The Economist has never been very good with numbers – or economics – though that hasn't stopped them offering advice and criticism to countries like China. The Economist has predicted a 'hard landing' for the Chinese economy 51 times since 1985, while completely missing the Great Financial Crisis.
The intent of the "astonishing" news of China's $110 billion internal security budget was to demonstrate how insecure the Chinese government is and terrified of its own people. Here's what it really shows:
- The Chinese don't spend enough on its military. Compared to the USA, for example, Chinese military spending is tiny.
- China spends $84 per capita annually on internal security (police, prisons, etc.)
If we multiply the Chinese figure of $84 by 3 to account for the dollar's higher purchasing power in China, we find that China spends about $260 equivalent dollars. Perhaps that figure is lower because Chinese police are unarmed.
Here's a clue to the US Government's approach to 'internal security' in President Obama's speech.
As if the "astonishing" figure weren't enough, the US Army is also being trained and equipped to participate in internal security:
U.S. Army Purchases Riot Gear As Fears Over Civil Unrest Grow
|OUR DEFENSE DOLLARS AT WORK|
Infowars.com. Monday, July 30, 2012
It’s not just the Department of Homeland Security that is gearing up for the prospect of civil unrest in America. The U.S. Army also recently purchased a stock of riot gear including batons, face masks and body shields.
As we reported last week, the DHS has put out an urgent solicitation for hundreds of items of “riot gear,” in preparation for expected unrest at the upcoming Republican National Convention, Democratic National Convention and next year’s presidential inauguration.
In a previous solicitation, the U.S. Army also put out a contract for riot gear to be delivered to the United States Military Academy at West Point in New York.
The contract, which was eventually awarded to A2Z Supply Corp, included requests to supply riot shields, face shields, batons and body protection.
Fears that the U.S. military would be used to quell domestic unrest in violation of Posse Comitatus have raged over recent years.
As always, your comments are welcome and encouraged. Issues like this need more than just one opinion. And do feel free to add links to useful sources and stories!
Some links to follow:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cv7EEhsCf7E http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_police_officers_are_employed_in_the_United_states#ixzz1iA6aaI4H External Security: