Soaking The Rich Is Not The Paradigm Shift Germany Needs

Lynne Kiesling

Tyler’s got a link to some information on Germany’s ruling SDP’s proposal to impose an additional 3% income tax for those earning above 250,000 Euros. The appalling claim, though, is that the putative objective of this policy is to rally disaffected voters, not to raise any meaningful amount of tax revenue.

What is the mechanism through which such a policy would rally disaffected voters? Schaudenfreude? If so, I think that’s a pretty bleak statement about the intellectual bankruptcy of German politics. We can’t come up with any better ideas, so we’re going to tap into the base human desire to delight in the suffering of others? Furthermore, what does it say that you are willing to delight in the suffering of those who have become successful? Levellers. Disgusting.

I’ve been arguing for a while that Germany needs a paradigm shift in its regulatory and tax policies if it is going to become a dynamic, vibrant, thriving economy. This ain’t it. And I become less and less convinced that German politicians have the nerve and stomach to achieve it. I would say that they need to be more Churchillian, but that would just reinforce the perception that we are trying to impose the Anglo model on them, wouldn’t it?

Dare we hope that these disaffected voters will see through the lame pandering? I have to admit that I’m not optimistic. Perhaps my friends in Hamburg should start packing …

7 thoughts on “Soaking The Rich Is Not The Paradigm Shift Germany Needs

  1. What do you think would happen if they permitted their stores to be open more hours? Could that help the economy, or would it just be “peeing in the soup”?

  2. At this point I think it’s a drop in the bucket. But optimistically, it could be a little tipping point that leads to greater things. But I’m not optimistic on this one.

  3. The FDP party, though by no means free-traders or capitalists, are often able to shout out cute names for “RED/GREEN” tax policies from their opposition corner and they immediately deemed the new 3% tax on the rich the “Neid-Steuer” or envy tax. They were also the originators of the slogan “Rasen fuer die Rente” (Speed up for social security) when RED/GREEN passed an energy tax to prop up the failing (badly) retirement system.

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