It`s funny to watch Great Britain and the United States at the moment. In the U.S, the conservatives lost the election and Biden and his left wing democrat administration won. In the U.K, Boris Johnson and his conservative friends won in a landslide. The same can not be said about Biden.
They are both outside of the EU and Trump and Johnson was considered to be a win against socialism. Take a look at the slogan Johnson has; Build back better. They are leaving the business club EU and want to build back better.
But take a look at Biden and his slogan; Build back better. Biden and the democrats wants to build back what Trump did. They are on two different planets, with two different world views.
Everything has been great with the Labour Party for years, but they have been in trouble before. One of the most deprived areas of the UK, the blue-collar port saws its steel industry collapse in the 1970s and 80s and the unemployment rate remains among the highest in the century.
Politically, it`s backed the Labour Party at every UK election for almost half a century, but then came Brexit.
As of April 12, Boris Johnson`s approval rating remain very high at 70%. Not only that. Brexit has also a 70% approval rating, so there is not doubt that the people in Great Britain support the conservatives and Brexit.
According to Nigel Farage, the Labour Party is finish in England. The country is about the change rapidly. Queen Elizabeth said in the Parliament a few days ago that the UK will strengthen the borders. Legislation will also be introduced to ensure the integrity of elections.
They saw what happened in Georgia during the U.S election and learned from the mistakes in the U.S. Dead voters will have problems to vote if they have to show up personally with a picture on the voting day.
Freedom of speech will also be protected. This is very similar to whats happening the U.S. They are both about the change rapidly. What a interesting world we are living in.
I need to follow up my recent article about tax, GDP, a free lunch and big governments. The Biden administration is calling for a tax hike and a much bigger government. Is the United States on the way to be a socialist country like France? If so, how would that be?
Let`s take a look at France. The biggest welfare state in the world. No other coutries in the world spend more money on welfare than the French government. No other coutries has higher taxes either.
But who is protesting a lot? No other countries in the world are protesting more than the people of France, and the yellow vest protesters showed us that. There were multiple reasons for all the protests in France. What they all had in common is that they were all dissatisfied.
Does the people of the United States really want to be a socialist state like France?
First of all; lets talk about tax. No other countries in the world have higher taxes than France. Personal income tax has dropped to 45%, down from 59,6% about twenty years ago. In other words; half of your hard earned money goes to the government.
Corporate tax rate in France dropped to 28% under president Macron. Do doubt that Macron is doing something right. A Trump strategy that is boosting the economy with lower taxes (but that was before the covid attack).
In the early 80`s, the corporate tax rate in France was at a record high with 50%. All that happened under President Fracois Mitterand who served as a President of France from 1981 to 1995, the longest time in office in the history of France.
Mitterand started political life on the Catholic nationalist right, but joined the resistance and moved to the left. He opposed Charles de Gaulle`s establishment of the Fifth Republic.
He invited the Communist Party into his first government, which was a controversial decision at the time. In the event, the Communists were boxed in as junior partners and, rather than taking advantage, saw their support erode. The left the cabinet in 1984.
Interestingly, right after that, the taxes started to decline. Mitterand followed a radical left-wing economic agenda, including nationalisation of key firms, but after two years, with the economy in crisis, he reversed course.
He pushed a socially liberal agenda with reforms such as the 39-hour week, and the end of a government monopoly in radio and television broadcasting.
His partnership with German Chancellor Hermut Kohl advanced European integration via the Maastricht Treaty, but he reluctantly accepted German reunification. By the way; he was also the only French President to ever have named a female Prime Minister; Edith Cresson.
Beyond making the French left electable, Mitterand presided over the rise of the Socialist Party to dominance of the left, and the decline of the once-mighty Communist Party (as a share of the popular vote in the first presidential round, the Communists shrank from a peak of 21,27% in 1969 to 8,66% in 1995, at the end of Mitterand`s second term).
As you can see, the popularity of the Communist Party declined from about 21% to 8%, but so did the corporate tax rate under Mitterand too.
But taxes need to come from someone, and that is the people. How is that going to work out if millions are unemployed? In France, the unemployment rate has always been high. It dropped to 8% in December of 2020, down from 9,1% in the previous period.
The number of unemployed people decreased by 340 thousand to 2,4 million. That sounds expensive. Someone has to pay for it.
France spend nearly one third of their GDP on social welfare, according to OECD. France are on top of the list (27,5) while the U.S is number 22 with 14,3% (as a percentage of GDP).
If we look at total net social spending, France is still at the top with 31,7%, but interestingly, the U:S is second with 30%. Total net social spending takes into account public and private social expenditure, and also includes the effect of direct taxes (income tax and social security contributions), indirect taxation of consumption on cash benefits, as well as tax breaks for social purposes.
