After I read this I fell to the floor and held my leg in, apparently, agonizing pain:
Responding to ongoing protests over perceived corruption and irresponsibility within the government, Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff announced Monday that any profits from hosting the 2014 World Cup will be invested in desperately needed improvements to the nation’s soccer infrastructure. “Hosting an event of this scale has required significant taxpayer funding, but I want to assure all Brazilians that any and all proceeds from the World Cup will go toward giving our people what they truly need: neatly trimmed grass fields, goals, nets, and brand-new Adidas soccer balls,” said Rousseff, stressing that government officials will ensure the projected $1 billion revenue stream from the international soccer tournament is immediately funneled into projects to update and expand the soccer infrastructure in all Brazilian towns and cities. “These investments are admittedly long overdue, but the system will be rebuilt from the ground up so that millions of men, women, and children can finally have access to new, well-maintained soccer facilities with pristine playing conditions for both full-field and five-a-side games.” Rousseff added that in order to accommodate the extensive nationwide overhaul, the Brazilian government will likely need to demolish several dozen schools and hospitals across the country.
Where have I been for the past week? Well, I had the privilege (used loosely) of taking the Official Only Son of Env-Econ (OOSEE), and his baseball tea--the Crush Baseball Club--to Omaha, Nebraska to compete in a 12 and under baseball tournament centered around the NCAA College World Series. This is a national tournament with 34 teams from all over the country. The boys live the week in a dorm (barracks?) along with two coaches (lucky me...). Here's the story...
On 12 June the FIFA World Cup kicks off. 32 of the best football teams in the world will start vying for the title of being the best at the biggest sport in the world. In an international survey of about 8,000 people in 15 countries we asked what the World Cup title means to people in the competitors’ home countries. Almost a quarter in our survey is willing to give up their mobile phone for a month if it meant their team would win! Our economists also looked at a range of economic indicators to investigate the World Cup teams and the attitude of their fans. ...
1. Spain would prevail if…
If the “value” of all the players in a football team actually could decide the results of the World Cup, Spain would prevail this summer as our analysis shows its squad of 23 has the highest total market value at EUR675 million. Hosts Brazil are third and England seventh, boosted by the EUR49 million value of Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney.
4. Argentina is willing to sacrifice the highest sum of money if it meant their team would win.
Chileans top the table on the measure of willingness to sacrifice a sum of money if it meant their team would win. They would be willing to give up EUR526 on average to see their team win. Adjusted for GDP to facilitate a like for like comparison, Argentina rises to the top.
Brazil is looking to the FIFA World Cup, starting next week, to jumpstart its sluggish economy as millions of tourists traverse the country to see the games.
Brazil’s government estimates that the some 3.7 million people traveling throughout the country for the global soccer competition will add about $3.03 billion in spending to Latin America’s largest economy.
The bulk of that spending will come from tourists attending the actual matches, though travelers going to other events linked to the World Cup will still add $1.19 billion in direct spending, according to Brazil’s Ministry of Tourism.
However, analysts warn that the World Cup likely won’t provide any long-term economic stimulus, when the additional revenue won’t reach the levels needed to sway a $2.2 trillion economy.
“Successfully hosting the 2014 World Cup will raise Brazil’s stature on the world stage, but the benefits will be short-lived for most rated Brazilian companies, infrastructure providers, host cities and states and the Brazilian government,” analysts at Moody’s Investors Service wrote in a report earlier this year.
A mere 34% of Brazilians think the World Cup will create more jobs and boost the economy, according to a survey from the Pew Research Center. Many instead say they would’ve preferred the government to direct its hefty spending on the games to education, health care and other public services.
For those who don't follow sports, there is currently a trial underway in which a former UCLA athlete (Ed O'Bannon) is suing the NCAA for using his likeness without compensation. Essentially the question is whether college athletes should get paid. Today in the trial, Nobel Prize winning economist James Heckman took the stand. Below is a screen capture of how ESPN tweeted Heckman's testimony (read bottom up):
Stating that they just want to make sure it’s something everyone keeps in mind going forward, an international consortium of scientists gently reminded the world Wednesday that clean energy technologies are pretty much ready to go anytime. “We’ve got solar, wind, geothermal—we’re all set to move forward with this stuff whenever everyone else is,” said Dr. Sandra Eakins, adding that researchers are also doing a lot of pretty amazing things with biomass these days. “Again, we’re good to go on this end, so just let us know. You seriously should see these new hydrogen fuel cells we have. Anyway, just say the word, and we’ll start rolling it out.” At press time, representatives from the world’s leading economies had signaled that they would continue to heavily rely on fossil fuels until they had something more than an overwhelming scientific consensus to go on.
Just a quick update on the end of the high school softball career of Official Oldest Daughter of Env-Econ (OODEE):
[OODEE's High School Softball team] went 9-5 in the OCC-Cardinal Division [17-6 overall] to finish third...
[OODEE], who was one of seven seniors, closed her career by being named first-team all-league and all-district. She was 16-6 with 178 strikeouts and 25 walks in 134 2/3 innings while also leading the team with a .513 batting average and 27 RBI.
I was browsing the Chronicle of Higher Education job openings today (to stay abreast of competition), and I came across this:
Job Title: Timeout Coordinator
Job Summary: Serve as the Timeout Coordinator for football and/or basketball events. This position specifically supports the mission of the University and the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics by assisting in institutional compliance with NCAA and Conference rules and regulations.
Basic Qualifications: Requires a high school education or equivalent. Must be able to stand a minimum of 5 hours in inclement weather (within reason) for football games and a minimum of 4 hours for basketball games. Must be available for all Miami home football and/or basketball events (includes weekends and weeknights). Strong knowledge of football and/or basketball NCAA rules and regulations. Must be able to follow a timeline and be alert at all times during events to signal time outs and keep time elapsed. Excellent communication skills.
Congratualtions SteadfastZach on winning the 2014 EnvEcon NCAA Basketball Tournament Challenge. You can now proceed to make merciless fun of John who finished dead last by choosing his alma mater's archrival to win it all (while his alma mater is playing for the national championship tonight).
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