fancy a game of “Who wants to be a millionaire?”? The crucial question is: what is the name of the country in which the 32 richest households own as much as the entire poorer half of the population? A) Brazil B) Cameroon C) India D) Germany.

you don’t need a Joker: Correct answer is D, Germany.

Who manages Günther Jauch to the jackpot, wants to be a millionaire. But rich it is not so for a long time. Porsche drivers, First-Class Aviator, Gucci-bags-makers or high earners – the current standards for wealth are to think of the naive Middle class. Real wealth has nothing to do with it.

“portfolio-optimization program”

Really rich people such as Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler and her son Georg. They occupy sixth place on the list of the richest of the German “Manager magazine”. Their ancestors founded in the time of national socialism, a company that grew from Generation to Generation. Estimated value of the assets: 17 billion Euro. In the next few weeks, around 700 million, because the two heirs have indulged as the largest shareholder, an unusually high dividend payout of your Schaeffler AG and Continental AG.

But unfortunately, the shops in your industry, the automotive supply industry, just not as good. On the stock exchange they had to accept in recent times, even at a loss. Nevertheless, to the lush dividend lift, you have to save elsewhere: in the case of employees. Klaus Rosenfeld, CEO of Schaeffler AG had to announce, last week, at a press conference the same two messages For the owner, there is a high level of dividend, for the employees of a “portfolio-optimization program”. In German: 900 will be deleted. Alone from this year’s dividend of the two Schaeffler, heirs of the 900 victims could live for 30 years worry-free.

The spring is the best time of year for billionaires. One group after the other announces the annual dividend, so the amount of the sum that will enrich the owners. Volkswagen has not yet paid out, never a higher dividend, as it is planned for this year. Among the profiteers of the Porsche family, ranked nine on the rich list, whose capital grows by about 180 million euros. Because of the diesel scandal, VW-in-chief Herbert Diess have to tighten the belt more closely in future. Not the the owner. 5000 jobs are to be dismantled.

thank God, is for BMW to feel nothing of a crisis. In the past ten years, the car maker has posted strong gains. Because even the employees were involved with bonus payments. Thus, the income of the BWM staff will have increased in ten years by a good 35 percent. Most of the workers in Germany would be delighted. The dividends increased during the same period, too, of course. The 13-Fold. The income of the owner grows to 37 times faster than the wages of the employees, who have earned the profit. Performance company made in Germany.

Stefan Quandt and his sister Susanne Klatten have inherited nearly half of the company BMW. Your share of the profits amounts to approximately 1.2 billion euros. The workers have to pay on your salary, up to 42 percent income tax. Of the 1.2 billion euros the heirs of only 25 percent capital gains tax are deducted. And accountants know how to push the tax rate in real terms. Legally, of course.

basic law-article 14: “the property obliges.”

Actually, the principle that the strong shoulders of the society to bear a greater load, by the basic law, the social state principle to article 14: “the property obliges. Its use should also serve the public weal.” But – why not apply?

For Germany’s billionaires for the past few decades were a Golden era. While the founder of the company, invested their profits, today many descendants of the checkout. Between 1991 and 2016, the profits of German corporations grew three-fold. For which the net investment is not increased, however. On the contrary, they shrank to a quarter. Where are the billions? On the accounts of the owners. The dividend payments of the Dax-listed companies have increased since the financial crisis, to 60 percent.

The use of company profits is only one reason for the redistribution of wealth to such an extent as to be the otherwise bloody revolution is necessary. This time, however, not from the top down, but Vice versa. In 1970, the richest tenth of the Germans, 44 percent of the total net assets owned. Already in 2014, when the last measurement was to grow their share of well-63 per cent. However, the actual redistribution of miracle occurred. The richest 5 percent own half of everything, so just as much as the poorest 95 percent. The richest one percent to one-third, the richest one per thousand to 17 per cent.

“Only in the USA, the wealth concentration is even more extreme than in Germany,” says Michael Hartmann, Germany’s most famous elite researchers. In his new book, “The Draw”, Hartmann has studied the wealth distribution in different historical periods and comes to the conclusion: “Presumably, the concentration of Wealth was never before in the history as big as it is today.” The German Rich to live in the best time in the second-best in the country. For you.

The asset revolution led to an estrangement between the nobility and the common people. The sociologist Rainer Volume has found out: half of The German population considers the Wealthy to be reckless, 62 percent is selfish. That sounds like the usual populist criticism of the Establishment. However, views about fellow citizens with a wealth of background to the perceived truths are in agreement, exceptionally, with the findings of science. “The Constitution requires taxation according to the ability to pay principle. Part of the genetics of the German state,” says Thomas Eigenthaler. He is Chairman of the German tax trade Union, the representation of the financial officials. But the story of the Rich, who Finance with their taxes to the state almost alone, is one of the myths that have become established in the consciousness of the Germans. Decided to resist Stefan Bach, a tax expert at the German Institute for economic research (DIW) speaks: “The very Rich have an overall lower tax rate than someone with a € 100,000 annual income,” says Stefan Bach. “How much taxes the Rich pay, but actually, we don’t know.”

