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|The Bureau of Labor Statistics has a fascinating new report out that compares consumer budgets in the United States, Canada, Britain and Japan. As the graph below shows, there's a huge amount of variation in what people in each country are spending their money on...
In short: Americans appear to spend more than their peers on housing, transportation, and health care -- and we spend far less on clothes, food, and booze.
It shouldn't come as a shock that American consumers devote a far bigger fraction of their budgets to health care than their peers abroad. That's partly because Canada, Japan, and Britain all have more comprehensive taxpayer-financed nationalized health systems that curtail out-of-pocket expenses. (Though, as Catherine Rampell points out, when you add up both taxes and out-of-pocket expenses, the United States is still paying significantly more for health