Thursday, June 23, 2005

bang for your buck

i've never understood the appeal of the british monarchy, or any monarchy for that matter. maybe it's just a cultural thing, being raised as an american the words "king" and "queen" do not evoke any cultural history or heritage for me. maybe if i grew up in a different place i would get the appeal.

but i don't. so could someone who does please explain why this isn't completely ridiculous:
Taxpayers paid the equivalent of $1.12 each last year to support Queen Elizabeth II and the royal family, a "good value," Buckingham Palace said. The palace said in its annual financial report that the royal family's expenses were the lowest since 2001 and totaled $67.1 million. Entertainment cost $4 million, including $914,600 for six garden parties attended by 39,000 people, and royal travel expenses were $9.15 million, including $1.3 million for 19 trips on the royal train. Alan Reid, keeper of the privy purse, said of the figures: "We believe this represents a value-for-money monarchy. We're not looking to provide the cheapest monarchy. We're looking at one of good value and good quality."
what exactly is a "good value" monarchy? how can publicly financed social occasions for a small group of inbred rich people ever be considered to be a good idea? to my american eyes, giving them even £1 from the government treasury seems like a complete waste of money.

but then, i'm just an american. anyone who isn't, please let me know what i am missing.