Looking back to 1989

We look forward not back 

Does your accountant seem obsessed with last year? If you want to legally pay less in taxes, you need a professional who looks forward. Relax Tax helps our clients focus on planning for a better future, and not the past. If we want to look back at anything, we thought it might be fun let our blog look back at what we learned in the last 50 plus years. You can get a FREE COPY of the entire guide at back.relaxtax.com. Now lets take a look at 1989.

 

1989 Big News Story

Tearing down the Berlin Wall

1989 was another year for growing home prices. It was also a historic moment in global history, as the Berlin Wall came down in November. In China, Chinese troops fired on protesters in Tiananmen Square, killing hundreds or even thousands. 1989 also witnessed the birth of a new era in technology, when Tim Berners-Lee created the World Wide Web.

Per BBC

It was on 9 November 1989, five days after half a million people gathered in East Berlin in a mass protest, that the Berlin Wall dividing communist East Germany from West Germany crumbled.

East German leaders had tried to calm mounting protests by loosening the borders, making travel easier for East Germans. They had not intended to open the border up completely.

The changes were meant to be fairly minor - but the way they were delivered had major consequences.

Notes about the new rules were handed to a spokesman, Günter Schabowski - who had no time to read them before his regular press conference. When he read the note aloud for the first time, reporters were stunned.

"Private travel outside the country can now be applied for without prerequisites," he said. Surprised journalists clamored for more details.

Shuffling through his notes, Mr Schabowski said that as far as he was aware, it was effective immediately.

In fact it had been planned to start the next day, with details on applying for a visa.

But the news was all over television - and East Germans flocked to the border in huge numbers.

Harald Jäger, a border guard in charge that evening, told Der Spiegel in 2009 that he had watched the press conference in confusion - and then watched the crowd arrive.

Mr Jäger frantically called his superiors, but they gave no orders either to open the gate - or to open fire to stop the crowd. With only a handful of guards facing hundreds of angry citizens, force would have been of little use.

"People could have been injured or killed even without shots being fired, in scuffles, or if there had been panic among the thousands gathered at the border crossing," he told Der Spiegel.

"That's why I gave my people the order: Open the barrier!"

Thousands flowed through, celebrating and crying, in scenes beamed around the world. Many climbed the wall at Berlin's Brandenburg gate, chipping away at the wall itself with hammers and pickaxes.

A turbulent year had reached a climax.

1989 by the Numbers

Economic Data from 1989

Grocery Prices from 1989

 

Personally,1989 is when my accounting career became serious. As a junior at Villanova I was one of the top 50 accounting majors who where eligible to interview for a school sponsored full semester internship program. It was up to the student to secure the internship. Being eligible did not mean you would get an internship. It just meant if you got one you could work the busy season at the firm and get 3 credit from the school for doing it. All the interns made up the semester during that following summer prior to senior year.

I was able to land a busy season internship with the newly merged Deloitte & Touche. Yet the Philadelphia PA offices were still separated at the time. Thus my exposure was mostly to Touche Ross & Co managers. My career as an account would begin the following January.

A tax return is just a historical record of what happen financially in the previous year. If you don't think about your taxes until you start receiving your tax forms, then it is already too late. Click Here to schedule your risk free tax planning session. 

If your tax preparer isn't doing tax planning with you, then you have the wrong tax preparer. If you do your taxes yourself with software and just "tweak" the numbers till you get the numbers where you want them then you should read our blog post on what could be in store.