Archive for stability

Economist Intelligence Unit : U.S. not among the best places to be born in 2013


It appears the United States isn't one of the top countries offering the best quality-of-life according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU, a sister company of The Economist) which "earnestly" tried to figure out which country will provide "the best opportunities for a healthy, safe and prosperous life."

Switzerland and Australia got the number one and two spots. Here are a few of the factors that determined the standings:

Being rich helps more than anything else, but it is not all that counts; things like crime, trust in public institutions and the health of family life matter too. In all, the index takes 11 statistically significant indicators into account. They are a mixed bunch: some are fixed factors, such as geography; others change only very slowly over time (demography, many social and cultural characteristics); and some factors depend on policies and the state of the world economy. [...]

Small economies dominate the top ten.

Stability and trust are pluses, so "boring is best."

In 1988, the United States came in first, France second, and West Germany third. Iran, Iraq, and Zimbabwe were last.

More here.


U.S. Forecasts Highest Tax Revenue in 5 Years


This would seem to be good news, yes?

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. states expect to collect higher tax revenue in the coming budget year that combined would top pre-recession levels, according to a survey released Tuesday. The increase could reduce pressure on states to cut budgets and lay off workers.

A slowly healing job market and modest growth have boosted sales and income taxes, which provide nearly three-quarters of state revenue. Overall corporate income taxes are also growing.


Total tax revenue is forecast to rise 4.1 percent to $690.3 billion in the 2013 budget year, according to a twice-yearly survey by the National Governors Association and the National Association of State Budget Officers. It's the third straight year of revenue growth and $10 billion more than the budget year that ended June 2008. The recession began in December 2007.

Total state spending would increase only 2.2 percent and remain below pre-recession levels, the report said.

"The thing we're definitely seeing is stability," said Scott Pattison, executive director of the budget officers' group. Only eight states were forced to close unexpected mid-year budget gaps this year, he said, compared to 39 states two years ago.


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