Top 20 list of all the countries with tax revenue as a percent of GDP from 40% to 50% are all from Europe. except one; Cuba, at number 8 on the list. A communist country among all the European countries.
The debt in France is skyrocketing. Under Mitterand, the debt to GDP was about 20. Now, under Macron it has increased to 115,70 percent in 2020 from 97,60 percent in 2019.
At the same time, Government Budget in France decreased to -9,20 percent of GDP in 2020 from -3,10 percent in 2019. In other words; the government spends more money than it takes in from taxes and other fees.
So, socialist welfare state France has more debt than the United States. Devt to GDP in the U.S increased to 107,60 percent in 2020, up from 106,90 percent in 2019.
The unemployment rate is also lower in the U.S. The unemployment rate fell to 6 percent in March of 2021. The U.S government is also spending more money than they have. In 2019, the U.S recorded a government budget deficit equal to 4,60 percent of the GDP, but it`s expected to be about 13 percent in 2020.
On top of all the taxes, people in France also need to pay for the roads. A typical socialist country has toll roads. From Boreaux to Paris, you need to pay 55,60 euros for Classe A and 85,60 euros for Classe B.
All the money you earn from Janury to June goes to the government. The govenment will give the money you give them to sick people who ask for free healthcare. State healthcare insurance is available to everyone staying in France for more than three months.
The French Social Security system runs this insurance (called PUMA), and this insurance covers about 70% of the medical costs, and in some cases, even 100% of the costs. The state also pays for every child`s education from 6 to 16 years old.
So, if you pay nearly half of your hard earned money to your welfare state, and drive a car from Boreaux to Paris often, you have to ask yourself what your real tax actually is?
The tension in the South China Sea is very high, and the main reason for that is the CCP. They claim it`s their territory. China`s claim to the sea is based both on the law of the Sea Convention and its so-called «nine-dash» line.
This line extends for 2,000 kilometers from the Chinese mainland, encompassing over half of the sea. This consept is important: it means that by definition, the South China Sea is a shared maritime space.
But why is South China Sea so dangerous? The area is poorly charted, making it exceptionally dangerous to navigate. The major Singapore-to-Hong-Kong routes go well to the west and east of the area, and this is one of the reasons why the South China Sea is so important for the U.S, but also for the Global UK.
Maintaining freedom of navigation is a fundamental interest of the U.S. Unhindered navigation by all ships and aircraft in the South China Sea is essential for the peace and prosperity of the entire Asia-Pasific region, including the United States.
Since the two-day clash of arms between China and the former Republic of Vietnam (South) in January 1974, the Paracels have been firmly in Chinese control, while the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam are each holding a part of the Spratlies.
This is a dangerous global conflict, and China`s sweeping claims of soverignty over the sea, and the sea`s estimated 11 billion barrels of untapped oil and 190 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, have antogonized competing claimants Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is warning; if the the South China Sea dispute with China escalates, «it will be bloody.»
President Duterte has said he is prepared to send military ships to «stake a claim» over oil and mineral resources in the South China Sea, while noting that challenging Beijing in the disputed waters will only lead to violence.
«If we go there to assert our jurisdiction, it will be bloody,» Duterte said in a televised briefing, his first remarks after hundreds of Chinese vessels were spotted at a disputed reef in March.
Not only the U.S marines are one the way to the South China Sea. So are Britain, with a huge naval force. The war-drums is also a wake-up call for Australia.
The largest naval flotilla assembled by Britain in recent years will set sail in May on a months long voyage through tha Pacific, the country`s Defence Ministry said.
«When our Carrier Strike Group (CSG) sets sail next month, it will be flying the flag for Global Britain, projecting our influence, signaling our power, engaging with our friends and reaffirming our commitment to addressing the security challenges of today and tomorrow,» UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said on Monday.
«The UK is not stepping back but sailing forth to play an active role in shaping the international system of the 21 century,» Mr Wallace said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke to the nation in the annual speech to the Federal Assembly yesterday, as the tension brew at home and abroad. The tension is high in Ukraine, and Putin told the West to back off.
In addition to the tension in Ukraine, Putin see some dissatisfaction at home over stagnating incomes and rising inflation, the coronavirus pandemic, and new sanctions from the U.S.
Putin said that Russia must respond to the challenges of climate change and create a carbon recycling industry. «We need to adapt the housing and utilities system, infrastructure and the agro-industrial complex to climate change, to create a system of strict control over carbon emissions,» he said.
