Good morning, dear reader,
the glue of our society is justice. The same laws apply to everyone, but when it comes to taxes and duties, the state takes more from the rich to give to the poor so that the wealth gap does not widen any further. That’s the theory.
The practice looks different. The relationship between the wealthy and the low paid has long been out of balance, and the current crises threaten to destroy it entirely. Anyone who owns a lot of shares has done brilliant business in the corona pandemic. The property of the ten richest families in Germany grew by 40 percent to believe it or not 230 billion euros. That not only seems unfair, but downright obscene. On the other hand, anyone who works as an employee or self-employed in the event industry, a cultural company or the catering trade may have lost all their savings and perhaps also lost their job and apartment.
The consequences of the war in Ukraine and the sanctions against Russia are now taking their toll. The skyrocketing energy prices and high inflation are hitting those who already have to turn over every euro the hardest. A representative survey for t-online shows: More and more citizens restrict themselves in everyday life. The federal government is trying to alleviate the damage by throwing billions in taxes among the people from its seemingly inexhaustible cornucopia – 300 euros in energy money here, a few months for 9 euros for bus and train travel there.
However, one-time actions do not solve the problem. The conflict with Russia will continue for months, possibly even years. We are probably only at the beginning of a serious economic shock.
Are we stumbling into a recession worse than the one that followed the financial crisis? Is a vicious cycle of runaway inflation, rising wages and rising producer prices stifling any chance of an economic recovery? These questions may sound abstract, but they have concrete consequences for the lives of millions of Germans.
They should therefore be answered in a competent and descriptive manner. Nobody in our editorial team could do that better than the head of our business and finance department, Florian Schmidt. In today’s podcast, I talk to him and our moderator Lisa Fritsch about the question of what happens to our money. Unless you’re a millionaire and don’t need to worry anyway, you should listen to this.
This week I was in Tokyo for 20 hours. The flying visit was enough to inspire me for the largest city in the world. I wandered through skyscrapers at night, heard party people cheering in the bars, had the order machine explained to me in a snack bar and was impressed by the politeness of the people.
Olaf Scholz was shown the hydrogen plant in Tokyo. (Source: F Harms)
Japan has already suffered from several economic crises, and Corona has also hit the country of 125 million people. But people are rolling up their sleeves, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s government passed a $45 billion stimulus package this week, and companies are inventing new technologies. On a factory site, managers showed us how they set up the world’s first supply cycle for hydrogen erect. If the process can be scaled globally, it can revolutionize energy supply.
This factory visit gave me hope. The challenges posed by the crises of our time – Corona, climate, war – may be huge. But with creativity, perseverance and determination they can be solved.
With this in mind, I wish you an uplifting weekend.
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With material from dpa.
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