imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Tax Evasion and the Social State

by Brigitte Unger and Hans-Joachim Schabedoth Wednesday, Mar. 13, 2013 at 3:11 AM

The good social state invests in the social, in the education of children of the new lower classes... Taxes is the price we pay for a civilized society (Oliver Wendell Holmes).. The state share must increase in a developed society since ever greater demands are made on the state.



Taxes as the Price of a Civilized Society

by Brigitte Unger

[This article published in February 2013 on the “Gegenblende” website of the German DGB union is translated from the German on the Internet,]

Paying taxes is one of the duties of citizens as the right to vote is one of their rights. Taxes is the price we pay for a civilized society, Oliver Wendell Holmes, chief justice of the US Supreme Court, said in 1870. A state that acts to protect its citizens needs revenue to do this. At the same time as Holmes, the German economist Adolph Wagner showed the state share must increase in a developed society since ever greater demands are made on the state. A modern state needs disproportionally increasing state revenues to do justice to these rising demands. The share of taxes in the gross domestic product must continuously increase.


Tax obligations are distributed very differently in the development of taxes since the liberalization of the financial markets in the 1980s. The tax burden of labor and capital has clearly shifted to the disadvantage of labor. Thus the corporation tax, the tax on the income of legal persons, de facto on the profits of corporations, was drastically lowered in all OECD countries... In Germany, this tax share amounts to 15.825% of taxable income. This is markedly less than in the neighboring countries Austria and the Netherlands where it is 25%.

While a basic principle of a fair tax system is that income should be taxed equally – regardless of its source -, labor suffers a clear disadvantage in our present tax system.


On the unequal distribution of tax burdens, a general decline of tax revenues in the percentage of the GDP has occurred in the EU since the financial crisis which makes us apprehensive whether we4 aren't further distancing ourselves from the civilization postulated by Holmes. The financing deficit on account of falling tax revenues has become greater because of falling state revenues and drastic austerity packages in many EU countries. This is not so true in Germany where the gap between spending and revenue decreased considerably. The rise of tax revenues was extolled.

Given these promising possibilities, one could ask why tax evasion is not an election theme... Why hasn't politics tackled tax evasion? One explanation is that politics cannot control economic events. Politics has either become part of an elite that doesn't want to be fully involved in the public cause or is so restrained by this elite it is kept under a tight rein and lacks freedom of action for political creativity. Every political statement about financial market regulation or closing tax havens can be annulled by conjuring collapses of the DAX (German stock exchange) or speculation against the debt obligations of the state.


Increasing tax evasion is a sign of an unequal income distribution. The group that can evade earns more to evade more and more. Different groups are treated unequally. Top-earners can evade more simply. Foundation structures in Liechtenstein and trust structures in the Netherlands and Luxemburg are ways blocked to low-earners.

Tax evasion is a reward of an income group that already earns vast sums. The financial crisis has intensified the crisis since it leads to increased income inequality and new tax evasion. The top 1% earners in Germany had the greatest increases in income as Claus Schaefer showed in the last 2012 WSI distribution report. This little group profits from the tax evasion possibilities.

The four freedoms proclaims by the EU seem reduced to the “freedom of paying no taxes.” An elite doesn't pay its taxes any more and increasingly finds oases to park funds from the tax evasion. Protected by banking secrecy in Andorra, Monaco and Switzerland, more and more EU citizens elude tax obligations by shifting to tax havens. For Germany, another 300 billion are parked abroad annually beside the 40-158 billion.

The increasing tax evasion is a sign of an increasing de-solidarity of a society through excessive income differences. The high income group has exalted itself so it seeks nothing any more for the public interest. When one is a billionaire, one doesn't need a public health system and public education. Public streets may be unnecessary when one hurries in private helicopter to the next event. The more unequal the distribution, the more unequal the needs for the public sector and the less readiness of the rich for the poor.


What should politics do against tax evasion? Obviously the taxes should be collected more vigorously. Buying CDs with 2006 lists of tax evaders in Liechtenstein set a political sign to the elite that the state, the German tax authorities, will act in the next years in Switzerland. But mildness in dealing with the tax evaders is striking when we see how the state deals with its tax-evading elite compared to a shoplifter. This is manifest in the planned agreement between Germany and Switzerland that the Bundesrat happily rejected... Assets invested in Switzerland in the past were washed clean when a tax between 17.5% and 34% was paid... Tax evaders were not prosecuted since the tax ob ligation was “settled” with the payment.

