Economic Update: Germany Shifts Left

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On this week's show, Prof. Wolff presents updates on Biden's and Democrats' fading tax reforms, German and Austrian politics shift left, Yale sells out to rich donors, product shortages often deliberate, wages for housework, and real US food inflation.


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Showing 4 comments

  • Edward Dodson
    commented 2021-11-18 12:51:21 -0500
    Responding to Lawrence Goldman —
    COVID19 exacerbated but did not cause the rise in “rents” in the United States. There are multiple causes preventing an increase in supply to demand the demand as young adults leave a parent’s home and live independently. There are many instances where existing residents oppose zoning variances to permit higher density development or oppose using public funds to subsidize the purchase of land and the construction of housing units affordable to low and moderate income households. All this acknowledged, the fundamental problem is twofold: (1) the over-taxation of housing (which is a depreciating asset); and (2) the under-taxation of land value (which allows owners to sit on vacant land for years or decades, thus artificially creating a supply shortage that drives up land prices; and, which makes land an attractive asset for speculation rather than purchase for development).
  • Laurence Goldman
    commented 2021-11-17 16:16:56 -0500
    I returned from 2 years in lockdown in India this June. I was AMAZED at how grocery prices had escalated. They have often doubled or tripled from when I left. It would be great if someone documents this. As well as the astronomical increase in rents throughout the US. These are the true legacies of Covid.
  • anthony hall
    commented 2021-11-17 13:17:54 -0500
    Germany is committing Fiscal Suicide .Rising EU Gas Prices, Inflation 10%, Increased Cost of Living. Meanwhile the Russian/ German Nordstream 2 Gas Pipeline sits ,Full of Cheap Russian Gas. Frau Merkel fails to stand up to the American Empire, Quivering Poodle.
  • Edward Dodson
    commented 2021-11-17 12:48:32 -0500
    Something else is happening in one German province that is neither left nor right but is an important step in the direction of equity where the funding of government is concerned. Late last year, the parliament of the German state (“land”) of Baden-Wurttemburg passed legislation to introduce a state-wide land value tax. Baden-Wurttemburg, the “land” where Stuttgart and Mercedes-Benz is located, has a population of 11 million. If the reform is not repealed before taking effect, B-W will becomes the largest part of Europe to utilize a ground tax—or “grundsteuer” in Deutsch.

    The green/black coalition of environmentalists and Christian Democrats—who rule that “land” together—adopted the tax. Setting it at a very low rate and aiming it at metro land, made it more politically palatable, but less economically effective. The tax (if still around) won’t start up until 2025 (plenty of time for opponents to regroup). It took the ruling coalition seven years to put this tax on the books.
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