Submitted by Taps Coogan on the 24th of October 2019 to The Sounding Line.
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The OECD estimates that social welfare spending in the US amounts to roughly 19% of US GDP, or about $3.8 trillion. Most of that spending goes towards entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, etc… which now consume 61% of total federal spending. Non-mandatory federal welfare spending and state and local welfare spending comprise the rest. Social welfare spending in the US is slightly below the average of 21% of GDP for developed market economies, according to the OECD.
‘Communist’ China spends roughly 8% of GDP on social welfare programs, less than half the rate in the US and most Western economies. With an annual GDP of $13.6 trillion, China spends just over $1 trillion on social welfare or roughly $700 per person per year. Meanwhile, the US spends roughly $12,000 and France spends about $12,600.
As we debate what China is and isn’t, and what the US and Western economies are or should be, perhaps we aught to be a bit more honest in our choices of terminology. China is a totalitarian state, though not a particularly communist one. In fact, China has among the largest income inequalities in the world. Meanwhile, Western democracies are already redistributing far larger portions of their economies through progressive tax schemes and social welfare programs than the self-proclaimed communists.
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