One month after thousands protested government cuts, the British government spends millions to celebrate the royals.
In London in March, hundreds of thousands of protesters turned out to demonstrate against the government's proposed austerity measures, deep cuts to social welfare programs that also jeopardized thousands of jobs. Yesterday, just a little over a month later, Britain was shelling out about $35 million in government funds for thousands of police officers to secure the royal wedding. Happy couple aside, one wonders how many nurses being slashed from London hospitals could have been saved with that money.
Beyond the price of security, the productivity lost during the ad hoc national wedding holiday is set to be tremendous: According to some estimates, it could end up costing Britain about $50 billion.
This isn't to say that the wedding shouldn't have happened, of course. And tourist dollars are no doubt making up for some of the expenses. But the juxtaposition of a nation canning its health workers while reveling in the costly celebration of monarchs is certainly an interesting one.