US Government

About the Video

The United States has a federal government, and, like other countries, its economy is a mixture of capitalist and socialist elements, yet the US is on the low end of the % of GDP social spending. So, would a bigger government, make us happier? Stats for most happier countries agree but some don’t. Some argue that our Research and Development spending is too small considering its long-term effect on growth and possibly too much of our federal budget is mandatory spending on the old. What exactly do federal workers do? Approximately 70% focus on national security including approximately 50% in the military. So, who’s making these laws? Representatives are elected to the House every two years and senators have six-year terms. Majorities in both houses must agree on laws for them to pass and be sent to the president, who may either veto or sign them. The laws decide how our mixed economy is mixed and affect our happiness.

1. All major economies are mixed, i.e neither fully capitalist nor fully socialist.
2. The US is lower than many countries in government social spending as a % of GDP.
3. The US is lower than many countries in happiness.
4. Some higher social spending countries are less happy than in the US.
5. Approximately 3% of the federal budget relates to research despite economic benefits.
6. The majority of federal spending is fixed with much going to the old and health care.
7. Approximately 70% of federal workers do jobs relating to national security.
8. Senators are elected every six years and representative every two years.
9. Presidents can veto laws but their vetoes can be over-ridden to pass laws.

OCED, U.N, AAAS & U.S Constitition.


1. GDP social spending:
2. Happiness score from the UN:
3. US government budget percentages:
4. What federal workers do: Michael Lewis, Fifth Risk, p. 25
5. Rules about Senators, Representatives, and how laws are passed: