Two Christmas Tips & Calgary’s Olympic Bid

Two Christmas tips that only work now, and not Christmas Eve: As there are three paydays left for most of us, take a couple hundred bucks out of each pay and stash it away for your Christmas bills. It’ll make budgeting for it a lot easier and lets you pay cash, instead of using your credit card this year to avoid the hangover in January!

And this year, as it’s early enough, get your family to pick names. No, you’re not obligated to buy presents for everyone including your third cousin’s girlfriend’s parents! Honest! You can leave out the young kids from the draw, but for adults, get your family to agree that you’ll pick one or two people and not gift-give the whole world.

So 56% of Calgarians voted yesterday to not proceed with their Olympic bid. My gut reaction is that it was a good move for the tax payers of the city. Sure, it would have had some significant benefits for the city, but many of those can’t be measured…

It also seems like most Calgarians have access to the internet. In spite of all the talk and promises that the $5.1 billion gamble wouldn’t be over – that’s just nonsense. Anyone can take 10 seconds to see all the horror stories of EVERY city that’s hosted the games and their billions of cost overruns. I can barely predict my bills for next month and you’re telling me that a projection on that many projects, and that complexity, eight years out is totally accurate? Not a snowballs’ chance in h$%&.

If the bid committee had told Calgarians that the budget was $5.1 billion, but explained how they’d be able to make it at (for example) $8 billion, there would have been a lot more credibility. Plus, any internet search will quickly let anyone see that any glowing economic projections normally need to be divided by two or four to be close to accurate. It defies logic to state that it’ll inject x dollars into the local economy. Those projections have never been accurate for massive conventions, the subsidies for businesses to relocate, or Olympic bids. It’s always assuming people just “find” that money for tickets, restaurants, merchandise, etc. When half the country can’t find $400 for an emergency, this money isn’t “new” money – it’s just NOT being spent on something else, instead.

Yes, it would have been a big boost to the Calgary economy, but maybe it’s for the best to not ask Calgarians to write a blank cheque that they won’t be able to cash…

George Boelcke – Money Tools & Rules book –

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