Trillions

The wealthy of the world and their families have as much as $32 trillion hidden in offshore tax havens. So countries loose some $280 billion in revenues.  Research comes from the World Bank, the IMF, UN and central banks.

Meanwhile America’s poor will climb higher than in 50 years, loosing us all the gains made on the war on poverty in the 1960’s. The AP surveyed nonpartisan, liberal and conservatives and found they all agree the poverty rate will rise. It is spreading across the under-employed, suburban families and the poor.  Thank heavens people 65 and over have been saved thanks to Social Security, and with unemployment benefits ending, food stamps are people’s last resort, even though congress is discussing cutting that.

The analysts' estimates suggest that some 47 million people in the U.S., or 1 in 6, were poor last year. A small increase and it will reach 1965 levels with child poverty increasing to 22%.  There are few jobs as since 2010 no workable jobs bill has passed congress.

While we like to say that we are the wealthiest nation on earth it’s deceptive. Our combined wealth is $41 trillion but it’s not what it seems as we have 412 billionaires so they inflate the number. We need to measure our combined wealth as a median wage. Credit Suisse says we are 15th in the world and that our median income is $25,600 per person.

France has just voted in a Socialist (liberal) president. He just lowered the retirement age from 63 or 60 which means people are retiring and leaving room for the young to get jobs. They have universal health care so they don’t worry about retiring. The have generous safety nets, higher income taxes and strong unions.  He raised the minimum wage and cut working hours. Before this happened France was borrowing money from the world at 1%, about the same as the U.S.  As an example Spain and Italy pay 7% interest on their borrowing. Now French bonds are selling at zero, or people are paying to buy them! It looks like the financial markets of the world like liberal ideas!

Florence Vincent

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