commission on fiscal imbalance 合集

Homogeneity of policies is also fostered at the

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Unformatted text preview: like in the US Senate. In the second chamber of parliament, no individual state is accorded privileges other than its vote, 3 which is exerted en bloc and weighted roughly by population . The result of the majority vote is binding for all, and the 4 policy outcome is uniform across the nation. In particular, the tax law is identical, even for state and municipal taxes , and the states are denied any form of own taxation. Tax revenue is typically shared and apportioned among layers of government according to the constitution (income taxes) or law (VAT), and disbursed horizontally among regional entities according to formulae with strong equalization components. Homogeneity of policies is also fostered at the national level through the voting mechanism for the national parliament (Bundestag), which follows the model of proportional representation while excluding all parties that fall below 5 percent of the vote. This provision tends to neutralize extremist and factional parties, which had once played a key role in ruining the Weimar democracy. This mechanism represents another example of asymmetric institutions designed to foster homogeneity and ultimately symmetry of outcomes at the national level. However, the rules equally protect minorities rather effectively through various asymmetric provisions: direct mandates according to majority voting are combined with proportional representation whereby the majority voting system favors singular (and even non-partisan) candidates; and parties that attain at least three direct mandates will be represented in 5 parliament although their proportional vote may fall below the margin . Although the political landscape has varied quite considerably during the history of the Federal Republic of Germany— with new entrants in parliament such as the greens and the former communists after unification—, the political system and its institutions rely heavily on consensus-forming according to the preferences of the median-voter. He or she will ultimately determine the pace of politics at the national level with the states and municipalities being compelled to implement and administer such policies within a common national framework. The almost complete lack of policy discretion at lower tiers of government, and the “emptiness of the agenda” of state parliaments combined with the inability of states to use own tax instruments is exacerbated by a host of intergovernmental transfers that are all destined to foster national homogeneity and uniformity of living conditions. It 1 2 3 4 5 38 Legally, a German citizen is not defined by language, however. The criterion is still “blood relationship”, a rather doubtful remnant of Nazi ideology. This criterion proved to be highly controversial (and expensive) in recent years because it encompasses the descendants of German emigrants, even from the time of czarina Katharine, who are now alienated from German culture, while it excludes the children of foreigners, born and residing in Germany. Indeed, centrali...
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This note was uploaded on 03/06/2013 for the course ECON 220 taught by Professor Paulo during the Spring '13 term at University of Liverpool.

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