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The lefties are getting very excited by Berlin

Wrongly excited of course:

But one of the most significant developments in voters’ weekend trip to the polls was a local referendum in Berlin, which strongly endorsed a campaign to expropriate properties owned by large corporate landlords.

Nope. There is no expropriation even being suggested.

The constitution allows for the socialisation of private assets “by a law that determines the nature and extent of compensation”. Many legal experts also agreed that taking back housing into social ownership was permissible under the constitution.

What is being suggested is that the City of Berlin raise the cash to buy the properties. The amount is around and about one year annual budget. Roughly.

This is not expropriation. It might be terribly stupid all the same but it ain’t expropriation.

14 thoughts on “The lefties are getting very excited by Berlin”

  1. The Left may dislike allocation of scarce resources by price but they never seem to bother with how they will do it otherwise. If lots more people can now afford to live in Berlin (assuming rents fall because of this social ownership) then who gets to live there? Presumably those favoured by the state?

  2. “taking back housing into social ownership”

    So, it was originally in social ownership. And Society chose to dispose of that ownership. Now Society wand to take back ownership. And?

  3. Where in the city are these flats? My entirely unsubstantiated guess is that they are in the former East Berlin and that blocks of flats were sold off by the Treuhand – the organisation that managed/mismanaged the sale of GDR state property after reunification: hence the concentration of large holdings in individual companies. The imposition and subsequent lifting of rent controls in the city will have made the mood and the market more volatile and not an attractive nettle for politicians other than from Die Linke to grasp.

  4. It’s still “expropriation” unless the seller wishes to sell, and at the mutually agreed price.

    Forcing someone to say they agree, by the use of, or threat of use of (state) violence, does not make the consent valid.

    Have the lefties forgotten #metoo already?

  5. What’s the motive here? Does the state offer better rental terms to tenants, as in the UK? (Council housing generally has lower rents, and the chance of eviction is lower.) Do Lefties want the state to capture the rise in land values? Or is it just political posturing?

  6. Timthecoder. Yes. Forced acquisition – eminent domain/compulsory purchase – is still state coercion. Even if the purchase is at ‘market price’. It won’t be, of course, as the value and price set will be the assessment of a valuer – i.e. subjective. Mind you, I have also witnessed the state overpay for such real estate.

  7. As it’s government buying them they don’t care about paying over the odds if it makes life easier and there is also more scope for a bit of ‘ I could value this at x-10% but how about I value it at x+10% and you do me this little favour’ . Actually given it’s govt they would most probably give the person in charge a reward for making sure they spent the entire budget

  8. “a law that determines the nature and extent of compensation”

    Weeeell, to agree with MVA, it wouldn’t necessarily be expropriation if the “nature and extent” was cash at the market rate.

    On the other hand, if the law said it was 2.5 kilos of broad beans, there might be a slight issue.

  9. If its not voluntary – even is compensation is paid – its still expropriation.

    “. . .the action by the state or an authority of taking property from its owner for public use or benefit.”

    Its the act of ‘taking’ that makes it theft, the ‘for public benefit’ that makes it expropriation.

  10. It’s expropriation whichever way you look at it. If the seller isn’t willing, it ain’t anything else. We are facing expropriation without compensation in South Africa..Just thieves, really.

  11. Bloke in North Korea (Germany province)

    There are many exciting things about Berlin for lefties. Including the record turnouts in some wards. Parts of Berlin are filled with such keen democrats that turnout exceeded 100%.

  12. Bloke in North Dorset

    Wasn’t the Enron blow-up around deciding what the market price was when goods weren’t being freely exchanged and do based on someone’s valuation?

    Yes, it was them over valuing but what’s the difference if it’s the State under valuing? Eventually it will blow up.

  13. Didn’t they hold the election on the same day as the Berlin Marathon, maybe the runners got to vote at every ward they went through

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