Redistribution Is Da Solution (Again)

The next step backwards: Berlin has a new law prohibiting landlords from demanding rents that are more than 10 percent higher than the area average, in an attempt to keep housing affordable in a city that’s attracting 50,000 new residents a year. The rule relies on a disputed index — known as the Mietspiegel — that critics say is a statistical crapshoot.

Rents

“The rent brake is essentially a transfer of wealth from landlords to tenants. Berlin will become less of a destination for international investors because capital doesn’t like to be constrained.”

Paternoster Suddenly Too Dangerous For Human Use

Says the SPD. Even though they’ve been in use for decades here.

More nanny state nonsense from Nanny Nahles.

“I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.”

It’s Not Easy Being Optimist-In-Chief

When it comes to dealing with Europe, I mean. Optimism is suspekt (makes suspicious) here. There is always an angle to everything, you see.

Larry Page

For him (Larry Page), the real danger is opposing technological progress and greater efficiency. Such dangers lurk particularly in the Old World: “Especially in Europe, it appears easy to ignore the fundamental physics of a question in order to claim everything is just fine when things here cost twice as much as elsewhere. This attitude worries me greatly, because it hinders the work of entrepreneurs.”

But should not a society also have the right to say “No” to a superior technology? Certainly, agrees Mr. Page. But that’s not particularly clever. “If you make everything twice as expensive, you reduce people’s quality of life.” And do you really want to keep local entrepreneurs from making their contribution to the global economy? Naturally it’s great when citizens have the feeling they can decide. “I’m merely saying that when they make decisions contrary to a global system of capital, then they have to do that consciously and seriously. And I don’t believe anyone is doing that.”

“If I were a young entrepreneur today and I had the choice of starting my Internet firm in Germany or Silicon Valley, it wouldn’t be a hard choice. And regulation will only get worse in Europe. It will be very hard to build a company of global import there.”

Gerade die Europäer neigen in den Augen von Larry Page offenbar zu falscher Nostalgie. “In Europa scheint es leicht, die grundlegende Physik einer Frage zu ignorieren und zu behaupten, es ist schon in Ordnung, wenn Dinge hier doppelt so viel kosten wie anderswo”.

Uber And Out

It’s new, it promotes competition, it has something to do with the Internetz and it’s American. It just has to be verboten.

Taxis

The ride-hailing service Uber is about to have a head-on collision with Germany’s taxis and legal system. A court in Frankfurt has banned Uber’s most popular service from operating in the country until a hearing this year on whether it unfairly competes with local taxis.

It’s like this: Whatever is not expressly permitted in this country is strictly forbidden.

Es würden gegen Entgelt Personen befördert, „ohne im Besitz einer Genehmigung nach dem Personenbeförderungsgesetz zu sein.“

PS: Or maybe everyone’s pissed because they spelled Uber wrong?

UN Called In To Protect German Cultural Treasure That Gets You Drunk As Shit

The Reinheitsgebot may be “intangible” here, but the beer behind it sure isn’t.

Beer

German beer brewers have applied to Unesco for their Reinheitsgebot law to join a list of “intangible heritage” that includes Spanish flamenco and Turkey’s Kirkpinar oil-wrestling festival.

Are the blue helmets on the way yet?  Blau also means drunk in German, by the way.

But, as Simpson points out, the Reinheitsgebot law’s inception wasn’t about purity. “It was created to free up the baking grains so that there was less competition with the bakers,” Simpson said. “The bakers were up in arms because they felt the brewers were taking all the grains so the Reinheitsgebot restricted the grains that the brewers could use to malt, strictly malted barley.”

Time To Say Goodbye

To “clean power rebates” for German industry, that is.

Germany collects surcharges from power users to help fund operators of solar and wind power installations. Heavy electricity users such as cement, steel and some chemical plants are exempt to keep them from being priced out of the global market.

Industry

The EU now wants to change this. And that should make almost everybody happy. Now many of these German industries will get priced out of the market or maybe moving their production facilities to other countries altogether.

