Much is made of the old bromide “Bread and Circuses” as how the elite of ancient Rome (“the I percent”) placated the masses by giving them free grain and sporting events to make them forget the stratified social order. True or not, times have certainly changed. Brazil, home of the 2014 FIFA World Cup has the modern adaptation of that rule.

According to estimates from the federal government, the World Cup will cost the public treasury somewhere around 26 billion reais ($11.6 billion).

Oh they’ll get the stadiums built…but not much other promises will be kept. So not much for bread. How about those circuses?

The cheapest World Cup final ticket will cost the average Brazilian 25 hours of work

The circus is for other people. Although FIFA the organization makes out well, hoovering up as much as they can out of Brazil.  What they cannot carry, they’ll leave for the International Olympic Committee in 2016. And that’s the unkindest Brazilian of them all.