Under-Reported Income To IRS: World Poverty Will End Ten Times

$66 Billion is the number that is widely quoted as the amount required to end world poverty – this number comes from this report from Brookings Institution called ‘Poverty in Numbers: The Changing State of Global Poverty from 2005 to 2015’ – and technically, the number 66 billion USD is the amount required to provide every person in the world with a minimum income of $1.25/day — in other words guaranteeing the right not to live in absolute poverty (See Page 13 of the report).

We spotted this stat today, that the IRS has a ‘tax gap’ running into the hundreds of billions of dollars – some studies put the number at 600 billion dollars (even the official estimate is $385 billion as of 2006) (Source)

Where does this tax gap come from? The single biggest contributor to the tax gap — accounting for 84% of it — are people who simply under-report their income (Source)

You read that headline right – if the IRS could just somehow manage to collect these ‘Uncollectibles’, it could help end world poverty 10 times over. (Of course, this comparison is meant to digest the magnitude of the 600 billion tax gap stat that we spotted today)

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Foreign Investments In U.S. Exceed U.S. Investments Abroad By $4.4 Trillion

When the big banks were bailed out, one of the main themes of the opposing argument was that these banks took all that money and invested it elsewhere in the world. So we were pleasantly surprised when we spotted this number, that actually, the difference between foreign investments in the US and US investments abroad has been going up – reaching a total of 4.4 trillion USDs by the end of 2012. To be clear, this is the difference between the amount of money that foreigners have invested in the US and what US has invested in foreign countries. (Source)

For some twisted reasons, the financial crisis seems to have increased the amount of money flowing into the US searching for good returns. It is obviously not as simple as that, but you get the picture.

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Which Country Is Ranked As ‘The Friendliest Country to Tourists’?

After all that trouble, here is something Iceland can be truly proud of. (To be fair though, Iceland has made an amazing comeback since the 2008 crisis) A new report on global tourism from the World Economic Forum (WEF) places Iceland right at the top of the World’s friendliest countries to tourists – the top three slots are occupied by Iceland, New Zealand and Morocco (Source)

Before you ask – here are the three countries that are least friendly to tourists – Bolivia, Venezuela and Russia. Remember, the report examines 140 countries based on attractiveness and competitiveness in the travel and tourism industry.

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$83,884: One-Year Masters of Science At Columbia Journalism School

Tuition and Living expenses for the one year course at Columbia Journalism School is estimated to cost a whopping 83,884 dollars. We have written about the costs of education before – we had some charts showing how the education expenses of the average American has been going up, up and up – but this number from the Columbia Journalism School is just huge. (Source)

Yes, statistics prove that education equals employment– but numbers like the one above juut give you a feeling that things are getting a little out of hand. Literally. Remember the student loan timebomb?

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Nearly A Third Of Employers’ Costs Per Worker Goes To Benefits

We spotted an interesting statistic today – we have always heard this from people looking for jobs: “the pay is good – and benefits?” – remember this – 31 percent of employer’s costs per worker goes towards benefits. It varies across industries, but that number – one-third – is a good representative number. (Source)

Health insurance is the big one, eating up some 8.5 percent of all the benefits. (Here are the actual numbers – the average employer costs for each worker per hour was $30.84. Of that total, $21.35 or 69% was for wages and salaries, the remainder went to benefits)

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Per Capita Income: Meet The Wealthiest Nation In The World

By one measure at least: per capita income. We spotted this stat today, that Singapore has the highest per capita income in the world, with folks clocking in $56,532 in per capita income every year. Norway, US, Hong Kong and Switzerland are next, in that order. (Source)

By the year 2050, Singapore’s per capita income is projected to reach $137,710 making it the richest country by that measure, by a wide margin. We already knew that more than 15 percent of Singapore households are millionaire households. And pretty soon, every fifth person in Singapore would be a millionaire.

Long story short, move to Singapore. You stand a better chance of hitting that million dollar benchmark.

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Urban Households Earn 32% More Than Rural Ones, But Spend Only 18% More

That is some easy stat to digest – we spotted this stat today, that urban households in the US make 32 percent more income than rural households, but when it comes to the spending numbers, they only spend 18 percent more. (Source)

The other number that we found a little surprising from that report was that some 92% of households are considered urban by the Labor Department – that seemed a little too high.

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Billionaire Statistics: India To Have 225 Billionaires By 2022

If you have a business idea catering to an ’emerging billionaire’ crowd, go to India. We had spotted the number of millionaires in the world and the number of billionaires in the world earlier – we spotted this stat today, that the number of billionaires in India will go up by a whopping 84 percent, to reach 225 by the year 2022. (Source).

Yes, we are talking dollar billionaires. There are only 1200 of them in the world today.

Remember what the Chinese millionaires would like to do?

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Gender Imbalance In China: 118 Boys Are Born For Every 100 Girls

This is a problem that will have a strong impact on how the Chinese economy in particular and the world economy in general will shape up in the coming decade and the next – with the one-child policy showing results now – China has a huge gender imbalance problem – we spotted this stat today, that 118 boys are born in China for every 100 girls (Source) – we had in fact written about this a year back – China: 24 Million Men To Be Perpetual Bachelors by 2020

Here is one result, to help us understand the impact – The ‘Chinese Bachelor’ Problem: No Downpayment = No House = No Wife – From that post – “The gender imbalance has in turn driven housing prices up – by some calculations, some $8 trillion of the appreciation in property values can be attributed to gender imbalance alone”

Challenging times ahead for China. History shows that when the trailer is bad, the movie would be worse.

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Amtrak Carried Record Passenger Traffic In 2012: 31.2 Mn People

We had spotted some stats on how 2012 was a good year for the auto industry and 2013 would be even better – we spotted this stat today, that Amtrak had a great year too – 2012 turned out to be a record year for Amtrak, carrying 31.2 million people (Source)

But we need to remember that of the more than 40 routes that it runs on, Amtrak is profitable only on 4. That, really, is the challenge.

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