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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Day 505: Where Does The Money Go?

And where does it come from?

We take for granted the nature of the money in this world. We talk of numbers that are almost beyond comprehension in their vastness. it is hard for us to conceptualize thousands, or even hundreds, when we try to see each individual contribution to the whole - so then what of the millions, billions and trillions that we speak of when it comes to money? We don't seem to know how to answer the most basic of questions about the origin and destination of money - well, most of us don't.

In South Africa it is common to hear of government corruption, incompetence and inefficiency. Every now and then there will be a news article exposing or reporting that some sum of money has "vanished" from some government department. Sometimes the news article is about the extravagant expenses that the government pays for, like parties costing R100 million.

When you talk about a budget for a division of any government like healthcare or education, you're talking about huge amounts of money. This money comes from the taxes you pay - no one seems to have an issue with this concept - what people do take issue with is the way the money is spent by the government. Many governments around the world are trying different ways of improving their education and healthcare systems (for example) - trying and failing. They are pouring tons of money into the different programmes, but are just not getting anywhere.

In South Africa, the government claims that the higher pass rate of matrics shows signs of positive progress, but this is all delivered among a mass of propaganda, all of which fails to say that students only need to obtain a 30 % mark in order to pass their matric. The tertiary education platforms also seem to be becoming partly redundant, with graduated students being amongst the highest unemployed percentages in many countries.

The other aspect of this post centers around the fact that pretty much every person and every institution (including governments) is indebted to someone. Where does all that money go? Who are we in debt to? Who do the governments owe money to?

Where does all this money go? Look around you.
Does it go into your community? Probably not.
Does it go into public services? Probably not.
Does it go into infrastructure? Probably mostly private.
Where do all those "missing" millions in government budgets go to? Definitely not to society.
Who profits from all of this money if we the people do not?
Who are the winners and who are the losers?
Why are we not all winners?

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