NZ Herald sport writer Dana Johannsen provides us with some airy fairy rationalisation of why some beneficiaries are more equal than others.

Giving taxpayer money to sports is even less justifiable than giving taxpayer money to the arts (which should be bankrolled by status seeking rich people and people who care).

But the level of visibility New Zealand had in the US during the America’s Cup and the spin-off benefits that had for not only the marine industry, but also technology, the knowledge economy and tourism convinced the Government that New Zealand can’t afford not to be involved in the America’s Cup. In fact, they’re willing to bet $5 million on it.

Should the government really be betting on big sporting events, niche team sports, elite taste in the arts and a billionaire’s boat race?

How about all of these marine, technology and “knowledge economy” beneficiaries fork out the $5 million dollars themselves?

Oh, they won’t. Because the economic benefits are hard to calculate because they are probably closer to zero than anyone connected to getting money from the government for big events wants to admit in public.

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