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Odds and Ends
Makeover of 2016
15 11, 10:09pm
I've heard it said that the difference between our peoples is the Europeans still think in terms of a feudal mindset rather than an individualistic one. That a person is ranked in a way, owing fealty up the line, and being cared for down the line. I don't know if this is true, but it made sense in the context of the argument where I heard it, (about jobs).
A quick check of Google shows that the US spends 3.3% of GDP on defense. Large parts of that are spent in Europe. France is 2.1, Germany is 1.2, Italy is 1.3. Source
Going down the second link. Denmark...isn't reported. Estonia is 1.98, Finland, Russia's neighbor, is 1.33, Greece is 2.23, Ireland is 0.48, Only the UK comes close to the US spending, at 2.17 percent of GDP.
On Social Services. Hmm.
The US is 19.3% of GDP. Finland is 30.8, Estonia is 17.4, France is 31.5, Germany is 25.3, Ireland is 16.1, Greece is 27.0.
UK comes in at 21.5% of GDP.
Germany spends 21 times what it spends on defense, on social services.
France spends 15 times what it spends on defense, on social services.
Finland spends 23 times what it spends on defense, on social services.
Greece spends 12 times what it spends on defense, on social services.
Netherlands spends better than 18 times what it spends on defense, on social services.
I guess we could demobilize our overseas bases, especially those in Germany and Finland, and focus on social services, if it'd make you happier.
There was a quote once.
" A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.
The average age of the world's greatest civilisations from the beginning of history has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty; From liberty to abundance; From abundance to selfishness; From selfishness to complacency; From complacency to apathy; From apathy to dependence; From dependence back into bondage. "
The attribution on the quote is somewhat in question.
I'd argue that a strong "safety net", such as you enjoy, is one of those gifts from the treasury. It takes a strong will to not reach into the cookie jar.