Tax me to help us

This is not my typical post. I came across the following rather interesting news story on the BBC website and thought of sharing it with the readers of this blog. What are your thoughts? 

Rich Germans demand higher taxes

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8321967.stm

A group of rich Germans has launched a petition calling for the government to make wealthy people pay higher taxes.

The group say they have more money than they need, and the extra revenue could fund economic and social programmes to aid Germany’s economic recovery.

Germany could raise 100bn euros (£91bn) if the richest people paid a 5% wealth tax for two years, they say.

The petition has 44 signatories so far, and will be presented to newly re-elected Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The group say the financial crisis is leading to an increase in unemployment, poverty and social inequality.

Simply donating money to deal with the problems is not enough, they want a change in the whole approach.

“The path out of the crisis must be paved with massive investment in ecology, education and social justice,” they say in the petition.

Those who had “made a fortune through inheritance, hard work, hard-working, successful entrepreneurship, or investment” should contribute by paying more to alleviate the crisis.

The man behind the petition, Dieter Lehmkuhl, told Berlin’s Tagesspiegel that there were 2.2 million people in Germany with a fortune of more than 500,000 euros.

If they all paid the tax for two years, Germany could raise 100bn euros to fund ecological programmes, education and social projects, said the retired doctor and heir to a brewery.

Signatory Peter Vollmer told AFP news agency he was supporting the proposal because he had inherited “a lot of money I do not need”.

He said the tax would be “a viable and socially acceptable way out of the flagrant budget crisis”.

The group held a demonstration in Berlin on Wednesday to draw attention to their plans, throwing fake banknotes into the air.

Mr Vollmer said it was “really strange that so few people came”.

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3 Responses

  1. The Germans of today are not the Germans of yesterday, or are they?
    I have had nothing but high regards for the comportment of both Japan and German since the end of WW2. Thats a 180 degree turnabout for both from before and during the war. This takes it a notch further for the “deutchers” in my book. Selflessness? No, they look to improve their positions along with their fellow countrymen. Now thats forward thinking.Socialism? If so then I wish we could experience some of that over here in the US. No self respecting republican in this country would step up to the plate like that.

  2. This article should reaffirm readers’ belief in “Goodness” that still lives on and manifests itself in offers such as that of Dieter Lehmkuhl. I applaud you for sharing it since such stories rarely make big news, if at all.

    We need to applaud this reffort egardless of its origin in nationality, political affiliations, or any other qualifiers. We certainly need to appreciate it without attaching any hidden agenda on part of the sponsors. After all, Germans of today and yesteryears will be as different as we ourselves are from our older generations.

    It is my hope that Petitioners’ direction for areas of massive investment is heeded to as these petitioners must already be good at picking investments.

    Finally, I also hope that Angela Merkel will put her executive heft behind this well-intentioned effort. This will provide encouragement to rest of rich Germans and bring relief to those that are not. It also showcases to rest of the world that Goodness is alive !!

  3. I believe there was a smaller movement in the US, which was supported by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. Of course this movement died out rather quickly because many billionaires were scared that their unused billion dollar bank deposits would be used for something.
    We in America should continue to re-define what is a “public good”.

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