Damn it, I knew there was something I meant to do this weekend - prepare a detailed manifesto and budget for Millarworld! How did THAT slip my mind?
Unless you’re arguing that the current way of spending our finite pot of money is the only way to spend that money, then there are clearly different choices which different Governments can make about what they choose to prioritise.
We’re seeing an experiment in that in action at the moment with the devolved UK Governments choosing to make different choices - significantly so in some cases, with the same starting finite resources. My politics leans a lot more towards the choices Holyrood has made - including this year’s decision for the first time to create different income tax brackets in Scotland compared to the rest of the UK - than the choices our current Westminster Government chooses to make. If I was still resident in Scotland, I’d happily pay the extra tax, because I am confident in the intent behind it.
Taking it to an even more basic level:
The US spends about 3% of GDP on defence. The UK spends about 2%. Germany spends just over 1%. Canada spends 1.3%. Australia spends 2%. France spends 2.3%.
The US spends about 4.9% of GDP on education. The UK spends 5.6%. Germany spends 5%. Canada spends 5.5%. Australia spends 5.2%. France spends 5.5%.
The US spends about 17% of GDP on health. The UK spends about 10%. Germany spends 11.3%. Canada spends 10.6%. Australia spends 9.6%. France spends 11%.
The US spends about 19.3% of GDP on social welfare. The UK spends about 21%. Germany spends 25%. Canada spends about 17%. Australia spends 19.1%. France spends 31%.
Different countries make different choices about how they use their money, and even between broadly similar countries like that selection, there can be quite different approaches to core concepts such as defence, social care, healthcare and education. I don’t think that’s particularly controversial.
(It’s also clearly not just about the money - it’s about how effectively that money is used. Within UK healthcare there are plenty of examples where short-term economies lead to much more significant longer term problems - getting the integration of services right, and thinking to the longer term, are both strategies I think we can do better than our current Government does)