It is no secret that certain countries overspend in certain areas of their budget- whether on defense expenditures, education, health, infrastructure, or social services. Of course, placing an emphasis on one section of the budget leads to positive and negative ramifications for the guilty country. Many of us have heard stories: The Chinese taking over the world with their advanced military, the free health care in certain European countries, money for going to school in Denmark, and other interesting (and sometimes wrong) points that have crept into our minds thanks to the Media.
In this blog, I will analyze the statistics behind budget inequality and its ramifications. I promise you will find this amusing.
First, I would like to share with you a simplified version of the US Budget:
Yes, thats 58% of the 3.1 TRILLION Federal Budget on Defense.
If a family spent over half its money on defense, it would be starving, illiterate, and without shelter, and broke.
Sound familiar? It should.
In this article we will compare spending on these vital areas: Education, Health, Defense, Social Security, and finally: Natural Resource and Conservation
“The whole object of education is…to develop the mind. The mind should be a thing that works” – S. Anderson
Countries with Highest % Of GDP Spent on Education:
1. Cuba – 18.7 % – Literacy Rate: 100% (Unicef) – 1st in the world
2. Yemen – 9.5% Literacy Rate: 67% (UN) Note: Yemen has recently made education its top priority.
3. Mongolia – 9% Literacy Rate: 97.8% (Unicef)
4. Denmark – 8.5% Literacy Rate: 99.0% (Unicef)
5. Guyana – 8.4% Literacy Rate: 98.8% (CIA.gov)
37. United States 5.7% – Literacy Rate: 86% – US Department of Education
The United States ranks far behind most developed countries and several second-world countries. Post-Soviet nations such as Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia and Armenia have literacy rates over 99.5%.
“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.” – Gandhi
1. United States – 16.0% – Life Expectancy: 78 Years
2. France – 11.0 % – Life Expectancy: 81Years
3. Switzerland – 10.8 % – Life Expectancy: 81.7 Years
4. Germany – 10.4 % – Life Expectancy: 79.7 Years
5. Belgium – 10.2 % – Life Expectancy: 80.2 Years
Amazingly, the US Spends 2 trillion dollars in both public and private sectors, but the leading cause of bankruptcy is medical and our spending is far less efficient that countries like Cuba, Singapore, and Japan. In Japan, the life expectancy of 82.6 years is the highest in the world. Yet, most Japanese live in industrialized areas, such as Tokyo.
III. Defense Spending
Army: A body of men assembled to rectify the mistakes of the diplomats. – J. Daniels
1. United States (19.2 %) – 41.5 % of the World Defense Spending. 96th on Global Peace ranking.
2. Oman – 22nd on Global Peace ranking
3. Qatar- 30th on Global Peace ranking
4. Saudi Arabia – 90th on Global Peace ranking
5. Iraq – Last on Global Peace Ranking
With the exception of Oman and Qatar, both peaceful Arabian peninsula states, countries with high defense spending usually are the least peaceful. Least peaceful countries have more deaths due to war, economic instability, and less focus on social services.
IV. Social Security
One of the most urgent orders of business at this time is the enactment of hospital insurance for the aged through Social Security to help older people meet the high costs of illness without jeopardizing their economic independence.” – President Lyndon Johnson
1. Sweden – 20.9 % (7th Happiest country in the world)
2. Finland – 20.3 % (5th Happiest country in the world)
3. Netherlands – 20% (15h Happiest country in the world)
4. Denmark – 19.1% (Happiest country in the world)
5. Austria – 18.8 % (3rd happiest country in the world)
13. United States (12.6%) – 17th happiest in the world.
The correlation cannot be rejected. If one looks at the list of happy countries, most of them stress social services above all forms of government expenditure. Happiness also leads to longer lives (Sweden is third in life expectancy).
V. Environmental Spending
“Your descendants shall gather your fruits.” – Virgil
1 Netherlands: 1.8 % of GDP
2 Austria: 1.7 % of GDP
3 Japan: 1.6 % of GDP
4. United States: 1.6 % of GDP
5. Switzerland 1.6% of GDP
Natural resource conservation has been growing all around the world as global warming fears heighten. It is also used as a political tool for both Democrats and Republicans.
The point of this article is one. The current fiscal crisis and federal deficit is going to have to be paid somehow. Already, $250 Billion a year is spent just paying the interest on the national debt and with trillions more being tacked on, where is the funding going to come from? It’s simple: the feds will cut back on vital funding for education, slash social services and health care, and increase taxes. What we need is someone in charge that can manage the debt, and although a surplus looks like a very bleak possibility, and balance the ballooning budget without compromising the necessary expenditures.
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