American Spender

A great graphic from Fast Company that truly speaks for itself:


Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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2 Comments on "American Spender"

  1. I'm assuming that your meaning here is that we would have a lower deficit if we'd just stop helping other countries?

    That's generally the conservative meme.

    The problem with this, is that your little graphic only represents one side of the equation: Cost. It says nothing of the benefit we gain from that cooperation in the form of trade, cultural exchange, labor, or security.

    As a small example, Jamaica supplies 1/5th of all the world's coffee, much of which we consume here, and which is turned into thousands of barista jobs, and marketing jobs, and transportation jobs, and sales jobs, etc., all of which are geared towards getting that one product to market.

    (And let's not forget Jamaica's most excellent weed, either. 🙂

    Moldova is one of the poorest countries in Europe, thanks largely to the policies of the IMF and Worldbank, which is why they require aid now. However we GIVE them aid because they are a friendly country in a strategic position close to the Black Sea, and a good hop point between Europe and the Middle East. Interestingly, they're also one of the few countries where Communists have been democratically elected, and if you don't see the value in successfully integrating that segment of the political spectrum into the democratic process rather than having an adversarial or worse violent relationship with it, you're not paying attention.

    Grenada, well fuck it. That's Reagan country. He broke it (in the amusingly-named “Operation Urgent Fury”). We bought it. There ya go. Plus, it provides 20% of the world's nutmeg, along with cinnamon, cloves, ginger, mace, & allspice. So, you want bland-ass food? Let Grenada, the so-called “Spice Isle” collapse.

  2. No, 5by5…the graphic is saying that American citizens spent more than they earned in the previous month (presumably by borrowing/credit) and the excess is so “disgusting” because the aggregate borrowing totaled more than the GDP's of 3 separate countries. It's making a statement about the excess of American consumer culture.

    On another note, even though over 10% of the country is unemployed, around 90% are still employed and have been saving their dough for the past 1.5 years. There's a really good possibility that the “excess” spending could have been a result of dipping into savings now that the recession has, more or less, bottomed out and consumer confidence has grown. We need people to consume like that if we want to get out of this sooner rather than later.

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