BOSTON (CBS) – There’s an old quote from the Narcotics Anonymous manual: “Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results.”
The civic leaders pushing for us to drop $15 billion on bringing the summer Olympic Games here ought to write that phrase in their Blackberries 100 times a day until they get the hang of it.
As the group No Boston Olympics has been politely pointing out, none of the reasons that normally compel cities to take the huge financial risk that the games involve exist here.
We are not desperate to attract tourists or investment.
We don’t need publicity.
And the needs we do have that might be propelled by staging an Olympics, like transportation improvements, could and should get done without getting stuck in that boondoggle.
I’m sure the Boston Olympics boosters mean well, but so did Judge Garrity when he tried to fix a real problem with racial discrimination in Boston schools by creating a disastrous public-policy blunder. The architects of the Big Dig were well-meaning too, as they squandered billions on a transportation fix that fixed too little at too great a cost.
Sorry, I’m not quite as polite as the No Boston Olympics folks.
I see myopic elites at work here repeating the blunders of the past, indulging their grandiose appetite for big visions, big legacies and big celebrations without proper attention to reality, the real needs of the community, or humility.
Sanity suggests a different approach.
Unless addiction has already taken hold.
Listen to Jon’s commentary: