Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Big Picture of the Big Economy

If you run web sites, as I do, you will know that most proper hosting packages come with a Statistics package. This enables you to see how many hits and sessions and so on that your site is receiving. They vary, but most of these stats suites allow you to see an overall picture of things, and then you can 'drill down' to get more detail.
I spend quite a bit of time looking at these things. You can fine tune your sites, see which bits are working, and which bits nobody goes anywhere near.

They start off by telling you the Big Picture, just how much activity there has been recently. Then you start to look at certain areas, and see how many hits a particular page gets. And so on.
If you really want to get your hands dirty, you can even track a visitors entire session, know just exactly where they came from, how long they stayed, where they went and when they left.

It struck me the other day how wonderfully illuminating it would be to do this exercise on the Economy of the Country.

Let's imagine (I'm assuming it doesn't exist, if it does, please tell me where!) a web site that had up-to-date figures on just where all the money in the country came from, and where it was going to.

I mean, have you any idea? Do you know how much of the tax payers money is going towards the Iraq thing? What percentage goes to the National Health? How much of the money from petrol tax goes back on road improvements?

I guess you could find this stuff out if you know where to look, but I'd like just one place, where there is on show for all to see The Big Picture. Income £X billion. Expenditure £Y billion. And then the ability to look inside those figures, all the way down. It would be fascinating. Is there anyone out there who actually knows these answers? Hopefully Mr. Darling does.

How about sharing with us all then? Interesting certainly, probably outrageous, and probably a sure fire way to lose an election. I can't see it ever existing. Pity. I mean, it should exist, it is our money, after all.

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