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Where Does the Money Go?

The New York Times has a short piece about how countries spend discretionary money. Some spend more on clothes and shoes, others on electronics. The five categories are clothing, electronics, recreation, household goods, and alcohol and tobacco. The interactive chart is fun and gives a nice picture of relative spending across the world. Select a category across the top and then mouse over a country to see what it spends in that category.

Hypothesis: the trademark and possibly copyright cases in each country will show a bias for the category where the most spending is. It may not appear until a certain threshold is crossed such as percent of overall discretionary spending or per capita spending. The idea is that when individuals are spending discretionary income in large enough amounts, the companies selling in those markets will use courts and the legislature to prop up their industry. In addition, courts and legislatures will be biased into thinking that X industry is important, valuable, deserves more protection, threatened by competitors (but let’s call them thieves), and so on.