German Of The Day: Länderfinanzausgleich

That’s a beauty, isn’t it? And it means “German Länder fiscal equalization scam.” I mean scheme.

Länderfinanzausgleich

And THAT means.. Well, think Robin Hood. The rich and therefore “bad” German states (the ones on the left in the image) must be punished for this and therefore the Robin Hoodlums in the Bundestag take some of their money and give it to the poor and therefore “good” German states (on the right side of the image). Berlin, on top, is actually on bottom, so-to-speak, being the poorest of the poor. The Robin Hoods and the Bundestag are located in Berlin, by the way. But that’s just a coincidence, of course.

The theory being, I’m assuming here, is that this kind of completely unjust robbery and redistribution will encourage the poor “good” German states to finally get their acts together already so the rich “bad” German states don’t have to pay their bills anymore. That’s just a theory, like I said, of mine. I must say, though, this redistribution initiative has certainly had a positive effect here in Berlin these past thirty, forty, fifty years. Once you ignore the fact that not a thing has changed.

Berlin Schlusslicht, Bayern Zahlmeister.

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More Redistribution Needed

Or that’s what this article seems to suggest.

Redistribution

And this in a country that has already been redistributing the wealth for decades and decades or longer.

When it comes to the superrich, however, there are relatively reliable estimates in the form of lists of the world’s wealthiest people, with the one compiled by the US business magazine Forbes leading the way. A similar list is compiled in Germany by manager magazin. A team of tax experts led by Stefan Bach of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) has examined the wealth statistics compiled by the ECB and augmented them with lists identifying the ultrarich. And the team did so for three countries: Germany, France and Spain.

The result: The 45 richest households in Germany own as much wealth as the bottom half of the population. Each group possessed a total of 214 billion euros in assets in 2014.

Bad superrich! Bad!

Why would more redistribution be necessary in a country like Germany? Maybe because it doesn’t work. It can’t work, in fact. It is not, nor has it ever been, a zero sum game, this wealth business. Here or anywhere else. But it’s a great way for redistributing politicians to get elected. Again and again and again. To no avail.

“Most economic fallacies derive from the neglect of this simple insight, from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another.”

Take From The Rich

And give it to the SPD, Left party, Greens, etc. They’ll give it to the poor later, right?

Earn

This is getting increasing more difficult to do in Germany, however, as a recent study reveals that the top ten percent of the working population (those who earn the most) already pay half of all income tax the country takes in.

And as recently reported, an average earner here already has to give up nearly half of what he earns. Sheesh. Crime just doesn’t pay anymore. If you’re a dyed-in-the-wool Robin Hoodlum kind of criminal, I mean.

Die Studie zeigt auch, wie stark Gering- und Durchschnittsverdiener durch Steuern und Sozialabgaben belastet werden. So zahle zum Beispiel ein Single mit einem Bruttogehalt von 1.940 Euro im Monat 46 Prozent Steuern und Abgaben. Ein alleinstehender Durchschnittsverdiener mit 3.250 Euro monatlich müsse 51 Prozent abführen, also mehr als jeden zweiten Euro.