Health Insurance Sticking Point in German Coalition Talks
One of the sticking points in attempts to form another grand coalition government in Germany is the country’s mixed public-private health insurance system.
The Social Democrats campaigned on merging the two. Their argument is that the one in ten Germans with private insurance (mostly people with yearly incomes over €50,000) get better care: shorter waiting lists, more services. Read more
Center-right parties in Italy, led by former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, are calling for a flat tax of 15 to 20 percent.
The single rate would replace the current five income tax brackets and possibly the two businesses taxes (national and regional).
Renato Brunetta, the leader of Berlusconi’s Forza Italia in the lower house of parliament, tells the Financial Times: “It’s the fiscal shock that will make Italy emerge from the trap it’s been in for the past decades.”
Separatist parties defended their majority in Catalonia’s regional parliament on Thursday, but only by a whisker. The parties that want to secede from Spain won seventy out of 135 seats against 57 for the unionists.
Catalonia in Common, a left-wing party that rejects both independence and Spain’s suspension of Catalan home rule, won the remaining eight seats. Read more
Why Millennials Are More Sympathetic to Big Government
Polls show that Americans under the age of 35 are more sympathetic to big government than their elders. Democrats have a 48-point advantage among millennial voters, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey.
That is not so surprising when you realize that their generation may be the first in a long time that is worse off than their parents’.
On average, he writes, Americans under the age of 35:
Have 300 percent more student debt than their parents;
Are half as likely to own homes as young people were in the 1970s; and
Will probably have to work until they’re 75.
The stereotype of the overqualified liberal arts graduate working as a barista is only half-correct. Many young Americans are struggling to find high-paying jobs despite having spent tens — sometimes hundreds — of thousands of dollars on their education. Less known is that one in five young adults live in poverty. Read more