When we include all other related expenses, the total comes to $12 billion.

To some people in the wealthy countries, this may seem like a small amount, but the truth is that $4.6 billion (not to mention $12 billion) is an immense amount of money in the context of the Brazilian economy and the Brazilian government’s budget.

For example, the entire national budget for Brazil was (according to this source) $631 billion for 2015. That means the government spending for the 2015 Olympics was about equal to 0.72 percent of Brazil’s national budget.

What would the totals look like if the US spent a comparable percentage on the Olympics?

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