Across the Pond

Odd bits from USA in run up to the Era of Trump.
1). Military spending for the last year, 2015. (International Peace Research Institute. Stockholm)
Of course we know USA is tops with $596 Bil, 2. China $215 Bil, 3. Saudi $87 (pop. 30 million) 4. Russia $ 66 Bil, 5. UK $55 Bil, 6. India $52 , then France, Japan, Germany. The USA spend has risen in 2016 and is greater than the combined total of countries 2 to 10. The Arms Industry is a massive part of the USA economy. Recent comments on UK sales to Saudi highlight the sale of cluster bombs. These bombs contain 147 “bomblets” which scatter in every direction when the cluster bomb is activated. The bomblets then explore when they hit anything. The Only justification for the manufacture and sale of such dreadful yokes Is purely the generation of Profits.
2). A new word has come into use in the field of economics. “Austericide”, it’s a combination of Austerity and Suicide and was used to refer to what’s happened in Brazil when the parliament recently passed an act to put a Limit on how much the Gov’t can spend over the next 20 years! This massive commitment to ongoing Austerity is considered Suicidal for the welfare of the large majority of Brazil’s population.
3). Paid Maternity/Paternity Leave. In the developed world we take for granted that parents have a legal entitlement in this area, Except if you live in the world’s largest economy USA where there is no Legal entitlement. A review of USA’s 60 largest corporations show that 31 do not grant employees any paid leave. Such leave is considered a Benefit, the others grant it with a variety of conditions applied depending on whether you are biological parents, adopting or in the ranks of the lower paid! They get granted less paid time off. For a country which claims such commitment to family values it doesn’t translated into real commitment.
IKEA just hit the headlines in this area, it has granted its 13,000 USA employees 18 weeks of paid leave, no strings attached. Fair play to them; by the way the Legal entitlement in Ikea’s home country is 68 weeks!
4). Trumpism? Republicans are traditionally committed to small Gov’t with minimum regulations and have a strong belief in the Free Hand of the Market. They are the party most supported by business, understandably. Trump is already causing huge confusion in the Rep ranks. He and his Gov’t will interfere with the Free Hand! He’s committed to naming and shaming and by tax legislation punishing USA companies who take jobs out of USA ! The number 1 reason USA companies take jobs out of the country is to Maximise Profits and now by Trump regulations this will be controlled by Big Gov’t.
By other proposed manipulations of the USA tax code he hopes to force corporations to bring jobs back to America. Such a move will definitely increase the price Americans will have to pay for sox, jox, shoes, shirts iPhones etc etc. Companies will naturally (well natural in USA) try to minimise wage rates to limit the extent by which they’ll have to hike their prices, therefore the average worker has little or no chance of higher wages in the Trump Era but will be faced with higher prices. Interesting times ahead.

About tryingtobefair

More than a little interested in how we can all make the community we live in a better place. "The world has enough for everyone's need, but not enough for everyone's greed" Gandhi. Let's all learn what's enough.
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