Wednesday, November 01, 2023

Data – Information is Beautiful

Let’s hope the Israeli-Hamas war isn’t another 1914 moment

European heads of state failed to stop World War I breaking out after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. How do world leaders keep Iran from starting the third? Asks Gideon Rachman.

 AIs could soon run businesses – it’s an opportunity to ensure these ‘artificial persons’ follow the law The Conversation

'Golden visas' are known to attract dirty money around the world. Why does Australia still offer them?

We speak to the team behind the most intriguing recent property sale.
The property: A three-bedroom house on 741 square metres with a 15.3-metre frontage at 45 Derby Street, Canley Heights, NSW. Sold at auction for $4.6 million.
The three-bedroom house on 741 square metres at 45 Derby Street in south-western Sydney’s Canley Heights had a $2 million reserve and sold at auction for $4.6 million.  
Who was the agent/agency? Raine & Horne Hoxton Park/Green Valley sales agents Peter Ly, Thuy Dung Helena Mai, auctioneer Mark King.
How long was this on the market? Four weeks…
Mai] I asked the buyers: “Are you buying to live in it, invest or to build later?” She said: “My husband and I have three kids here.” They came here to study. They’re uni-aged kids. They like that property because they can go back to Vietnam and the kids can stay there.
Canley Heights high street has a lot of food. She said the kids can go and eat and have no need to cook. As a mother, I understand that.
Have you had a vendor say that to you before?
Normally, they look at the school, not the food. But she said: “My kids will be close to the shops and the Vietnamese restaurants, so my kids can eat and go home, so they will have no need to cook.” As a parent, I think it’s very good.
Why did they pay so much?
She said: “When my husband likes something he has to get it.”

Big Brother Unchained: UK Government to Abolish Biometrics and Surveillance Safeguards As It Embraces Facial Recognition

“The lack of attention being paid to [public safeguards] at such a crucial time is shocking, and destruction of the surveillance camera code that we’ve all been using successfully for over a decade is tantamount to vandalism.”

If I were to propose to you that people earning the same amount of income should pay about the same amount of tax, you would probably agree. It’s only fair, right?
Economists call this principle “horizontal fiscal equity”. But that term has fallen by the wayside, perhaps because the Australian taxation system has strayed pretty far from it.
Illustration by Jim Pavlidis
Illustration by Jim PavlidisCREDIT: 
How you earn $100,000 in Australia determines how much of it you get to keep. If your income is from superannuation, it’s tax-free to withdraw after the age of 60 (after being taxed at a concessional rate of 15 per cent). If it’s from capital gains, you can get a 50 per cent tax discount (or a 100 per cent discount if your parents got on with it early enough for you to have bought your assets back in 1985). And if you’re over 67, and a pensioner, you get a senior tax offset.
Most of these don’t apply to someone starting off in their career. Unlike many older generations, most young people haven’t built up wealth by owning assets like housing, or an income stream through owning large amounts of shares. And withdrawing from super isn’t really an option. Young people’s main source of income is wages.
So, not only do they miss out on many tax concessions, they also cop the brunt of what we call “bracket creep”. This is where, as inflation – or the general level of prices – rises, your income gets pushed into higher tax brackets.
Of course, as part of a progressive tax system, it’s fair for higher incomes to be taxed at higher rates. The problem is when the price of everything is also surging, as we’ve seen in the past couple of years, because it means the purchasing power of your income falls. Basically, if you’re earning more, but the things you’re paying for, like rent, food and petrol, get more expensive, you’re not necessarily much better off. Your purchasing power and real wage (what you earn, adjusted to account for inflation) will be a lot lower. And yet, a larger proportion of your income will be getting taxed at higher rates because on paper, you’re earning more.

If you think our tax system is fair, you’re probably older than me

BEWARE THE CHAIR 🪑 at 55 GEaoRGE STREET:  How Extended Sitting Time May Be Aging Your Brain Faster.

Data – Information is Beautiful

“We love data. And we love getting data good and tight and comprehensive. The technical term for that is “juicy”. Juicy data. In fact, 80% of the work involved in creating an infographic is data-gathering, shaping and checking. Making the data juicy. So here, naturally, is a big-ass spreadsheet of all our best data.”

DON’T TRUST CHINA, CHINA IS ASSHOE:  Tsingtao beer loses its fizz in South Korea after video of worker appearing to urinate into tank.