20 Feb 2012

Tolerance Day

It was Tolerance Day yesterday in Germany. The TV channels were all showing movies about racial tolerance, Galileo on Pro7 also had some interesting stories to show, all in the spirit of tolerating people who are different from us.

On Tolerance
I like to think of myself as a quite tolerant person. I have nothing against people who are different from me and I always empathize with disabled people. There are some things, though, that I will never be tolerant of, namely laziness. Pro7 was showing this couple who was living since 6 years in a camping park: he, in his late twenties and she, in her late forties (fifties?). In any case, the fact was that the woman was at the age of her husband's mother! As far as I understood from the programme, they did not work and were walking 5km to the closest grocery store if they needed food. If they had some disability that prevents them from working, I am fine with that, but it did not look that way. That's where the social state Germany comes in and pays them welfare. This money is coming from my pocket as a tax-payer in this country. While they are playing their guitars every evening and enjoying a life without work stress, the rest of us are paying for them. 

This reminds me of another such case: Arno Dübel, 55 years old, jobless since 30 years. He is also called the most hated man in Germany. The problem with this guy is that he does not want to work and lives off welfare money. And he is proud of it! 

In my opinion, such people should not receive welfare support at all. The whole social state philosophy of Germany has to be re-thought, but this takes political will, which will not come in the next couple of years. 

On Taxes and Tolerance
German income taxes are pretty high, going up to 45% for the top earners. Not only that but people who are not married pay higher taxes than married couples. That is more or less fine so far. But just recently, there was a proposition coming from some party to tax also people who have no children and are older than 25. The tax is supposed to be 1% of income! Why are people without children punished for this? This is not the right way to stimulate a population increase. This proposition was probably made by people who have no idea about family planning. 

So, on the one hand, we should be tolerant of people who have chosen to live like social outcasts and pay them support, but the state is not tolerant of people who have chosen not to have children. That is the stark contradiction that I cannot understand...

What is your opinion?

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    anybody remember this song "if you tolerate this, then your children will be next..".
    Well, I think that the principle of tolerance is the base of a society, but how can you tolerate something that makes no sense? TV shows like the one you described look like they suggest to understand some situations, but from my point of view they should explain that those situation can me improved..

    btw, very nice blog, thanks for the invitation.