"Local government officials in China have been ordered to smoke nearly a quarter of a million packs of cigarettes in a move to boost the local economy during the global financial crisis....
...China has 350 million smokers, about a million of whom die each year from smoking-related illnesses. Despite anti-smoking campaigns, cigarette taxes form a major component of China's annual tax-take at local level."
"...Gordon Brown has said he wants to create around 100,000 new jobs through a programme of public works with echoes of the 1930s US New Deal.
School rebuilds will help struggling construction companies while investment in superfast broadband will be the modern-age equivalent of 1930s America's focus on road and rail links.
"I want to show how we will be able, through public investments and public works, to create probably 100,000 additional jobs over the next period of time in our capital investment programme - schools, hospitals, environmental work and infrastructure, transport," the prime minister told the Observer newspaper..."
What am I driving at? This. In both cases you have soft totalitarians taking money from the productive class and giving it to the unproductive; you think one penny spent on those 100000 new jobs will be for anything useful? Expect more "diversity coordinators" (read "bribed labour voters") and crumbling infrastructure.
Heed this warning; for every pound the government spends on public services it has taken £3 of yours to pay for it - actually its no longer spending your 3£, but your child's.
* I'm aware that the chinese authorities have "stubbed out" this rather elaborate means of burning money; let us hope that Gordo will do something, anything, likewise.