A shoplifter doesn't come off so lightly. His fine is fixed in relation to the stolen good and a jail sentence up to five years is imposed in case of repetition. In the future, Germany will have balance data about a limited number of Germans suspected of tax flight in Switzerland. According to the Le Monde newspaper from 8/18/2011, there were only 500 persons per year...


Although investigating tax evaders internationally would be simple, this investigation failed within Europe and between Germany and Switzerland. Bringing the elite to pay taxes and make their contribution to a civilized society seems arduous. Is there a more direct way to civilization? The cause for increasing tax evasion is increased income inequality. Taxes and above all unpaid taxes are only the reflection of an enormous difference in values. We have today an unparalleled inequality of income distribution and an even greater inequality of assets. A hedge-fund manager earns a million times more than a worker. The enormous differences between poor and rich, the “takeoff” of the elite into income stratospheres far removed from any economic reality, have led to the destruction of the idea that work is rewarding today.

People orient themselves in the income of their peer group or reference group and no longer in a social value system. When manager A receives a million euro for a lecture, manager B must also receive that, regardless of how surrealist are the sums. What money is worth in real units of goods and services, how many jobs, how much food and how many hours of work are no longer subjects of negotiation. No one would think of converting the income of a person of 1.2 million euro which is quite normal in this elitist world. A mini-jobber would have to work 250 years to earn that amount when inflation and compound interest are deducted.

In the 1960s the assumption was relatively widespread in Germany that everyone should share in prosperity and everyone contribute in the form of taxes. This attitude was morally convincing, protected from system-threatening inequalities and guaranteed social peace.

Income differences must be limited if we want to live crisis-free in a stable system. Redistribution and a clear limitation of income is necessary for systemic stability. Unions and co-workers of WSI successfully attacked regulations for mini-jobs and subcontracted work in wage contracts in their demands for minimum wages. Aristotle should be remembered if we want to prevent enormous differences of incomes, as established in the 2012 WSWI distribution report. Aristotle urged income differences not more than 1:10 (not like today 1:1,000,000). A limit on top income is also necessary. Taxes are an elegant possibility of skimming off – but only when immediately collected and tax-evaders prosecuted as thieves of public funds.


by Hans-Joachim Schabedoth

[This article published January 14, 2013 on the German DGB union website Gegenblende is translated from the German on the Internet,]

As a rule, documents from conferences hardly arouse great reading delight among non-participants. The volume from the October 2011 conference of the German postal workers union foundation is a happy exception to this rule. Fruits of reading can be enjoyed... Many are still puzzled at the frog metaphor of the FDP's Philipp Rosler: “If you throw a frog into hot water, it immediately hops out. If you put a frog in cold water and slowly raise the temperature, it first notices nothing and does nothing. When it notices something, it is too late for the frog. (pause).” So much for the nice Mr. Rosler. At a later talk show appearance, the German chancellor was presumably meant in the judgment “too late for the frog.” However in the meantime people know better. Whoever attacks the social state with sheer brute force provokes greater defensive reactions than insidious dismantling operations.


The speeches and discussions from the conference reveal this insidious process from very different perspectives. The market radical wreaking ball did its work after the financial market crisis. In our days, the social state is endangered through overlooking social plights and the chronic drying up of its financing base. Verdi-economist Norbert Reuter analyzes the “disaster of financial- and fiscal policy” that led to the poor state. The enlightened journalist Albrecht Mueller recalls how the social state was talked about through manipulation of public opinion. The Schroeder government in office at that time was a victim of the barrage against so-called non-wage labor costs and for deregulated market forces. Some time or other, Gerhard Schroeder and Joschka Fischer then lost their delight in patient opposition and resistance. They forced their parties to adapt. “If you can't beat them, join them.” Obviously they didn't do this as rigidly as the former crusaders against the social state urged on all talk shows. The insight that alternatives, not variants, to market radicalism are vital has grown through the financial market crisis. Only the Black-Yellow want to keep riding the dead nag “all-power-to-the-markets.” Angela Merkel even speaks of “market-conforming democracy.”

The steep learning curve in social democracy is clear in its acting chairperson Hubertus Heil. In his article, he emphasizes investing in preventive social policy so growing social neediness does not become explosive dynamite to social cohesion. Whether better insights and learning from political mistakes bear fruits will be revealed in the makeup of the 2013 Bundestag. Several points will be set. Can the division of society be stopped? Hans-Jochen Vogel, one of the great social democrats of our time, analyzes the obligatory basic law. The German basic law, state constitutions and key documents of the European Union are not consistent with Angela Merkel's ideas about “market-conforming democracy.”


