Sunday News And Notes
European Union Fails To Agree To Budget In the face of stern opposition to additional spending cuts, finance leaders from the European Union broke off talks without reaching an agreement on a multi-year budget plan for the 27-nation group. Britain was joined by Germany in calling for more cuts, but France led the fight against further austerity.
Would Ending The Payroll Tax Increase Economic Growth?
New York Times columnist Ross Douthat posits that the payroll tax has outlived its usefulness, particularly at a time when the economy is slow.
“Whatever its past political advantages, the payroll tax now imposes an unnecessary burden on a stagnating economy. In an era of mass unemployment, mediocre wage growth and weak mobility from the bottom of the income ladder, it makes no sense to finance our retirement system with a tax that falls directly on wages and hiring and imposes particular burdens on small business and the working class,” writes Douthat.
Africa’s Present: Ongoing Civil War
Yet, as positive as some signs may be, several African nations continue to contend with violent and bloody civil wars. One such country is the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where rebels have seized territories in the eastern region, which is rich in minerals. The fear among some is that if efforts to stem the advance of M23 rebels are not pursued – namely by the United Nations – the violence and brutality in the Congo could rapidly escalate, particularly considering the involvement of Rwanda in the ongoing violence.
Africa’s Future: Economic Revolution Doug Sanders of Toronto’s Globe and Mail is another columnist promoting the notion that the military revolutions that marred Africa’s past will be replaced by the economic revolution that will define its future.
Catalonia: Spain’s Other Problem
The financial crisis facing Spain is well-known, but the nation also faces another challenge as citizens in Catalonia head to the polls on Sunday to vote on whether to pursue independence from Spain.