1.2 billion people around the world, or roughly one in every six people, live in extreme poverty – defined as survival on less than $USD1.25 a day according to The World Bank. As a proportion of the global population, however, this number has fallen dramatically over the past few decades. The economic uprising of several key East Asian nations has resulted in over 700 million people, over the past twenty years, breaking free from extreme poverty. Organisations such as the UN have project further decreases in the years to come. Indeed, there are many political, economical, and environmental factors that contribute to the extreme impoverishment of individuals around the world and many argue that this is a deeply complex issue that we cannot afford to merely throw money at – or can we?
“I have a more fundamental question. Why do we have a debt limit in the first place?”
More than two years have elapsed since former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan, expressed this sentiment – and it is still a question that begs answering.
Underperforming growth in China, improving economic conditions in the US, and the RBA’s recently announced cut in the cash rate to a record low of 2.75% have forced downward pressure on the Australian dollar – culminating in a loss of nearly 8% in value against the USD since mid-April. Crashing from its peak of $US1.10 in July 2011, the AUD has reached an 11 month low, with many analysts warning investors to brace themselves for further deterioration.
The Coalition’s conditional support for the Labor proposed National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has sparked media frenzy and has dominated domestic news headlines this past week due to the wide and deep affects this will have on the community at large. The scheme, funded in part by revenue raised through an increase in the Medicare levy, represents a tax hike of 0.5% to the average taxpayer. However, for the 410,000 Australians and their families suffering from a congenital or acquired permanent disability, the NDIS embodies the much-needed lifeline that will assist in alleviating the financial burden imposed by their disability.
Last year on December 26th, Shinzo Abe assumed office as Japan’s current Prime Minister and immediately began fulfilling his electoral campaign promises of bringing sweeping economic reform and output growth to the world’s third largest economy. After suffering decades of lacklustre output and many failed attempts to induce growth, Abe’s policies, both currently implemented and in the pipeline, are the biggest things to hit Japan since Godzilla itself.