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Which of the following do you think your government should spend most money or effort on?

(Results collected from 11 December 2009 - 10 March 2010)

poll results on government spending on different sectors

The government budgets are very tight in the midst of global recession. The survey was carried out in order to find out what people think about how their governments should prioritise the money spending. In fact, in the eyes of the government, the money must be well-spent so as to be able to jump-start the economy. The budget planning can sometime be quite short term, or crowd-pleasing due to elections. However, bear in mind that governments need to strike a delicate balance between what people want now and what is good for the future generation and the country as a whole. Budget planning is therefore not an easy task and is not going to please everyone, especially when treasury is running low in money.

Most of the poll's participants are originated from developed, English-speaking countries, that is, the 'west' like US, UK, Canada and including Australia. The poll's results therefore tend to skew towards opinions of the people from these countries and may perhaps represent a typical view of the other developed countries. Also bear in mind that, due to the nature and theme of the web site, academics are thought to make up a significant portion of the participants, such as students, the future generation of the society.

The breakdown of the results are as follows:
(1) Health service (17%)
Everyone want to live. People feel secure and more productive in work. On the other hand, health service can also be abused by passing personal health responsibility to health service: Lets live an unhealthy life and let others fix up the consequence.
(2) Education (29%)
Everybody knows the future generations are the pillars of the future states of the governments. High quality education should results in improved worker skills and therefore better economy.

Not surprisingly health and education are the two sectors that governments tend to put most money in because these sectors affect the common individuals and families most. But are the monies make good use of in these sectors?

(3) Crime prevention (9%)
High crime rate deters business and investment and therefore employment and stalls economic development. How to reduce crime? By putting more police or harsher sentences to strike hearts of would-be criminals with fear? How about teaching people to behave by religious means, or social engineering means?
(4) Scientific research (7%)
Traditionally, this sector is given a lower priority in most countries, probably because its impact on everyday life is not immediate, neither it is clear. However, this sector encourages high-tech, spin-off companies an retain high-skilled workers , an important contribution to the intellectual-orientated, knowledge-based economies.
(5) Space exploration (6%)
This sector not only stimulates human's curiousity but actually encourages scientifc research. In fact, many innovative products that now formed part of our daily life are due to space research. (6) Military (6%)
The stability and prosperity of a country relies on strong military presence. But military spending in oversea missions also drains a country's coffer.
(7) Religious moral and ethical (2%)
Giving money and incentives to promote virtue, honesty, family value, respect, purpose of life, beliefs etc... Are these the pillars that is holding our society from breaking down?
(8) Business and economics (3%)
The bank and financial industry that brought the misery to the country's economy is also the very sector that has created wealth for the past fifteen years, essentially by money making money out of thin air. Imposing too much restrictions on banks may stifle economic development but being too relax result in govenment not able to control the economy. How about putting money and tax-incentives, business facilities in private sectors to foster business enterpreneur, start-ups?
(9) Social engineering (1%)
Ask people how to live and how to behave. Provide some form of security and predictability but stifle imagination? Abhor by most western societies but is practiced to some extent in other parts of the world.
(10)I do not know if my government is capable in anything. (21%)
Interestingly, a lot of people do not like to entrust their hard-earned money to the government (usually in the form of taxation). Does this mean that private sectors can do a better job?


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