FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) -- The widening income gap between the rich and poor and burgeoning government deficits are the risks most likely to have a global impact over the next decade, according to experts surveyed by the World Economic Forum.
Climate change, water shortages and aging populations rounded out the WEF's top five risks. The 1,000-plus experts surveyed for the Switzerland-based forum's annual risk report also warn that risk factors could combine to produce unique problems. These risk combinations included climate change putting a heavy burden on a global economy and a declining economy in turn hurting efforts to fight global warming.
"These global risks are essentially a health warning regarding our most critical systems," said report editor Lee Howell, a managing director at the forum. "Resilience to global risks needs to be a priority so that critical systems continue to function despite a major disturbance."
The experts also identified the global health threat from increasing resistance of germs to antibiotics. Another new worry is a "digital wildfire" of wrong or controversial information going viral across online communities, such as outrage last year in the Muslim world over an anti-Islamic film.
The report's authors also noted that more and more people are living in disaster-prone areas such as coastal regions, increasing the economic costs of storms and flooding blamed on global warming
The 1993 legislation raised the top federal income tax rate to 39.6 percent from 31 percent - a huge destruction of incentives for the wealthy,
according to Republican doctrine. It was signed into law on Aug. 10 of that year and the Dow closed at 3,572.73. But by the end of 1993, it was up to 3,754.09, and by the end of 1996 had risen to 6,448.26, a three-year increase of 72 percent.
According to Republican legend, the market didn't take off until Republicans in Congress cut the capital gains tax in 1997. While much of the bull market did come after 1997, there is no denying that Republican predictions about the effect of the 1993 tax increase were dead wrong.
I'm not going to pretend that tax increases always lead to bull markets or that tax cuts have no effect. I'm saying only that the relationship between taxes, on the one hand, and the economy and the stock market, on the other, is vastly more complex than simplistic Republican dogma would have us believe.