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Archive for 29. Mai 2019

Corruption and Your Money

Posted by hkarner - 29. Mai 2019

The costs of corruption run deep. Your taxpayer dollars are lost in different ways, siphoned off from schools, roads, and hospitals to line the pockets of people up to no good.

Equally damaging is the way it corrodes the government’s ability to help grow the economy in a way that benefits all citizens.

And no country is immune to corruption. Our Chart of the Week from the Fiscal Monitor analyzes more than 180 countries and finds that more corrupt countries collect fewer taxes, as people pay bribes to avoid them, including through tax loopholes designed in exchange for kickbacks. Also, when taxpayers believe their governments are corrupt, they are more likely to evade paying taxes.

The chart shows that overall, the least corrupt governments collect 4 percent of GDP more in tax revenues than countries at the same level of economic development with the highest levels of corruption. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Posted by hkarner - 29. Mai 2019

Date: 28-05-2019
Source: The New York Times
Subject: Trump Administration Hardens Its Attack on Climate Science

The White House, already pursuing major rollbacks of greenhouse-gas emission restrictions, is amplifying its attack on fundamental climate-science conclusions.
WASHINGTON — President Trump has rolled back environmental regulations, pulled the United States out of the Paris climate accord, brushed aside dire predictions about the effects of climate change, and turned the term “global warming” into a punch line rather than a prognosis.

Now, after two years spent unraveling the policies of his predecessors, Mr. Trump and his political appointees are launching a new assault.

In the next few months, the White House will complete the rollback of the most significant federal effort to curb greenhouse-gas emissions, initiated during the Obama administration. It will expand its efforts to impose Mr. Trump’s hard-line views on other nations, building on his retreat from the Paris accord and his recent refusal to sign a communiqué to protect the rapidly melting Arctic region unless it was stripped of any references to climate change.

And, in what could be Mr. Trump’s most consequential action yet, his administration will seek to undermine the very science on which climate change policy rests. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Sick Man of Europe Is Europe

Posted by hkarner - 29. Mai 2019

Date: 28-05-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal By Josef Joffe

The EU’s election results show the Continent is far from realizing its dreams of becoming a superpower.

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage

Two takeaways from Sunday’s European Union elections: First, the centrists—the moderate right and left—were decimated. For the first time since 1979, Christian Democrats and Social Democrats, the reliably pro-European bloc, no longer hold the majority in the 751-member European Parliament. Second, the far right—the Europe bashers and nationalists—scored big, increasing their take to about 170 seats. In Britain, the Brexit Party trounced both Labour and the Tories. In France, Marine Le Pen’s National Rally outpolled President Emmanuel Macron’s party and its allies.

The numbers mirror the shifting tectonics of European politics, which are pushing against the “ever-closer union” enshrined in the European Community’s founding treaties. It was a noble and not wild-eyed dream. Relentlessly expanding from the original six member states to 28, the EU boasted everything that could go into the making of a superpower. Its gross domestic product is only $2 trillion behind America’s and $5 trillion ahead of China’s. The EU fields as many soldiers as the U.S. does, and its population outstrips America’s by nearly 200 million. Yet in global clout, the EU is a waif in a world dominated by Washington, Beijing and Moscow.

Nor will the fates favor the EU anytime soon. For all its splendor, Europe has not been able to transmute its magnificent riches into strategic muscle, and this for three reasons.

First, as the rise of the nationalist right shows, the EU suffers from deepening ideological divisions. In the east, Poland, Hungary and the rest are jealously defending the sovereignty they had lost first to Hitler, then to Stalin. They cherish subsidies from Brussels but will not yield to what they see as diktats of liberal goodness. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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