Week 05: Data Literacy Journal, Part II

  1. A Historical View of Trade Liberalization: Before crediting the Olympics for advancing a nation’s trade liberalization, you should take a historical view at the nation’s approach to opening up trade. When did official preparations for trade liberalization begin when compared with Olympic planning? It’s possible that one happened before the other without any relation between to the two. Also, since trade liberalization is incredibly complex, you should look at any moving pieces that needed to happen before trade was opened. Did certain industries receive benefits previously to setup the trade talks for success? What other deals were made at the national level that needed doing before a global trade deal? A long-term view at the trade matter is needed.
  2. Global tourism and leisure spending trends: Much more data is needed around understanding global tourism and leisure spending before crediting the Olympics for a particular nation’s increase in tourism. How was tourism increasing prior to the Olympics announcement? Was the nation already on an upward trend? What about global tourism and leisure spending in general? Might a global rise in the economy also help support a rising tide for all nations in tourism?
  3. National pride: The national/civic pride argument is dubious as best. I’d argue there’s no true way to measure a “feel good factor,” especially when it relates to national pride. Nationalism is an intimidating concept, so the very act of asking people how good they feel about their nation could yield a forced bias in the responses.
  4. Financial drain: Before going into the intended budget and the budget outcome, I think it would be best to start with a clear definition of what’s included in the budget. Otherwise, we’re left wondering just what exactly is part of the Olympic budget. For instance, costs towards infrastructure—particularly highway, hospital, network, sewage and power improvements—could be included in the overall Olympic budget. But, many elements of those improvements could be primarily benefitting the larger community, so is it fair to include the whole cost of those improvement types as the Olympic budget? Additionally, costs that could have already been planned previously to the Olympic announcement could then be lumped in with the overall Olympic budget and it isn’t necessarily fair to give that budget the same weight as other elements (such as stadium costs) when those costs would have happened no matter what.
  5. Displacement: Here’s another statement that could use a historical view, as those many people who are reported to be displaced by the Olympics might have been displaced no matter what, depending on the local or national government’s already existing plans. While it’s fair to say the Olympics might have accelerated a displacement timeline, it’s not necessarily fair to say that the Olympics were the sole reason for the displacement. Those communities could have already been sold off to developers and on the chopping block of gentrification, or have been on a list for removal prior to the Olympics, with the national government using the Olympics as a “good” excuse. Creating a true count of displacement would need a historical lens.

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