‘To Save Capitalism, We Must Help the Young’

Some surprising ideas from Deutsche Bank, a pillar of the German financial establishment.

Deutsche Bank AG may be the biggest bank in Germany, but that hasn’t kept its research arm from sounding a bit like Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the lefty New York Democratic congresswoman, in the new issue of the bank’s magazine Konzept.

The issue made headlines on Bloomberg and elsewhere for proposing a 5% tax on people who work from home, with the proceeds going to help low earners who aren’t able to work from home. 

That’s not the only progressive concept in opinion pieces published in the November issue of Konzept, a publication of Deutsche Bank Research. (These are not official positions of Deutsche Bank.) Here are some others:

  • In a lead article titled “To Save Capitalism, We Must Help the Young,” the authors suggest a capital gains tax on the increase in housing value, or perhaps a stamp tax that the owner would pay at the time the house is sold. They also suggest a “super tax” on stocks to compensate for the environmental damage companies have done. They suggest “more centralized control of city planning” to get more housing built, as well as “dramatic government subsidies” for higher education. To offset the voting power of old people, they recommend giving more power to youth advisory councils.
  • An article about fighting climate change says “a certain degree of eco-dicatorship will be necessary.”  It says “carbon prices will have to rise considerably in order to nudge people to change their behavior.” 
  • An article on how to prevent Covid-19 from turning cities into “zombies” says governments should consider “radical urbanism,” which would include rezoning commercial zones residential and letting people operate businesses out of their homes, creating a chaotic but vibrant “hodgepodge city.”
  • To close the digital divide, an article proposes having big tech companies give free broadband access and tech training courses to 10 million low-income Black and Hispanic households in the U.S. It cites a survey saying that 36% of Americans aged 16-24 claim that digital connectivity is more important to them than food.
  • Then there’s the idea of taxing people for working from home. In the U.S., the article says, a 5% tax on working from home “could pay for a $1,500 grant to the 29m workers who cannot work from home and earn under $30,000 a year (excluding those who earn tips).” It adds: “Many of these people are those who assumed the health risks of working during the pandemic and are far more ‘essential’ than their wage level suggests.”

You can find the original article here.

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