Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Qatar-Arab Conflict-2

After stating their demands, the four Arab nations have now said that it is okay if Qatar does not close down Al-Jazeera network and does not expel the supposed terrorists in their country but the boycotting nations still insist that Qatar must accept their demands otherwise more sanctions will be imposed. Now let us breakdown what is going on, the Al-Jazeera network is a problem with other countries because it shows stuff that other nations don’t want their citizens to know, so it is a problem with the authoritative regimes. The decision of Qatar to host members of some organizations is also an issue which is not receptive to the boycotting countries. Downgrading or completing breaking away from Iran is another issue since Qatar shares a gas field with Iran so it is may not be feasible unless Qatar sells the gas field to Iran and then break off relations (just my speculation). The most intriguing objection is the closing down of Turkish military base. Turkey, despite objects from the four Arab nations has been building and moving troops to Qatar military base and it is not to the liking of Saudi Arabia and its boycotting allies. I don’t know why that is since Qatar also hosts the biggest U.S. Military base in the Gulf. Why do they only insist on closing down the Turkish base but not the other foreign bases in the country? Although Qatar, reportedly the wealthiest country in the world with substantial foreign exchange reserves, can withstand the embargo and sanctions imposed on it but it is debatable whether it will be able to withstand long term. As of this writing, the standoff still continues.

The Qatar-Arab Conflict

To me, it was an unexpected conflict that has occurred between the Persian Gulf nation as Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt have accused Qatar of supporting things that are in conflict with their own likings. After keep quiet for a time, the above mentioned countries sent Qatar 13 demands, out of which the major ones were, stop supporting terrorists’ organizations, close Al-Jazeera network, close down the Turkish military bases and downgrade or complete break relations with Iran. And in order to enforce these demands, they have closed borders with Qatar and imposed other sanctions. IT all started with Saudi Arabia imposing sanctions and you already know that United Arab Emirates and tiny Bahrain will follow suit. Egypt being the largest recipient of Saudi Aid had to follow, although it has its own issues with Qatar supporting Muslim Brotherhood organization which opposes the Egyptian government. To me, the most surprising aspect was all the states involved are Sunni states or are ruled by Sunni rulers. And Qatar is also a member of a regional group called Gulf Cooperation Council, a group, dominated by Saudi Arabia, is planning to expel Qatar if their demands are not met. The United States and Kuwait has tried to use their influence to defuse the escalating tensions but have not succeeded thus far. And Qatar is not ready to budge from tis stance as it deems these tactics as bullying a small neighbor. And by the recent statements from United Arab Emirates, this conflict will not be resolved soon.

Monday, October 16, 2017

The New York City’s proposal for a Millionaire’s Tax-2

So let me breakdown how much does the so called Millionaire if as mentioned earlier starting at 500k annually actually get to take home. Please note that all figures are approximate and rounded to make it easier to come to a round figure. Federal tax comes out to the maximum 39.5 percent in addition to the New York state tax of 6.85 and New York City tax of around 3.5 percent. Rounding all this comes to around 50 percent but if you put the total amount of tax including the Medicare and unemployment tax the amount comes you are paying is around 295k, which leaves you around 200kj to take home and play around. And the taxes don’t even stop here since everything is taxed a certain sales tax rate of 8.875 percent on clothes, shoes, food from restaurants and anything that the city can get their hands on the hard working rich people of new York city. Since these so called rich people make so much money, they would like to have at least on vacation per year and also have some entertainment time to themselves, plus maintaining the house where you have to pay utilities and mortgages and you end up with around maybe 150k or even less than that. My point here is not to garner any sympathy for the so called rich class, but to give you an idea that 500k is not much of a salary in a very expensive city and before everybody jumps into the bandwagon of taxing the rich, first you need to understand what and who should be considered rich in new York city.

The New York City’s proposal for a Millionaire’s Tax

Recently a proposal is being floated around to tax millionaires to fund the aging New York transit system. Although the tax is being called millionaire’s tax but the figure which is being proposed is anybody earning from USD500k and above will be taxed. Although it has been floated around before it was a no show in the New York State assembly and Congress but the aging New York city transit system needs funds and anything to tax the rich will be popular and easy money to get the city’s hands on without jeopardizing the electoral votes of the common people. I am not a millionaire, not even anything close to even six figures but this proposal is so incorrect with the realities of paying taxes that no wonder the New York State assembly keeps on ignoring it wherever it comes up even in casual conversation. Let’s break it down for folks who think 500k is a large amount in New York city, although I will agree on one thing that if the median income is 69k which is not a lot by any standards if you are living in New York city where sometimes to breathe is taxed as being resident of new York, the idea of somebody earning 500k evokes jealously, envy and sometimes hatred enough that anything that can hart the so called rich is welcome news to the masses who are struggling. But even the so called rich can struggle in this consistently one of the most expensive cities in the world not to mention in the United States too.