First of all, being the annoyed Brazilian citizen that I can’t help but be, I cannot stress enough how convenient it is for my beloved government to host a World Cup on election year. “Bread and games” to the people; after all who can find time to worry about taxes, hunger and social disparities when a golden cup is at stake?

Of course, some benefits will come out of this grandiose event. Renewed stadiums, roads and airports, maybe a few hospitals and what not; but as taxpayers, at fees above Belgium, shouldn’t we already have all of that? And more? Right! Also what should have been a great injection of investment money coming into the country, was in fact a lot of tax money ­ meant for more than sports ­ going deep into some very specific pockets. All the while the least possible was spent to create a make believe world. One built to last just long enough.

I will not ignore that a World Cup will bring some immediate gains to the population. Brazil’s Ministry of Tourism expects nearly 2 million tourists, Brazilian and foreign, to be going about the cities where the games will take place ­while spending something close to 7 billion Reais in just four weeks. A lot of jobs! A lot of money!

…who can find time to worry about taxes, hunger and social disparities when a golden cup is at stake?…

Come October, and presidential elections, I wonder if people will still remember that jobs aren’t always that easy to find and that businesses don’t always do so well. Will we hope the Olympics, coming up in 2016, will be enough to keep this up?

If you remember the fervent protests that went on in Brazil at the end of last year, 2013, rebelling against all the tax money vanishing into stadiums and more obscure places ­ well, you might be just about the only one. Man! That was a great time to be in Brazil and I was there; I walked into the night, through the main avenues of my capital; chanting at the top of my lungs, side by side with millions, that “I did not choose games over health”, that “I did not choose games over education”. Where did those millions of people disappear to?

…Brazil’s Ministry of Tourism expects nearly 2 million tourists…

It can feel wrong to complain at times, our overall economy is better ­ I know that much; but is better good enough? I would go with a big no as so many people starve, as children are exploited and nature devastated. Still what saddens me the most is that I cannot simply blame this on rotten politicians or a bad system. It’s this people addicted to the games that I worry about.

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