The Turnaround Has Been Achieved

I didn’t think I would be seeing this in my lifetime, folks, but Germany did NOT get last place at the Eurovision song competition last night in Kiev – a century-long Eurovision tradition, as you know.

Deutschland

They came in second to last (thank you, Spain). I can hardly wait for next year’s show!

Ja! Deutschland ist nicht Letzter. Trotz der leichten Verbesserung ist es ein Debakel für die deutsche Delegation, die in unendlicher Arroganz mal wieder alles falsch gemacht hat, was man falsch machen konnte.

Solar Energy Is The Future

That’s why big solar companies like Germany’s Solarworld are going broke right now. That’s so they can regroup or something for when the future finally does come around, I guess.

Solar

Or maybe it’s some international anti-renewable energy conspiracy. That’s always good to get folks hot and bothered. The endless subsidies were sabotaged or something, see? Or maybe, just maybe, solar power is a losing business proposition proposed down our throats from those enlightened ones above (pun intended). Hard to say for sure.

Ask the “Sun King” over at Solarworld (it’s good to be the Sun King): “Due to the ongoing price erosion and the development of the business, the company no longer has a positive going concern prognosis, is therefore over-indebted and thus obliged to file for insolvency proceedings.”

Leaving Las Vegas

Only it’s Germany this time. And nobody’s really leaving here, either.

Return

You don’t have to leave, of course, refugee folks. It’s just that we’d really, really, really like it if you would.

With deportations expensive and complicated, Germany launched a new website designed to help encourage migrants to return voluntarily to their home countries. Organizers are please with the resonance so far, the site currently getting up to six or seven hits a day.

In diesem Jahr sind bisher weniger Migranten freiwillig in ihre Heimat zurückgekehrt als noch im Vorjahr. Bund und Länder versuchen weiterhin eine schnellere und konsequentere Abschiebung durchzusetzen.

German Of The Day: Spitzensteuersatz

That means maximum tax rate. In Germany that’s 42 percent at the moment – and climbing.

Taxation

But the cool thing about the maximum tax rate in Germany is that you don’t have to be a maximum earner to have to pay it. More and more regular folks are permitted to pay this killer rate – some 3.7 million Germans at the moment – and climbing. In 2004 it was 1.2 million taxpayers. Now that’s what I call Fortschritt (progress).

Unter Berücksichtigung der Zusammenveranlagung von Eheleuten betrifft dies damit 3,73 Millionen einkommensteuerpflichtige Personen. Damit unterliegen 6,4 Prozent aller Steuerpflichtigen dem Spitzensteuersatz von 42 Prozent, wie es in einer Antwort des Bundesregierung auf eine Anfrage der Linken im Bundestag heißt. 2004 fielen noch gut 1,2 Millionen Steuerpflichtige in diese Kategorie.

Germany’s Green Planners Confident That Growing Wind And Solar Power Will Lead To Even Higher Power Costs

But who cares, right? There’ still Luft nach oben (room for improvement). Germans are only number two when it comes to paying the highest electricity bills in Europe (only the Danes pay more).

Strom

Germans already footing the second-highest electricity bills in Europe may face even higher costs from the country’s decision to exit nuclear power early next decade. While there’s no risk of blackouts, costs could rise if transmission gaps emerge, according to Germany’s Bnetza regulator. Europe’s biggest power market is closing its last atomic plants in 2022 and is counting on a mix of mothballed lignite plants, wind and solar power expansion and grid stability measures to keep outages down…

Consumers this year may pay about 24 billion euros ($26.4 billion) in compulsory clean-energy-support fees, levies that are added directly to power bills.

“The lights will stay on. Yet there are two risks in bridging power gaps, namely redispatch and intervention in the market to drive generation up or down that may be cost factors.”

German Of The Day: Mediale Erfindung

That means medial invention. Take the Schulz effect, for instance. Please.

Schulz

Remember the good old days when medial inventions used to last for years? You know, things like Waldsterben (the dying of the woods) or Rinderwahn (mad cow disease)? Now you’re lucky if you can get three months out of one (the Schulz effect, for instance, was created and released from the laboratory just this past February and officially died yesterday).

I dunno, I think it’s this young whippersnapper snowflake generation these days with all their wall-to-wall social media and instant gratification issues. No respect, I tell you. Well, kids, each generation gets the medial invention it deserves so this one’s for you. And you have no one else to blame but yourselves. Three months. Pitiful.

In February, Social Democratic chancellor candidate Martin Schulz was riding a wave of popularity. Now, his party has lost two state elections in a row and another state vote is looming on Sunday. Can he get his campaign back on track?

Alles ist Albigs Schuld – finden Schulz und die Bundes-SPD.

Germans Can’t Stop Laughing These Days

This is a real shocker, folks. A new study indicates that 29 percent of Germans laugh less than five times a day or not at all.

Lachen

Wow. They really seem to have made great progress here these past few years. I remember when it used to be 79 percent, or higher.

But, sadly, this is also an indication of the sorry state our troubled world is in: The study also shows that Germans are mostly amused by others’ bad luck (Schadenfreude).

Lachen ist gesund – ein Gemeinplatz. Doch wenn eine Krankenkasse jetzt 15 Minuten herzhaftes Lachen pro Tag empfiehlt, kann das sehr anstrengend sein. Dann sind wir doch lieber unlustig.