Friendship, intimacy, commerce, and the West

In the East, I’ve heard it said, there’s intimacy without friendship; in the West, there’s friendship without intimacy.

Karan Mahajan, in The New Yorker

Continue reading Friendship, intimacy, commerce, and the West

British tax rises: 1975 vs 2016

These days, governments prefer to raise money by stealth. In the Healey budget of 1975, there were eight big tax measures. In George Osborne’s budget in 2016 there were 86 crafty little ones, including higher taxes on landfills

The Economist: Britain’s long-standing opposition to tax-rises is slowly softening

Brexit: a bleak glimpse ahead

Locals worry about who will care for the elderly and wait on tables in restaurants if migrants continue to leave. Moia Wood, a primary-school teacher who specialises in working with minority groups, says many people in Harrogate don’t realise how much migrants do for them.

The Economist: A northern English town offers a glimpse of life when migrants leave

They are beginning to find out—and soon the rest of Britain will, too.

Would you pass this 2 point personal finance test?

Many South Africans are ignorant of the basics of personal finance, a trait that transcends income levels. Neil Roets, who heads Debt Rescue, a debt-counselling firm, says new clients are first asked for their household budget. Most do not have one.

The Economist: In South Africa, more people have loans than jobs

  1. Do you understand the basics of personal finance?
  2. Do you have a monthly household budget, and know when you’re over/under it, and why?

Ignorance of personal finance basics, and lack of a household budget – I’m sure a good proportion of people, across income levels, in India and the UK, would fail this test.

Britain’s politics for the old, strangling its young

One in three of Britain’s houses has two or more spare bedrooms. Yet overcrowding (as measured by the number of people relative to the number of bedrooms) is rising. With grandparents hogging the bigger, better properties, their children struggle to move up the housing ladder.

The way council tax is levied also gives elderly folk less incentive to downsize. It was last updated in 1993 and the priciest homes are taxed lightly.

A little-noticed change in Britain’s housing market spells trouble for everybody, August 8, 2017 at 09:50AM