The state has social guaranteeing functions that are not exhausted in warding off enormous distress and misery. In his article, Nikolaus Schneider, the council chairperson of the EKD, explains why participation- and empowerment-justice are necessary to ensure the inner unity of society. The journalistHeribert Pranti says: “The good social state is not a business that only waits for sickness, unemployment or a blow of fate and then intervenes in a healing way. Its high achievement does not only appear at the level of supply when the need arises and calamities are compensated. It also appears in the creativity with which it enables its citizens to live self-determined lives. The good social state invests in the social, for example in the education of children of the new lower classes. The social state transforms the weakness of the migration generation into strength; it promotes the linguistic abilities and intercultural wealth of this generation. Social policy must grow beyond its industrial-social origin.”

The objection can already be anticipated: this sounds good but who should pay for all this? Frank Bsirske's article is very useful for this question. “Justice is different.” That is his judgment on the inheritance from neoliberal times which is discredited buit not ended. Whoever needs a fast argument – for the coming election conflicts – will find it here on ten pages.

Sven Giegold's “Perspectives for a Welfare State Europe” are still worth reading more than a year after the documented conference. How can a majority of voters still believe the stability of the Euro, the security of German state finances and new orientations on the fate of the European Union are in good hands with the incumbent government? All the articles of the book show “that there are plausible, humane and just alternatives to this course,” as Franz Treml, chairperson of the DGB foundation, says in the foreword.

Are Deutsche Telekom and Deutsche Post DHL very conventional corporations like all the others? Union representatives see this differently than members of boards of directors. One of them, Rene Obermann, does not see economic efficiency and social justice in an indissoluble contradiction. May he be heard by many people! Outside appearance and inner life can differ enormously. This is clear in the documented debate with Lothar Schroeder and other Verdi-insiders on Corporate Social Responsibility.

In his article, Ulrich Schneider, managing director of the German Welfare Alliance, ends his 173-page book as follows: “At the moment we have a policy that produces poverty. That is the shame or disgrace that we have to face. We must do something together to slowly end this degradation.” Opportunities exist. Whoever notices nothing and does nothing could be cooked by the nice Mr. Rosler and his “mommy” until it is too late.

Report this post as:

Local News

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 12:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 12:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 4:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J10 11:58PM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M30 10:20PM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 12:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 1:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 2:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 3:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 2:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 1:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 1:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 4:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 1:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A26 10:37PM


lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Paraphysique de martyrologie J17 8:00AM

[NEW HOT] World Soccer King Hack Coins and Gems J17 4:32AM

Asian Countries:Cambodia, Vietnam, N. Korea do not permit unlawful immigration J16 8:06PM

Children Incorporated Earns 4-Star Rating on Charity Navigator J16 11:24AM

Democratic Socialists of America J14 4:57PM

Leonard Peltier Non Violent Native American Political Prisoner since 1970's J14 4:18PM

Paraphysique miscellanées de l'aggiornamento J14 12:54AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Cleanup J13 4:14PM

FBI Investigated LA County Sheriff Baca,Why Not Hank Skinner's Persecution? J13 3:52PM

Updated Partial List Of Famous Vegetarians, Vegans, & Fruitarians J13 2:59PM

The Shortwave Report 07136/18 Listen Globally! J12 4:36PM

Social Policy as Social Infrastructure J12 3:38AM

Vol I: 84 Varieties Of GOP Election Fraud J12 1:50AM

Texas Can Call it An Execution,But It is A State Sponsored Murder of Hank Skinner.. J11 6:48PM

June 2018 Honduras coup update J11 3:35PM

Maria Estrada doubles down on racist support J11 1:40PM

New York Women in Film & Television Announces 2018 NYWIFT Ha Phuong Scholarship Recipients J11 10:14AM

Trapps de la domination, trapps de l'aliénation J11 1:31AM

Please Work For The Defeat Of Brett Kavanaugh And Why J09 8:54PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 1:27PM

Transinhumanisme ( transe inhumanisme ) J09 12:44PM

Google, World's Biggest Censor, Was Founded By The CIA J09 10:25AM

For a World Free of Nuclear Risks J09 8:29AM

Corrupt CDC Ignores Meat Fish Recalls J09 4:55AM

The (Temporary) End of Globalization J09 3:03AM

Aternatives to Abortions such as Plan B the pill, condoms and IUD J08 4:03PM

U.S Congressional Legal Minds Know Better Than Allowing Texas To Murder Hank Skinner J08 3:37PM

ACLU in many US states defends in court KKK and American Nazis Sometimes for Money J07 11:28PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy