Economic Policy inequality ZEIT ONLINE op-ed column

Equal opportunity, not basic income, for all

This text was also published in German in ZEIT ONLINE on April 14th as part of the op-ed column “Fratzschers Verteilungsfragen“.

Unconditional basic income has resurfaced as a subject of lively discussion. The Swiss rejected it last year, but other countries are already experimenting to find out what effects such basic income could produce.

It is being treated as a savior – some consider it a cure for social inequality and a means of modernizing the social system, while other … [continue reading]

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inequality ZEIT ONLINE op-ed column

There is no need to take in order to give

This text was also published in German in ZEIT ONLINE on March 31 as part of the op-ed column “Fratzschers Verteilungsfragen“.

Social inequality has become the main issue of political contention in Germany. The trenches are deeper and the struggle more vociferous than for any other issue. One camp wants to fortify society’s most vulnerable segments; the other believes that top performers should be rewarded. There are even intra-party rifts with no reconciliation in sight. But both sides are on … [continue reading]

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inequality ZEIT ONLINE op-ed column

Elites turning a blind eye to social inequality

This text was also published in German in ZEIT ONLINE on December 23 as part of the op-ed column “Fratzschers Verteilungsfragen“.

Germany’s widespread social inequality is real – but politicians are still in denial.

“The people may get most facts wrong, but their feelings are mostly correct,” wrote Kurt Tucholsky, with a dash of irony, on the political manipulation of Germany’s citizens. Though the quote is from 1931, it still holds true today. Significant portions of Germany’s population are feeling … [continue reading]

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Election2017 inequality ZEIT ONLINE op-ed column

In Germany, the poor are getting poorer

This text was also published in German in  ZEIT ONLINE on March 3rd  as part of the op-ed column “Fratzschers Verteilungsfragen“.

Recently, the Federal Government will soon present its fifth official Poverty and Wealth Report. But early leaks revealed the removal of passages concerning the richest citizens’ disproportionate political influence had already triggered widespread public outrage. Such an omission is especially troubling given that broad political participation – critical for a functional democracy – is lacking in Germany. In fact, … [continue reading]

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Economic Policy Public Finances and Financial Economics ZEIT ONLINE op-ed column

No envy, please!

This text was also published in German in  ZEIT ONLINE on February 3,  as part of the op-ed column “Fratzschers Verteilungsfragen“.

“Time for fairness“ is the motto of the new candidate for Chancellor of the German Social Democrats, Martin Schulz, in his campaign against Angela Merkel. The slogan is bound to strike a chord in a country where 70 percent of the people feel that inequality is too high. But the issue of fairness should not be the one at … [continue reading]

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