24 October 2017   Leave a comment

Every five years the Chinese Communist Party holds a conference in which major decisions.  In this year’s conference, the Party has decided to elevate the status of President Xi Jinping to a position eclipsed only by that of Mao Tsetung.  The Party decided to include “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era” to the Chinese constitution.  President Xi now becomes an incredibly strong leader with virtually no challenges to his power within the Party.  He will remain President for the next five years, but there is also speculation that he may break tradition and decide to serve more than two terms as President.

President Xi Presiding over the 19th Party Congress.

Chinese President Xi Jinping at the opening of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing [Aly Song/Reuters]

 

The US Government Accountability Office released a report today that indicates the the costs of not addressing the issue of climate change will be quite high in the future.  According to the report:

“The two available national-scale studies that examine the economic effects of climate change across U.S. sectors suggested that potential economic effects could be significant and unevenly distributed across sectors and regions. For example, for 2020 through 2039, one study estimated between $4 billion and $6 billion in annual coastal property damages from sea level rise and more frequent and intense storms. Also, under this study, the Southeast likely faces greater effects than other regions because of coastal property damages”.

The Trump Administration was invited to comment on the report, but it declined to do so.   The report is in direct conflict to the official policies of the Trump Administration.

 

Map of the United States showing potential effects of climate change.

 

The US Congress is beginning to debate tax reform and tax cuts.  The Pew Research Center did a study of how US tax rates compared with other countries in the world, and its results show that Americans do not have an unusually large tax burden.  Comparing tax burdens is an incredibly complicated process since countries have a very large variety of tax which are not at all comparable.  The Pew Center tried to “normalize” the tax burden and one should go to the report to see how careful it was in making the comparison and to check on the assumptions upon which the comparisons are based.  But the conclusion of the 39-nation study was direct: “In all cases, the U.S. was below the 39-nation average – in some cases, well below.”

Posted October 24, 2017 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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