Just in case you were wondering whether or not we really are a nation addicted to Free Shit: “Social Expenditures” In the US Are Higher Than All Other OECD Countries, Except France.
Get that? Except France.
According to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), “social expenditures” are expenditures that occur with the purpose of redistributing resources from one group to another, in order to benefit a lower-income or presumably disadvantaged population.
Social Security in the US is one example, and would be considered a “public expenditure” because it involves direct spending by a government agency.
However, governmental bodies in the US and elsewhere also employ a wide array of mandates and tax-based benefits and incentives to carry out social policy. This distinguishes the US in particular from most European countries that rely more on cash benefits or non-cash benefits administered directly by governments.
But governments are not limited to direct benefits. Governments may also employ “tax breaks for social purposes” (TBSPs) including tax credits for child care, and tax breaks for health-care related spending.
Furthermore, in the United States — more so than in other countries — governments create tax incentives and mandates that lead to high levels of “private social expenditure.” The OECD defines these private expenditures as expenditures that are designed to redistribute wealth, but are not administered directly by government agencies.
I’m not sure that’s really a bragging point.
An interesting alternative to taking away people’s property so some others can have Free Shit, might be to encourage economic growth, so more people could start earning their own shit. We could start by dropping our corporate tax rate, the highest in the world. We could continue by stopping the taxation of repatriated capital, which keeps billions of dollars overseas. We could wrap it up with a big bang by reforming our Brobdingnagian tax code, replacing it with something simpler and easily navigated by the normal taxpayer.
But instead, we’re evidently planning to keep the train of Free Shit rolling.