Personal income tax rates in Inida ranges from 10% to 30% with the following interesting personal exemptions, by sex and age:
Men 110,000 rupees (about $2,500)
Women 145,000 rupees (about $3,300)
Senior Citizens 195,000 rupees (about $4,300)
Like being able to use the women’s tees for golf, I guess there would also be a tax advantage for a man having a sex change operation in India! Carpe Diem from Bangalore!
What does economic freedom look like at night from a NASA satellite?
See the fascinating NASA Earth night photograph from Aug 27, 2001 (click to enlarge). In Europe, it’s easy to spot London, Paris, Stockholm, Madrid and Vienna. Check out Israel compared to the rest of the Arab countries. Note the Nile River and the rest of the “Dark Continent.” After the Nile, the lights don’t come on again until Johannesburg. From Strange Cosmos, via Tom McMahon.
According to the 2007 Heritage Foundation’s Economic Freedom of the World in Five Regions, the economic freedom of Sub-Saharan Africa is the lowest in the world, and the economic freedom of Europe is the second highest in the world, just slightly behind the Americas.
Michigan has the second highest unemployment in the U.S. at 7.1%, ahead of only Mississippi at 7.5%. However, it could be worse – there are 100 countries with unemployment rates at 10% or higher, about ten countries at 50% or higher, and 125 countries with a higher unemployment rate than Michigan. See the full ranked list here.
(Note: Michigan’s jobless rate is for December 2006, and the country rankings are for 2005).
“In regione caecorum rex est luscus.” (In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.)
Iceland recently passed a flat tax rate of 22.75% for personal income at the federal level and 13% at the local level, for a combined flat tax rate of 36%, higher than flat tax rates in other countries (see chart above), but much lower than the previous marginal tax rate of almost 50% for high income earners. At the same time, corporate income tax rates were lowered in Iceland to a flat rate of 18%, down from rates as high as 50% in the late 1980s. As the Laffer Curve predicts, the lower corporate tax rates actually significantly raised corporate tax revenues collected by a factor of almost 2X, as a percentage of GDP (see graph above).
The move to a flat tax in Iceland is significant because it is the first advanced, Western economy to adopt a flat tax.
Iceland also now has the world’s lowest unemployment rate for advanced economies at 2.1%.
For anyone weary of typical tourist sights like the Taj Mahal and other palaces, a new tourist attraction is available for visitors to India: a tour of Indian slums in New Delhi or Bombay.
Here is info on one company, including a price list, less than $7 for a 2.5 hour tour and about $15 for a 4.5 hour tour.
Here is a newspaper article about slum tours in New Delhi.
The Indian economy grew in 2006 by about 8.5% and is predicted to grow by more than 9% this year. At that rate, the Indian economy will double in size of the next 8 years, and will grow from its current size of about $1 trillion in GDP to $2 trillion.
Carpe Diem from Bangalore!
In 1990, U.S. exports of goods and services to Inida were only $2.5 billion. By 2003, thirteen years later, U.S. exports to India had doubled to $5 billion.
Between 2003 to 2005, in a period of only two years, U.S. exports to Inida tripled from $5 billion to $15 billion, and in 2006, it is estimated that exports to Inida will exceed $19 billion!
We hear a lot about outsoucring TO India, but hear as much about our exploding exports of U.S. merchandise and services TO India.
For example, in “The World is Flat,” Thomas Friedman describes the “24/7 Call Center,” a typical call center in Banglaore (where I am currently visiting):
“All the computers are running Microsoft Windows, with chips designed by Intel. The phones are from Lucent (now Alcatel-Lucent). The air-conditioning is by Carrier, and even the bottled water is by Coke. In addition, 90% of the shares in 24/7 are owned by U.S. investors. So even with the outsourcing of some service jobs from the U.S. to Inida, India’s growing economy is creating a huge demand for many more Amercian goods and services.”
“According to the information technology office of the Indian state of Karnataka (where the city of Bangalore is located, and where I am currently visiting), Indian units of Cisco, Intel, IBM, Texas Instruments and GE have already filed more than a thousand patent applications with the U.S. Patent Office. Texas Instruments alone had 225 patents awarded to its Indian operation.”
~From “The World is Flat” by Thomas Friedman
Facts about charitable donations in 2006:
1. The number of individual donations of $100 million or more hit a record in 2006.
2. In 2006, there were 21 donations of $100 million or more by individuals to universities, hospitals and charities, compared to 11 in 2005.
3. The philanthropy of the country’s 60 most generous givers hit a record $7 billion in 2006, up from $4.3 billion the year before.
Read more here in USA Today.