The Post-Crisis Crises

NEW YORK – In the shadow of the euro crisis and America’s fiscal cliff, it is easy to ignore the global economy’s long-term problems. But, while we focus on immediate concerns, they continue to fester, and we overlook them at our peril.
The most serious is global warming. While the global economy’s weak performance has led to a corresponding slowdown in the increase in carbon emissions, it amounts to only a short respite. And we are far behind the curve: Because we have been so slow to respond to climate change, achieving the targeted limit of a two-degree (centigrade) rise in global temperature, will require sharp reductions in emissions in the future.
Some suggest that, given the economic slowdown, we should put global warming on the backburner. On the contrary, retrofitting the global economy for climate change would help to restore aggregate demand and growth.

 

Read more: http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/global-warming–inequality–and-structural-change-by-joseph-e–stiglitz

The Tax System Explained in Beer

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100.
If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:
The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7..
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.
So, that’s what they decided to do..
The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner offered “Since you are all such good customers, I’m will reduce the charge of your daily beer by $20”. Drinks for the ten men would now cost just $80.
The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes. So the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his fair share?

 

Read more on: http://danieljmitchell.wordpress.com/2012/03/18/the-tax-system-explained-in-beer/

Shared by Xu Leyi

Shared by Ansel Lim

Singapore Armchair Critic

Ominous predictions of a tide of restaurant closings and job loss in Hong Kong after the implementation of a wage floor had fallen flat.

In August 2011, three months after Hong Kong’s Statutory Minimum Wage (SMW) took effect, restaurant operators lamented a shortage of workers. Some had to pay an hourly wage of 30 to 50 Hong Kong dollars, above the wage floor of 28 Hong Kong dollars, to hire dishwashers, kitchen helpers and servers. Despite higher overheads, the number of eateries grew by 500 to 15,000 from the end of 2010 to August 2011. The expansion of fast food conglomerates, in particular, was the most evident. Greater number of vacancies in the industry, moreover, saw fewer takers – on average, there was only one applicant for every three to four job openings.

It seems clear now that industry players’ earlier claims of operational difficulties had been exaggerated in a…

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