“Tax the rich!”

Thomas Eigenthaler comes from the perspective of the German tax authorities to the same result: “In the last few decades, the P policy a remarkable benevolence towards the well-off have shown. The Rich RUB their hands and say: My God, is this company stupid.”

Since the 90s, yet any Federal government has to the lobby pressure of the possession of class give way to the German tax system adapted to your requirements. All types of taxes from which the Rich were either cut drastically or abolished: corporate tax: down, capital gains tax down, stock exchange turnover tax: way, tax on business capital: a way to wealth tax: exposed. Someone has to fill the holes: the normal income earners. Unlike in the 1970s, the state financed today primarily through consumption taxes such as VAT, energy tax, tobacco tax or alcohol tax. Since the same tax rate applies to all, from the Hartz-IV-recipients to dividend king. The Everyone-taxes were constantly increased, and to bring together the Treasury, in the meantime, almost four times the revenue as all corporate taxes, business taxes and capital income taxes.

The Rich have left the financing of the state largely of the middle class. The tax system is, however, not only the state budget, it should also be redistributed from the top to the bottom. However, the calculations by Stefan Bach come to the conclusion: “It will be redistributed mainly between the bottom 95 percent. In addition, the effect is clear.” In other words: is Redistributed between the BMW driver, the Polo, the driver and the tram driver. The private jet pilot are out.

After the 2008 financial crisis, Germany experienced the longest boom of the postwar period. Of the is slowly coming to an end. The employees have enabled the Boom, were able to benefit from it. Finance Minister, Olaf Scholz, is concerned that in the budget soon to be a billion in the hole. Could the Richest’t help out with a wealth tax? Thomas Eigenthaler expected violent resistance in such a foray. “The Propaganda against the property tax is very successful. From the point of view of the super people that fall for it are rich, so something as useful idiots, to be protected by their Fearfulness, de facto, only the big assets.”

all the people in the United States is currently discussed seriously about the introduction of a wealth tax for the super rich. Elizabeth Warren, who wants to be a presidential candidate for the Democrats, has submitted a Plan: anyone Who owns more than 50 million dollars, to pay two per cent of the asset. 270 billion dollars to come in a year. Political observers expect that the debate on the billionaire caste, and the battle cry of “Tax the rich!” – Taxed the Rich! – the election 2020 will greatly determine.

“envy debate”

Stefan Bach DIW has calculated the concept of Elizabeth Warren for Germany. Result: would have to Pay about 8000 households, and bring would the wealth tax for the super rich, nearly 18 billion euros, about as much as the solidarity surcharge.

Germany has imported always the political mega-topics from the United States. It is therefore to be expected that in this country soon the property tax will be a fight. Then is told in every parliamentary debate and every talk show back in the fairy tale of the “property taxation”. The problem: A wealth tax of one or two percent, reduces the capital of the company. The endangered jobs. The owners are fighting not for themselves but for their workforces. A story for the “useful idiots”. “The fact that a wealth tax is reduced, the substance of the assets, in the case of the super-rich, extremely unlikely”, said DIW expert on Bach. Two percent of the companies and the asset managers of the top 8000 easily earn. A wealth tax would only reduce the profit, not the substance.

The Ludwig Erhard knew that already. He demanded a capital levy of 1.6 per cent. Today, the ruling class calls any discussion of “envy debate”. At that time it was called the economic miracle.

A further statement, the soon prayer mill-like to be delivered, is: It is much too time-consuming to collect a property tax. “The effort for the state, an equitable property tax to collect is minimal, compared to the effort, with the Hartz-IV-receiver to be controlled,” says elite researcher Michael Hartmann. Thomas Eigenthaler, the previously self-edited at the tax office for property taxes, of white: “A property tax for a small group of super for the financial management of the absolutely no Problem.”

“Multi-Family Office”

The tax burden is only one of many errors about Germany’s upper class. An important misconception relates to the richness of self. When in Germany, it is argued, it is almost always income. It’s great for the top of the 8000, because you know: income is wealth for beginners. Anyone who lives, has to work for his living, perhaps. This also includes the Manager. Their salaries have increased in the past years dramatically, but also the favorite enemies of the Germans are only servants of the owner, be terminated if you do not like.

wealth is the wealth of Advanced. The French Economist Thomas Piketty has found that the assets grow faster than the economy. This means that Perhaps the performance is worth it, but wealth is worth so much more. The well-to-do wait for the multiply your capital with the work or ideas, but with:. Billionaires bring their money to the Bank you have a Bank. Called the “Family Office”. There are dozens of highly-paid magician of money, the travel around the entire globe spells sometimes, in search of investment opportunities. 200 families for such an Institute, this is just for you alone since the deal in Germany. 900 more families to trust a “Multi Family Office” that serves up to 30 clients. The “Association of independent Family Offices e. V.”, a non-profit Association.

charitable status saves on taxes.

