US GDP/Debt ratio predicted to hit 150%!

Federal debt levels are going to surge to 150% of GDP in 30 years as a result of huge unfunded outlays on healthcare, social security and interest payments, according to the US Congressional Budget Office, which is an independent body.

Other than now (when is is 77% – double what it was (35%) in 2007) only once has the level of debt in America exceeded 70% – and that was immediately after World War II. Over the last 50 years, it has averaged 40%.

There are lots of reasons why that’s problematic, not least of which is that it severely limits the government’s ability to respond to unforeseen events and cannibalises government spending which has instead to be ear-marked for interest payments. It also reduces national income.

The tax take

The UK’s tax take has remained completely static since 1984-85 when it was 33.9 per cent of national income (compared with this year, at 33.7 per cent). “As Mr Hammond contemplates reaffirming his plans for the highest tax take since 1982, he should bear in mind that such a yield eluded his seven immediate predecessors.” Source: …

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Muslim opinion poll

A 2007 book from the Gallup press, Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think, based on a poll of over 50,000 Muslims in 10 countries, found that 7 percent of Muslims deem the 9/11 attacks “completely justified,” 13.5 percent consider the attacks completely or “largely justified,” and 36.6 percent consider the attacks completely, …

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Food waste

British households are throwing away the equivalent of 500 meals every year. Household food waste in the UK has increased from seven million tonnes in 2012 to 7.3 million tonnes in 2015, a rise of 4.4 per cent, according to Wrap, the government endorsed charity that wages war on food waste. Source: Higher prices are …

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Property taxes

Polly Toynbee says that “Homes are not taxed at all, and yet that is where all this burgeoning wealth comes from.” But as the OECD points out, Britain raises more of its tax take from property than just about any other rich country. Tim Worstall Source: Here’s the real truth about inequality – CapX

Tackling poverty? Give people money.

Last year the Overseas Development Institute reviewed 165 studies into 56 cash transfer programs in 30 different countries to find out their true effectiveness. The findings showed that cash transfers had improved school attendance and reduced child labour, boosted access to healthcare, improved and diversified diets, stimulated local economies and resulted in a reduction in domestic violence. …

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World population

Within five years India will overtake China as the world’s most populous country and then move far ahead. In 2050 the world’s third most populous country after India and China will be Nigeria — just ahead of the US. In 1950, Europe’s population was three times sub-Saharan Africa’s; by 2050 it will be the other …

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