A nation’s spending is what the nation is | Thoughts #20

We’ve all heard the phrase “put your money where your mouth is” I don’t think many people realize that it is more deep than the abstract “deep” relatable quotes they share. I like thought exercises, so here’s one for you: imagine you have around 10 Lakh rupees of savings, presumably for something you want to buy, and suddenly someone dear to you is in need for that kind of money, for let’s say medical treatment. Now, I hope you give that person the 10 Lakh, because if you can’t even do that for the people “dear” to you, well, I hope you stay away from me. Anyway, what this tells us, is that, health of the person took priority over whatever you intended to buy. Now priorities are derived from care, what one cares about, at the same time, just because one cares doesn’t necessarily mean that one acts on the care. Now to balance out wishes and essential needs one could be proactive instead of reactive – trust me I’m not trying to give you a life lesson here – so that’d result in us spending little by little, more so on the essentials and the surplus or extra on our wishes. Phew, I hate talking like I’m trying to motivate you or something, but this was an important revision, you’ll see why.

Now, even if you cared about something good and you are trying to spend on it, so to speak, and you aren’t able to well enough, well then my fellow human, you’re incompetent, in a company that gets you fired. But if you’re working in a company that works to not empower, support the customers or solve problems but rather exploit, reign and create monopoly, then you’re doing pretty well for that goal, although it’s in the wrong. Talking about priorities is the same as judging separatism from the opposite side (presuming the opposite aren’t separatists), i.e. the scale is the wrong one, but there’s still one right and one wrong – by the way you can read about separatism over here. Before I move any further in the topic there are a few things to note; first is that where you spend (anything; be it money, time, manpower) may or may not be what you care about but spending on what you don’t care about, is well reminiscent of incompetence; second is that even if your spending at something that you care about it’s still to be weighed on its weight as a proper goal; third is that what you care about with consideration of enactment and intent it represents a paradigm of living for you.

So how does it apply to a nation? It’s a bit more elaborate but the principles are the same. A nation isn’t one entity, it’s a structure of different zones of goals, education, military, infrastructure, research, healthcare and others. Now most countries in the world have tax plans, so the spending is funded by the people who have elected a President or Prime Minster to govern them and use the taxes (money) they provide. Now what the governing party or ruler has intended as a goal will be where the money will be headed towards, it will be what the priority is, which means it will crush other goals. Now before you start thinking of it as a rhetoric to discredit military spending, it’s not that, not really. But it is something to think about that if the budget of a nation prioritises military spending over everything else; the only time it’d be justified to an extent would be war, or some kind of cold war, even proxy wars have an underlaying reason of unresolved conflicts with generally neighbouring nations, which again is the incompetence of the governing system that those conflicts weren’t resolved. Perhaps, the neighbouring region is dumb and just won’t listen to reason, in that case you go back in time to analyse that are they really dumb, over who knows how many government changes, and the changes of your own government and how does that correlate with the timeline of constantly high military expenditures. If the conflict has been there between two nations, over multiple government shifts on both sides and decades have gone by without resolution – the military expenditures high all the while – then unfortunately for you, it isn’t the conflict itself that’s the problem.

It wasn’t until recently thanks to the COVID-19 situation that people realized that Messi, Kohli, Khans, Kardashians, and all the celebrities combined won’t save them. If you really look at it, from being a fun time, get together physical activity, sports is now a multi billion dollar industry, what they essentially do is that they kick a round object filled with air around the ground, or a solid leather round object and hit it with a bat. Now that is marketed the hell out of, created hype, like its a war going on, it seems as if they’re doing something great. They’re not. It’s the same as you not caring about the Indian baseball team, why? Have you ever thought about it? If sports really was as important as academia, all sports would matter everywhere. Now I’m not bashing sports, but it’s baffling to me that people feel proud in supporting sport teams, “sport unites people” is one of such people’s great quotes. Sure it does, against one another, it unites to be united against another unity – war, it gives a sense of meaning, a goal to people, makes them feel that they exist, it’s a puny structure. It’s relevant here because this structure is far more cared about than education, infrastructure and healthcare systems, the money that goes into sports is far greater, by us. Sure go on and play for hours together but if that means that your education level will be below the average non-sports person then you literally are an intellectual liability. This affects in nation building, votes, organizations and such matters. These little details in a country matter, follow the money and you’ll know the goal. We see our PMs and Presidents in sports field cheering on a person hitting wood with leather, but how often do we see them cheering for academics, the researchers, the scientists. It’s only when there’s a moral or health crisis. Rome built the Colosseum, that we go to be in awe for, when the country was about to fall, it was a diversion from the crisis of the country – nation’s spending is what the nation is. It isn’t just the budget of the nation it’s also where its citizens spend the most, which if you look at it embodies the nation, most people in a modern nation have 3 tv show subscriptions at minimum and read half a book (novels don’t count) a year – good luck!

Almost everyone goes around looking for the manifesto and personal encounters of the political personalities or parties governing them. You really don’t need to, no matter what someone says, in this case the party/personality, it’s where they’ll spend their resources that’ll clear the water of where they intend to take the nation. And history matters, just because they say that it’s for a couple of years or something, look at their past; just because Master Oogway said “yesterday is history…” it neither means it’s irrelevant nor that it’s settled. With nations, the party’s mouth is at places, the money roams loose.

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