Land of Inequality – How Wealth Becomes Power | Part 3 of 3 | DW Documentary | Mar 24, 2019

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Duration: 42 min

This video was published on Mar 24, 2019.

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How much power do people with a lot of money really have? Who decides how Germany should look? These questions are the subject of the film “Land of Inequality – Power.”
Many studies show that a small but wealthy part of society defines a country’s political direction. It’s the same all over the world. 
German researchers evaluated hundreds of opinion polls on the topics of the economy, environment, foreign policy and finance. They then examined what poor people wanted from politics on these issues – and what the rich did. The differences were clear: 
“An obvious example is taxes on property,” says Armin Schäfer, a political scientist at the University of Munster. “Higher income groups are more skeptical about any reintroduction of a property tax, whereas lower income groups definitely want it. So far, we have not reintroduced a property tax in that form.” 
So who gets to decide what Germany looks like? To find out, our film follows building contractor Christoph Gröner, who has made millions from the construction business. Gröner wants to build an entire new district in Cologne, which is facing a severe housing shortfall and where rents are soaring and the poor in particular feel ignored. But he has faced delays in getting building permits. 
Cologne Mayor Henriette Reker says: “It is a city’s job to provide land and grant building permits.” But can’t it do that faster? Gröner says the politicians should take their foot off the brakes. 
To show how much power money really wields, we go to the places where politics and economics come together – to the district town halls and the VIP box at a Bundesliga stadium. 
And to Europe’s largest real estate show in Cannes, where billionaire investors use their financial clout to shape cities and regions as they wish.
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