The World Cup does not help Brazil’s economy

Lillie Apostolos

As reported by U.S. News and World Report, Brazil has invested approximately $11.5 billion in hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup. In doing so, Brazil risked the social and economic well-being of many Brazilians for a potential short-term boon to their economy.

While hundreds of millions of dollars were spent on each of the 12 stadiums, fans are left wondering if the investment is worth the risk of socioeconomic failure for lower class Brazilians.

The games directly supply short-term benefits for the corporations sponsoring them and the government putting them on, but as the money pays back investors and debt, there will not be much World Cup long-term revenue to distribute among funding programs to benefit Brazilian citizens in rural parts of the country.

Violent protests and cries for government help with healthcare and education are over-shadowed by the glamour of the corporate, consumer-based FIFA games. Much of lower class Brazil cries out for aid with these glaring social issues, but they cannot be heard over the stadium cheers.

Trading Economics reports Brazil as the seventh largest economy in the world, with a currently declining Gross Domestic Product, or GDP. GDP is the market value of production and services within a country and is typically calculated annually.

Brazil’s GDP has shifted downwards due to higher governmental spending on high-risk projects. Meanwhile, according to UNICEF, 6.1% of Brazilians live below the international poverty line.

While Brazil’s government anticipates a robust return on their World Cup investment, the risk outweighs the reward for many Brazilians living in poverty with little hope of education and healthcare.

This challenge is not going away for Brazil. Set to host the 2016 summer Olympics games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is in for mass change in their economics over the next decade.

Forbes reported on the Sochi Olympics and the unlikelihood of the Olympics bringing long-term benefit for the hosting country, leaving the governments to clean up the national economic mess.

Brazil’s FIFA World Cup hosting is expected to bring in significant short-term revenue while long-term socioeconomic consequences are at risk. International games shed light on a variety of national prides. However, it is a huge gamble to spend billions of dollars on a show that may lead to socioeconomic turmoil when there are so many citizens crying out for their government’s assistance.