If you think taxes are higher than their historical rates, well, it depends on how far back in history you’re comparing them to. Take a look at the accompanying chart, which shows tax revenue as a percent of total national income for four countries—France, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the U.S.—since 1868. The chart ends in 2008, and is taken from research by tax policy analyst Thomas Piketty.
You can go to Las Vegas and bet on the U.S. election, or make a side bet with your friends. Or you can buy an ETF.
What is a dollar worth?
If you answered that it’s worth a dollar, you must be living in Illinois. A research report by U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis found that the prices for a particular basket of goods and services—food, transportation, housing and education—are higher in some states than others. Illinois came in at almost exactly the average; a $100 bill will buy $100.70 worth of the items. People living in the District of Columbia, the nation’s most expensive area, would have to pay, on average, $118.10 for the same basket of items.
The world of money market funds changed forever back in 2008, when an investment vehicle called the Reserve Primary Fund loaded up on loan obligations backed by Lehman Brothers. Lehman famously went under, and the fund “broke the buck,” meaning that when Lehman was unable to pay back its loans, the value of a share of the Reserve Primary Fund dipped under $1.
Who’s going to win the U.S. Presidential election in November? If history is a reliable guide, it will be the candidate who raises the most money during the campaign season. The last time the candidate who raised the most money lost was Gerald Ford vs. Jimmy Carter in 1976. Ever since, the money determined the winner.
It would seem obvious that companies that do well—enjoy better profits and deliver higher returns to their shareholders—would pay their CEOs more, while companies that didn’t fare as well would pay less.
It would also be wrong.
The opening celebration for the 2016 Olympic games just happened, and of course all you’re hearing about is pollution, crime, unfinished facilities, Zika and cheating Russian athletes. Chances are, the games will go off without a hitch and be highly-entertaining, despite some of the challenges that the athletes will face in their housing and venues. But once the games are over, the nation of Brazil is likely to experience a familiar dose of economic trauma.