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18
May
2017

The 2016 Democracy Index, published this year by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) — a sister company of the Economist — shows that almost one-half of the world's countries can be considered to be democracies of some sort, but the number of "full democracies" has fallen from 20 in 2015 to 19 in 2016. Ireland has a joint ranking of 6 while the US has been downgraded from a "full democracy" to a "flawed democracy" because of a further erosion of trust in government and elected officials there.

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14
Mar
2017

On Monday the US Congressional Budget Office report on Trumpcare — the replacement for the health insurance system that the Obama Administration proposed for Americans without employer provided health insurance — estimated 14 million people losing insurance in the first year 2018 and 24 million by 2016, with premiums soaring for older, lower-income Americans. The CBO says Trumpcare would cut the annual budget deficit about $30 billion a year in a $19 trillion economy.

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24
Jan
2017
16
Jan
2017
7
Dec
2016

Despite the US economy doubling in size in inflation-adjusted terms in the 34 years from 1980 to 2014, a new paper suggests that "almost all of the meager growth in real bottom 50% post-tax income since the 1970s comes from Medicare and Medicaid (the federal programs for old and poor people). Excluding those two transfers, average bottom 50% post-tax income would have stagnated around $20,000 since the late 1970s. The bottom half of the adult population has thus been shut out from economic growth for over 40 years, and the paltry increase in their disposable income has been absorbed by increased health spending."

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3
Oct
2016
28
Sep
2016
14
Sep
2016
9
Sep
2016

In a broad cross-section of advanced economies, incomes for the top 10% increased by about 40% in inflation-adjusted terms in the past 20 years, while growing little at the bottom according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Meanwhile growth over two decades has slowed — most strikingly in Italy where the IMF expects another decade of stagnation.

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8
Aug
2016

Capital in the Twenty-First Century the English version of the 2013 French book on inequality written by Thomas Piketty, a professor of economics at the Paris School of Economics, created a sensation when published in the US in 2014, entering The New York Times bestseller list and drawing positive reviews from leading economists. Last week, in an IMF working paper, Carlos Góes writes that while Piketty's "work is likely to remain influential in the times to come" and is "rich in data, the book provides no formal empirical testing for its theoretical causal chain."

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