Tuesday, 22 November 2011
Thursday, 17 November 2011
James Tobin's purpose in developing his idea of a currency transaction tax was to find a way to manage exchange-rate volatility. In his view, "currency exchanges transmit disturbances originating in international financial markets. National economies and national governments are not capable of adjusting to massive movements of funds across the foreign exchanges, without real hardship and without significant sacrifice of the objectives of national economic policy with respect to employment, output, and inflation.”
Tobin saw two solutions to this issue. The first was to move “toward a common currency, common monetary and fiscal policy, and economic integration.”
The second was to move “toward greater financial segmentation between nations or currency areas, permitting their central banks and governments greater autonomy in policies tailored to their specific economic institutions and objectives.”
Tobin’s preferred solution was the former one but he did not see this as politically viable so he advocated for the latter approach: “I therefore regretfully recommend the second, and my proposal is to throw some sand in the wheels of our excessively efficient international money markets.”
Tobin’s method of “throwing sand in the wheels” was to suggest a tax on all spot conversions of one currency into another, proportional to the size of the transaction.
"Ed Balls popped up for a Five Live phone in. What’s the worst that could have happened? Well step forward Lee, a real life voter:
“It would be better for Labour and the country if you weren’t there… You were there in Treasury…you are the problem. When I hear you I just want to switch off because you have no credibility in what you say… the Labour Party would be better served, even if the message was the same, if it wasn’t coming from you, more people would listen. If you’re trying to get your message across it’s not working because you are tainted with what went before.”
Victoria Derbyshire summed it up nicely “What Lee is saying is you, Ed Balls, are toxic”."
Thursday, 10 November 2011
Wednesday, 2 November 2011
Statistics of the Water Crisis
Globally we use 70% of our water sources for agriculture and irrigation, and only 10% on domestic uses.
84% of the people who don’t have access to improved water, live in rural areas, where they live principally through subsistence agriculture.
Less than one in three people in Sub-Saharan Africa have access to a proper toilet.
Over half of the developing world’s primary schools do not have access to water and sanitation facilities. Without toilets, girls typically drop out of school at puberty.
443 million school days are lost each year due to water-related diseases.
Girls under the age of 15 are twice as likely as boys their age to be the family member responsible for fetching water.
Almost two-thirds, 64% of households rely on women to get the family’s water when there is no water source in the home.
In developing countries, as much of 80% of illnesses are linked to poor water and sanitation conditions.
Nearly 1 out of every 5 deaths under the age of 5 worldwide is due to a water-related disease.
By investing in clean water alone, young children around the world can gain more than 413 million days of health!
Half of the world's hospital beds are filled with people suffering from a water-related disease.
Nearly a billion, 884 million people do not have access to clean and safe water. 37% of those people live in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The average container for water collection in Africa, the jerry can weighs over 40 lbs when full.
The United Nations estimates that Sub-Saharan Africa alone loses 40 billion hours per year collecting water; that’s the same as a whole year’s worth of labor by the entire workforce in France!1
Research has shown that for every 10% increase in women’s literacy, a country’s whole economy can grow by up to 0.3%.
According to the World Health Organization, for every $1 invested in water and sanitation, there is an economic return of between $3 and $34!
1 in 8 people world wide do not have access to safe and clean drinking water.
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The BBC's Panorama survey of the best-remunerated public servants in 2010 took £100,000 as its yardstick - and it found that some 38,045 state employees take home that amount or more each year. Going by official figures, that leaves about 545,000 privately employed people earning £100,000 or more per year in 2010.
However apparently everyone at this level is still skint as guess what - they spend it. It's all relative you see. Plus lots get whacked on tax too, especially at the minute.
It's all ebbs and flows. Nought is what it seems. These figures are good for the politics of envy but not much else as there are too many other variables in life.