Sunday, August 23, 2009

A get-rich-quick scheme!

When I began this blog nearly 4 years ago one of the first posts took a tongue-in-cheek look at what various afflictions were costing NZ society and concluded we should be bankrupt.

Today's news that, according to Infometrics, child abuse is costing NZ $2 billion prompts me to do an update.

Alcohol is costing $4.794 billion and drug use $1.427 billion annually according to BERL.

Smoking comes in at $1.22 billion

Diabetes is taking up 8.5% of the $12 billion health budget costing $1.02 billion.

Motor vehicle crashes are costing $4.5 billion according to the Ministry of Transport.

No-one has tackled the social costs of gambling but extrapolation from US findings would pout the figure at $66 million. Not a biggie. But wait....

This is. Treasury estimates the cost of crime at $9.136 billion

MSD estimates family violence at $1.2 billion but there may be some overlap with the child abuse figure.

Did you know the weather costs? The drought cost us $2.8 billion last summer according to the Minister of Agriculture.

The cost of leaky homes is likely to be $11.5 billion according to Price Waterhouse Coopers.

Absenteeism from the workplace come in at $2.5 billion according to WellNZ.

Skin cancer costs $33 million.

Lost people cost search and rescue $1.28 billion.

Suicide costs $1.4 billion according to the Ministry of Health.

The cost of obesity is $303 million and ballooning.

Foetal alcohol syndrome comes in at $1 billion annually.

OK. Let's have a total. That's $47.07 billion.

For context, around 70 percent of total government revenue.

A good chunk of the above is avoidable. Imagine how much richer NZ could be! And there are lots of other items I can think of like the social cost of abortion, drowning, teenage birth, attention deficit disorder, SIDS, etc. You may have another to add.


Andrei said...

Imagine how much richer NZ could be!

We could be a lot richer if we didn't pay the salaries of the people who come up with this crap and they were obliged to be employed in productive industries.

Mind you if they were employed productively it would probably be in planet wrecking activities making something people could actually use or growing something people could eat.

Anonymous said...

What about failed finance co.'s?

Anonymous said...

And you have forgotten Global Warming
and other assorted scams of this nature.

Manolo said...

What about "Climate Change", aka known as "Global Warming", which will send NZ to the Third World by breaking its economy.

The biggest con of all times.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

Anon, The costs from failed finance companies have largely been borne by individuals (although there is always knock on). Broadly I have looked at costs that are supposedly to society. But very broadly. Nothing scientific about this post.

Global warming will surely push the total over the top.

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