Friday, October 22, 2021

Deluded Americans and Eastern Europeans shun vaccines

Lack of education, exploitation by right-wing political groups and in the US licensed medical doctors seeking to profit from disinformation, are hampering the vaccination efforts in the United States and Eastern Europe.

In the United States a report this year based on analysis of a sample of anti-vaxx content that was shared or posted on Facebook and Twitter showed up to 65% of anti-vaccine content can be traced to the leading online anti-vaxxers, who are labelled the Disinformation Dozen. The group is comprised of physicians, anti-vaccine activists and people known for promoting alternative medicine. They profit from their lies and this week Drew Griffin, a CNN reporter, told one of them, Dr Rashid Buttar, in an interview, "I think you're crazy." Buttar likened Dr Anthony Fauci — presidential adviser and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases — to Adolf Hitler, saying the number of deaths caused by Fauci will exceed those of the Holocaust.

Monday, October 18, 2021

Climate perception gaps and individual carbon footprints

The majority of people cannot identify which lifestyle moves are the most effective at limiting their carbon footprint, according to an Ipsos polling survey of more than 21,000 people across 30 countries, which was published in 2021. Nevertheless, an overwhelming number claim they know which personal actions would make a significant difference in tackling climate change.

This year's Perils of Perception study by Ipsos looks at how the public in 30 markets around the world perceives environmental action. The Global Market Average was 7 in 10 (69%) who agreed that “I understand what action I need to take to play my part in tackling climate change.” Confidence was highest in Peru (85%), Colombia (83%), Mexico and Chile (both 82%) and lowest in Japan (40%) and Russia (41%).

The most popular remedies for individual reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) were among the least effective.

Ipsos, headquartered in Paris, is the 3rd largest global market research company. 

Saturday, October 09, 2021

Tax reforms and challenges for the Irish economy in 2022 and beyond

The Irish Government's decision to sign on to the OECD-G20 international tax reform package which is expected to be approved at the end of October at a summit in Rome may cost more than the estimate of €2bn annually in Irish corporation tax receipts, that has been suggested. It assumes that the €20bn in tax windfalls in 2015-2020 resulting from Apple and other big US companies allocating some of their intellectual property to Ireland, will continue.

The Double Irish tax dodge has ended and other shifted profits that have been diverted to Ireland and taxed, may over time be a problem for the Irish Exchequer.

These changes will happen at a time when there is pressure to raise public spending in several areas.

Irish finance minister's October 2021 statement and a statement from the OECD.

Only 12% of the sales of American majority-owned foreign affiliates go to the United States while local sales are almost 60%. The rest go to other foreign affiliates.

It remains to be seen how more honest reporting in big countries in respect of reported profits will impact decisions.

Last April the US Treasury named Bermuda, the Caymans, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Singapore, and Switzerland as the top 7 corporate tax havens. Their share of US multinational corporation foreign profits has risen from almost 30% in 2000 to over 60% in 2019.

Tuesday, October 05, 2021

Two-thirds of developing countries dependent on commodities

Minera Escondida, located in Antofagasta, Chile, is the world's largest copper mine, producing almost 5% of the world's supply of metal. BHP manages the operation and holds a roughly 58% stake. Other investors include Rio Tinto Plc and Japan's Mitsubishi Corp. BHP is an Anglo-Australian multinational (it plans to delist in London) mining, metals and petroleum giant.

Be it food production, mining, the lithium that charges our smartphones and the oil that still mainly fuels most of our transport, commodities are an important part of modern life. Two-thirds of developing countries are dependent on commodities and for example, all the 12 independent countries of South America (French Guiana with a population of 313,000 is excluded) are dependent. This is defined by the United Nations agency UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) as a country with more than 60% of its total merchandise exports comprising commodities.