MEHR ALS DIE HÄLFTE DES INDUSTRIESTROMS VON UMLAGE BEFREIT

PS: Grid nationalisation in Berlin? Close but no cigar. Nice try but now you’ll just have to grid and bear it.

Black Workers Are Everywhere These Days

No, not Afro-American workers. You know, Schwarzarbeiter (illegal workers).

Black

And they’re everywhere all over Europe these days, although Germany is the champion here again too, as usual.

Eight million Germans are working on the black market as we speak, so-to-speak, generating about 13 percent of the country’s economic output. And loving it, I hope for them, because many of them just don’t seem to have any choice in the matter. Nobody will hire them otherwise:

Punitive tax regimes, increased labor market regulation and a growing lack of trust in governments are causing many Europeans to abandon formal employment and enter into the murky, illicit world of shadow economies worth billions of dollars.

Unternehmen und Arbeitnehmer setzen auf Schwarzarbeit, dadurch entstehen zwei Drittel des Schadens. Für das weitere Drittel ist verantwortlich, dass viele zu geringe Einkommen und Erträge ausweisen.

“German System” Suffering From Irregularity

But only in other countries where “German system” weapons are being exported to, of course.

Guns

“How do these weapons end up in places they should not be?” a distressed Deutsche Welle asks with concerned Kulleraugen (big wide saucer eyes). They clearly don’t have proper gun control laws down there in those awful places. Not like we do here in Germany.

For example, in Mexico, police forces in states which are embroiled in a drug war are considered even by the central government as part of the security problem in their regions – nevertheless they have been issued with German-built G36 assault rifles, which can fire up to 750 rounds a minute. Germany’s Economics Ministry, which is responsible for export clearance, in fact sanctioned shipment of the weapons to Mexico – but not to the restive regions. The State Prosecutor in Stuttgart has launched an investigation into the German manufacturer of the G36 assault rifle, Heckler & Koch. The arms company told Deutsche Welle that individual employees, who have since left Heckler & Koch, were to blame for the irregularities.

Germany prides itself on having “strict, even restrictive regulations” for the export of weapons of war.

Where’s The Enlightenment When You Need It?

This is German regulation madness at its best. Or, to be fair, Berliner Green Shirt regulation madness at its best.

Mendelssohn

The city district council of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg (the Greens) is currently causing not just a little bewilderment by refusing to name the square in front of Berlin’s Jewish Museum after Moses Mendelssohn, the German Jewish Enlightenment philosopher. No, not because they’re anti-Semites (at least not openly). It’s because Mendelssohn was not a woman.

You see, the district parliament decided back in 2005 (Greens and SPD) that 50 percent of the district’s streets and squares had to be named after women. Until that goal is reached, no new streets or squares will be allowed to be named after men, except in exceptional cases. Which this one isn’t, I guess.

This is about as small-minded as you can get, of course, and it fits perfectly with mainstream Green ideology, I find, in that nothing the Greens ever do or say can ever be allowed to be labelled as being small-minded or petit bourgeois in any way. But of course practically everything they do, well, is.

Die kleingeistige Posse spielt vor der Tür des weltweit bekannten Jüdischen Museums. Die Hauptakteure hocken in der mit Abstand stärksten Fraktion des Bezirks: Es sind die Grünen. Sie schämen sich nicht, „das leider falsche Geschlecht“ Mendelssohns in einem Satz mit dem „Projekt Unisextoiletten“ abzuhandeln.

PS: Speaking of Berlin city government in action: Oh boy! The new tourist tax is here! The new tourist tax is here!

Nothing New And Nothing Improved

That tired old SPD.

With three tired old SPD guys trying to decide which one of them will have to be the one tired old SPD guy who will have to be the contender in next year’s election against the ridiculously popular Angela Merkel.

So like one of them, former Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück, threw his hat into the ring yesterday, sort of.

His angle? Eat the banks. Split their investment and retail units and have them create their own rescue fund and make them be good and nice again like they used to be in the past (I guess) als die Welt noch in Ordnung war (when the world was still in order).

Been there, done that. Yawn already. Bring out the next stooge and let’s get him over with, too.

“Banks are service providers and not betting shops.”