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Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Less Is More
By Constantin Gurdgiev on 22 May 2006
You can view it at

It is an account of how low government spending tends to equate with both economic success & perceived happinesss.

Some sample quotes though the whole article should be read.

"across 74 countries. The results show that life satisfaction actually decreases with higher government spending. This negative impact of the government is stronger in countries with a left-leaning median voter. It is alleviated by government effectiveness - but, crucially, only in countries where the state sector is already small"

"Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) in the UK summarized available data from various sources, to show that modern governments that spend less can, indeed, provide better public services, a better standard of living and more equitable incomes than high-spending governments." (I must admit to being surprised that less money produces better public services, the rest is unsurprising)

"As Ireland's corporate tax rate fell to 12.5 percent, expanding tax base supported 6.4 percent average annual increases in public service spending since 1999, compared with just 0.1 percent growth during the 1980s." (Which we already knew but bears repeating)

"since 1990, leaner states averaged consumption growth of 3.6 percent per annum, while states with larger governments saw household consumption growth of just 2.1 percent per annum." (This is by their definition of leaner governments being those that spend 37% of GNP & larger ones spending 44%. Scotland spends 53%)

"However, contrary to popular beliefs, the better economic and social spending indicators performance by the leaner countries were also associated with the relative strength of their performance in terms of environment" (Not something any Green party wants to hear)

Yet again the values of liberalism prove more successful. It is unfortunate that in Scotland & perhaps Britain, only the SNP can lay claim to the mantle of liberalism.

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