Family Offices provide a return of between five and 15 percent. Middle class people have no assets, but Savings that will generate less than one percent interest. Nevertheless, everyone knows someone who the time to the correct share, typed or in time a condo in a good location. Sometimes luck have even normies. Who can afford a Family Office, always has luck, and is in every Boom.

The most important rule of the asset Manager’s absolute discretion. Discretion is the defining characteristic in the parallel society of the capital. This is a major cultural change, because over the centuries it was a privilege of the upper layer, seen. She was lifted to the podium. Today, invisibility is your privilege. Most German billionaires live in hiding and undetected. The Symbol of true wealth in this country is the Ferrari or Rolex watch, but a non-coated garden fence. From Afar, the outlines of the Villa. Probably parked in the underground garage of a classic car collection, but for the daily routes, of the folks prefer to take the Passat. Jewelers reports of walk-in jewelry cabinets, but the brilliant you are wearing, at most, “entre nous”. The German Rich to splurge. You can do so, as it didn’t exist at all.

In the culture of wealth, art has always had a special place. This has not changed. However, earlier, the high-born patrons. They promoted the unknown talents and financed works of art, which would have been created without your help never. Today’s Rich don’t buy art to surround yourself with beautiful images. Your art Portfolio is stored forever in air-conditioned, dark, high-security bunkers in Geneva, Luxembourg and Singapore. The unadorned concrete blocks are available in the duty-free no-man’s land. This saves taxes. Although most of the works will never be seen by human eyes, they frequently change the owner. For it are pure investment properties, such as stock, only more colorful.

a Clear balance of power

Michael Hartmann has been lit as a researcher every angle of the German upper class, and notes a striking change in their behavior: “Traditionally, up until the’ 70s, felt the owners of the companies the workforce more committed. That’s been lost since the 80s, almost completely.”

As the sense of responsibility of the company took the owner from Generation to Generation, clearly shows the biggest Problem of the Germans: during the Stay. Once it was customary that the largest employers in the factory built housing for their workers, in which these good and cheap hotel. All parts of the city are so developed, so also in Berlin, the Siemens city.

Today, companies no longer feel responsible for how their employees live. To have been times of mass unemployment, the policy, the Watchword: Social is what creates jobs. From this, the employer concluded: the pesky Rest, we no longer need to take care of us from now on. The settlements were silver-plated. From the living room were objects. The owners had built the apartments once, in order to increase the prosperity of their workers. For the descendants, you are now an Instrument to increase the prosperity of the owner. At the expense of the tenant.

The housing market is the place where the distribution in question is tangible. Here, the social explosives. Here anger is injustice. As in the Siemens city. There, the “Deutsche Wohnen has secured Berlin’s largest apartment companies, a considerable part of the apartments:”. “The company does not care about the rent level and increases in their objects, every three years, the rent by 15 percent,” says Marcel Eupen, Chairman of the Alternative tenant, and consumer protection of the Federal government.

place in the capital of the Vonovia, which is, however, in Germany, the largest owner of private flats. At both companies the company, Blackrock has the biggest share package. The American company is the richest asset managers in the world and controls some 6.4 trillion dollars. In order to generate so much money, the economy of the state of Berlin a good 41 years. Clear Power Relations.

resistance

However, among the actually powerless Berliners resistance. An Initiative from several tenants, collects unite signatures for a referendum. You want to expropriate the “Deutsche Wohnen” and “Vonovia”. What began as a radical left-wing spinning, evolving to the forefront of Berlin’s urban policy. In a report by the renowned Berlin administrative rights activist Reiner looks Geulen no constitutional barriers to such expropriation. The Senate of the capital, and tried, the cost of the compensation due estimate: up to 36 billion euros.

“the property obliges. Its use should also serve the public weal.” It says So in article 14 of the basic law. There has never been expropriated in the Federal property, because the behavior of the owners speaks to this principle. Such a question was not on the agenda. Until now. The necessary signatures will be get the desire for people’s Initiative is likely to be along. That you are reached at the end of your goal and the organization “Deutsche Wohnen” and “Vonovia” expropriated in fact, keep the majority of professionals, although this is unlikely.

But it is not excluded.

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Teodora Torrendo is an investigative journalist and is a correspondent for European Union. She is based in Zurich in Switzerland and her field of work include covering human rights violations which take place in the various countries in and outside Europe. She also reports about the political situation in European Union. She has worked with some reputed companies in Europe and is currently contributing to USA News as a freelance journalist. As someone who has a Masters’ degree in Human Rights she also delivers lectures on Intercultural Management to students of Human Rights. She is also an authority on the Arab world politics and their diversity.

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