Roland Dürre
Thursday September 9th, 2010

Privacy #3: Fortune and Income

One of the taboo themes of “bourgeois privacy” is fortune and income. It has continued to be off-limits to this day.

But why?

The banks and the fiscal authorities know everything about me, anyway. And it is well-known that data are insecure with banks and states. Too many CD’s are handed around.

My personal bank wants to see a detailed list of my property every year – regardless of the fact that I am liable with my entire fortune and regardless of my real estate property being considerably higher than my bank debt. The list is a “must”, protest is a total “NOGO”, as hopeless as it is useless.

The tax office always wants to know what income I have to the cent. They, too, have a form to fill in and even a program called “Elster” (magpie: nomen est omen) I can use for doing my tax return online.

For me, it would not be a problem to make my property declaration or my tax return form public on the internet. And I cannot imagine how such a publication would mean any disadvantage for me. I am not rich enough for anybody to get jealous. Neither am I in such a calamitous situation that people would have to be worried.

But I also see no good in it. The banks and the tax office would not accept my internet publication. And normal people would probably not be interested in my “Elster” forms. I am sure the click-rate would be a disappointment.
So I will not publish it, after all. It would be an extra effort and I would not want to provoke anybody. Am I being preposterous, or what?

But who knows: if I have to read much more of the same nonsense about losing the “bourgeois privacy” as I recently did in the Süddeutsche, I might just do it after all, just to protest.

I do not think even one additional financial counsellor will call me. And otherwise, nothing will change, either. It is all the same, anyway.

(Translated by EG)

1 Kommentar zu “Privacy #3: Fortune and Income”

  1. Chris Wood (Thursday September 16th, 2010)

    Hi Roland. I agree completely, but Zuzana would completely disagree! In England, there is less such secrecy. Most job adverts state how much the pay is. I have heard of a man who worked badly for years, not realising that he should have found another job. He did not realise that everybody else was getting better pay rises! On the other hand some people are envious, mistakenly thinking that others are earning much more.
    I heard on the radio yesterday that a general practitioner (Hausarzt) earns on average €116,000, while a radiologist earns over €200,000. I was surprised. I know a girl who was advised by a doctor not to study medicine, because the work was too hard for the pay. (I suspect this is really total income, including business costs)?

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