Bread, Circuses, Racecars


Eszter at Crooked Timber notes that the Hungarian government has decided to drop $4 million to sponsor a Formula One racer. She writes: "If this happened in a country with adequate social services and few people living in poverty then perhaps one could contemplate its legitimacy. But in a country with as many social problems as Hungary, I find it hard to swallow."

Commenter Dan Simon adds a perceptive postscript:

While I personally don?t care for the idea of $4 million in government money being spent on a Formula 1 team, I take some small consolation in the fact that lots of ordinary Hungarians of little means will probably get some enjoyment out of it. If instead the government had blown $4 million on, say, a Rothko for the Hungarian national art museum, how many low-income Hungarians would have been likely to get a big thrill out of it?and how many Crooked Timber collectivists would have complained?