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.

News Flash: Wealth Unevenly Distributed Here

Germans everywhere were shocked to discover today that the nation’s wealth has not been evenly, uniformly and fairly distributed as had previously been believed.

Wealth

“Wah? Howya figure?” asked one dumbfounded German upon being informed by Spiegel-Online that the upper ten percent of his fellow countrymen possesses 60 percent of Germany’s wealth while the lower half only owns a lousy 2.5 percent of it (leaving lots of wealth left over somewhere else if I’ve done the math correctly, but still). “This sure is news to me. We Germans have all been raised in the confidence that we live in an ideal, egalitarian society in which things like income inequality are absolutely unthinkable and unheard of, much less possible. Why, these are amerikanische Verhältnisse or something! Why weren’t we informed of this earlier?”

Spiegel-Online apologized for this but then comforted their distraught readers by explaining that at least every German household enjoys having some 214,000 euros ($240,000) at its disposal – on average.

Jeder Haushalt besitzt 214.000 Euro – im Schnitt.

Why Are Filthy Super-Rich Germans So Low-Key About Their High Finance?

Well, for one thing, they know better than anyone that they live in the notorious German Neidgesellschaft.

ALDI

And for another thing… The figures show that private wealth in Germany is more unevenly distributed than in any other country in the eurozone. While the richest 1% have personal wealth of just short of one million euros on average, a quarter of adult Germans have no wealth or even owe money.

ALDI schönen Sachen!

Eat More Rich People!

Germans should be ashamed of themselves. Again, I mean. The amount of personal wealth just keeps on rising here – another 79 billion this past quarter – and has reached yet another historic level. The Germans, it seems, have never been richer. And this, as we all know, is a bad thing.

Rich

Haven’t you people ever heard of Umverteilung (redistribution) over here? What do you need all that damned money for? It’s not like it’s yours or anything. Well it is but it isn’t, if you know what I’m sayin’. And who says it doesn’t stink? It stinks that you still have it. What you folks need is leadership like we have now been graced with in New York City itself. You’ve already got all the tax loopholes you’ll be needing so roll up your sleeves and let’s get this party started!

Im vierten Quartal 2013 wuchs das Vermögen der privaten Haushalte in Form von Bargeld, Wertpapieren, Bankeinlagen oder Ansprüchen gegenüber Versicherungen im Vergleich zum Vorquartal um rund 79 Milliarden Euro oder 1,6 Prozent auf den historischen Höchstwert von 5,15 Billionen Euro, teilte die Deutsche Bundesbank mit.

Next Troubling Demographic Development Stuns Germany

As if Germans did not have enough to worry about already, a study from Credit Suisse has just confirmed that more than 1.7 million German citizens are now living above the millionaire line.

Wealth

In fact, despite the so-called financial crisis, the amount of personal wealth has nearly doubled here since the year 2000.

German experts are grappling to find a sufficient explanation for this troubling development, as the causes of excessive German wealth were hitherto thought to have been fully understood and firmly under control.

With the release of these new findings, however, it appears as if some sources of this disgusting German wealth may be attributable to certain socio-demographic characteristics or other social, political, economic and cultural factors that may not have been fully comprehended up until now.

“This is absolutely shameful,” one grudging expert said. “It is an absolute outrage that wealth like this could exist in such an advanced and envious society as ours. We will not tolerate it and we shall never cease our efforts until the causes for this injustice are found and alleviated.”

Seit Mitte 2012 seien 221.000 Menschen hinzugekommen; insgesamt lebten in Deutschland nun gut 1.735.000 Dollar-Millionäre.

Rich Germans Actually The Euro Zone Po Folks

As recently reported, rich Germans have suddenly and inexplicably become the poor men of Europe, relatively speaking.

Poor

According to the latest ECB Vermögensstudie (wealth study), the Cypriots, of all people, are among the richest citizens in the euro zone. Germans, on the other hand, have come in at last place.

Wait a second. Wasn’t there something recently about Cyprus striking a 10-billion euro bailout deal with the European Union? I must have got that wrong (or the Cypriots certainly got that right).

Ausgerechnet die Zyprer gehören zu den reichsten Bürgern der Euro-Zone, Deutschland steht am Ende der Rangliste.

 

Germans Suddenly Poor

The Bundesbank (Germany’s central bank) has just published a study showing that the average German household is a full three times less wealthy than its crisis-hit Spanish or Italian counterparts.

Poor

Whereas the median Spanish household has net wealth of €178,000, the equivalent in Germany is €51,000.

“These German households are downright poor,” a spokesman for the Bundesbank said after presenting the study. “Relatively speaking, I mean. In fact they are so poor that they have to eat cereal with a fork just to save milk.”

“Poor? These households are so poor they only have two TV channels: On and off.”

“We’re talking poor here, folks. These households are so poor that the ducks throw bread at them.”

Germany’s relatively low level of home ownership is one of the principal reasons suggested for the wealth disparity.

Inequality For All

That seems to be what most Germans think their country provides them with these days. They are forever moaning and groaning about how the German “social divide” keeps widening.

Germans can be pretty innumerate, you see, believe it or not (when the media hype wants them to be). Nobody ever stops to consider the numbers here, either (just like everywhere else). You have to go to professional-like people on the outside (like at The Economist) for that.

DIW, an economic think-tank in Berlin, says that inequality rose significantly after German reunification; but that it has fallen a bit since 2005 (see chart). Awkwardly for the left, that is when Angela Merkel became chancellor, in coalition first with the SPD, then with the FDP.

Numbers

This is the opposite of what the public believes. According to a study by Allensbach, a polling institute, 69% of Germans think wealth and income are unfairly distributed, and almost two-thirds believe inequality has risen in the past few years. That is good for the left.

Germany remains a huge social and economic success, something that it often seems unGerman to savour.