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CNN and CNBC are reporting a story about a group of German millionaires who are volunteering to pay an additional 10% in income taxes for 10 years to help the German government meet its budget needs in a time of austerity.
The movement, known as the Club of the Wealthy, was formed in 2009 and now 51 German millionaires have written a letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel proposing their idea. It would not actually be voluntary - the idea is to have the government impose a temporary 10% charge on income. It's unclear whether the proposal has much support among the broader circle of Germany's élite - there are 800,000 German millionaires, so if only 51 have signed the letter after a year's efforts, that may signal its lack of support. But the movement is gaining momentum and is underpinned by Germany's longstanding social democracy framework.
There are interesting things afoot in Germany. After being criticized for its slow reaction to the European financial crisis, the Germans moved forcefully on financial industry regulation. It all began with the German move to ban naked short selling, which ban has been the cause of much complaint and controversy in other countries (see German Naked Short Selling Ban). The Germans are also pressing for the G20 to adopt an FTT (or financial transactions tax) on banks to help pay for bailouts. Many outside Germany could not understand why the Germans were suddenly making such a strong thrust on financial regulation - it is for the same reason as the Club for the Wealthy came out with its proposal - the German public is demanding a pound of flesh.
Originally posted by Carseller4
This is Germany, so what do you expect?
Here in the real world, a better idea would be for the millionaires to use the 10% to hire more people and grow their business.
I thought it took intelligence to become a millionaire? Guess not, if you are in Germany?
Combine this with Germany cutting government by 10% and you have the makings of some real growth. But I am not a German millionaire, so what do I know?
Originally posted by above
Millionaires, billionaires. Both are enemies of the state. I know this statement will cause much uproar over here at capitalist ATS, but lets face it. If you have hundreds to thousands to millions time more money then the average citizen, then you have managed to screw a hell of a lot of people over in doing business. This should not be admired = american view, it should be frowned upon.
If i ever reached a wealth level of not ever having to worry about anything anymore, i sure as hell would start to FIGHT the capitalist powers that still try to milk the last penny of the customers.
As it stands now, i only am so wealthy that i can probably live the next 10-20 years without doing any work.
[edit on 6/27/2010 by above]