American taxpayers, listen up! Your presence at the world’s biggest World Expo is costing you $61 million — that’s over four times the cost of Shanghai’s new nightlife monstrosity named after your current president. Fortunately for the $15 million Obama Club, there are enough country bumpkins in this town who find it a novelty to ensure the club gets filled for a looooong time to come. But when the Shanghai Expo is over in November, the US pavilion will be reduced to a pile of scrap and sold for a hundred bucks — okay, we exaggerate, they will get a little more than that. Just how much of your money are these guys burning per month? You do the math! For all the juicy details of how that $61 million breaks down, hop on over to Adam Minter’s Shanghai Scrap.
[Correction: The US pavilion is funded by corporations but as Bob Jacobson points out, Americans will be picking up the tab for taxes not paid by the non-profit corporation that manages the pavilion and its corporate partners for the privilege of using the USA brand.]