«Greenhouse gas emissions should be lower in Russia than in the European Union over the next 30 years. We cannot allow climate catastrophes like the one in Norilsk.»
When it comes to foreign policy, Putin said «If someone uses an arrogant and selfish tone, Russia will always find a way to defend its position. This is turning into some kind of Sport. Who can say something negative about Russia the loudest?»
«We behave in a restrained, modest manner. Oftentimes we do not respond to outright rudeness; we want to have good relations. We are not looking to burn any bridges.»
But this is more serious and Putin is playing hardball; «I hope no one will think of crossing so-colled «red lines» against Russia, which we ourselves will define in each separate case. Russia`s response will be symmetrical, fast and tough.
The organizers of any provocations threatening our core security interests will regret their actions more than they`ve regretted anything in a long time.»
It seems that everyone is already accustomed to the practice of imposing illegal, politically motivated sanctions, attempts to impose their will on others by force.»
«But now this practice is degenerating into something more dangerous. For example, an attempt to organize a coup in Belarus and an attempt to assassinate this country`s president….The West is silent on this matter.»
«You can have any position on Lukashenko`s policies, but staging a government coup and planning the assassination of a head of state is too much.»
There is no doubt that the tension is very high and that Putin is pretty clear; «Russia once again urges its partners to discuss issues related to strategic weapons, possibly to create an environment of conflict-free coexistence.»
More importantly is what Putin said about demographics; «The demographic crisis of the 1940s is hitting us now. The preservation of the Russian people is our highest national priority. Russia will always defend traditional values that have been forgotten in a number of countries,» Putin said.
When it comes to the economy, Putin said; «The main thing is to ensure the growth of citizens real incomes.»
«The pandemic has exacerbated problems of social inequality and poverty around the world. We are faced with rising prices. It is impossible to rely only on targeted, directive measures. This leads to empty shelves, as was the case in the late 1980s.
Now, even at the peak of the epidemic, we did not allow this. With the help of market mechanisms, it is necessary to ensure price containment. I call on the government to take measures to help low-income families with children by July 1.»
«In Russia, single-parent families will receive a payment of 5,650 rubles ($73) for each child from 8 to 16 years old. We need to help women who are expecting a baby and are experiencing financial difficulties.
It is very important for the expectant mother to feel the support of the state so that she can keep the child. To help women in difficult financial situations who are expecting a child…. I propose a monthly payment of 6,000 rubles ($78) per month.»
«Families with schoolchildren will receive 10,000 rubles ($130) per child. It was impossible to avoid budget cuts last year altogether. To support the creation of new jobs, the state will stimulate businesses.
I`m instructing the government to submit additional measures to support small and medium-sized businesses, including in the tax area, within a month.»
«1,63 trillion rubles will be allocated for civil scientific research in Russia until 2024. Russia must be ready to develop test systems and vaccines within days in case of a new dangerous infection.»
«We must have a reliable shield for sanetary and biological safety. We need to have a full range of vaccine manufacturing capabilities. In the event of a dangerous infection, Russia should be ready within four days to create effective test systems, and as soon as possible our own vaccine. These tasks must be solved by 2030,» Putin said in the speech.
Swedish prime minister Olof Palme was murdered on February 28, 1986. A few years earlier, on December 25, 1965, he gave a national radio speech on the subject of immigration. His words are more relevant today than ever before.
Olof Palme said: We respect the fundamental rights and freedoms. Turbid racial theories have never gained foothold. Prejudice is always rooted in everyday life. It grows in the workplace and in the neighbourhood.
It gives went to ones own failures and disappointments. Above all, it is an expression of ignorance and fear. Ignorance regarding other people`s uniqueness. Fear of losing a position, a social privilege, a prior right.
Of course, skin colour, race, language and birthplace have nothing to do with human qualities. To grade people using such a yardstick is in glaring conflict with principles of human equality. But it is shamefully simple to make use of for the one who feels inferior.
Olof Palme was a Democratic socialist with pride and joy. He became one when he traveled around India and saw the terrible poverty, even though some were tremendously rich. At the same time, he also saw an even more degrading poverty in the U.S.
When he, as a young boy, stood eye to eye with communism`s lack of freedom and oppression and human persecution in the communist states, and when he went to the Nazi`s concentration camps and saw the death records of social democrats and union members, he became a Democratic socialist.
He said in a speech that he was strengthened in his conviction when he saw the right-wing politics, in country after country, expel people to unemployment and ruin their sense of security. Our solidarity becomes weaker and egoism stronger. It is about solidarity and consideration among people, he said.
May Olof Palme rest in peace, but his message live on…….
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