Class Inequality Soars in "Social Democratic" Germany

February 1, 2018

The gap separating the rich and the poor is growing in Germany, as numerous sources clearly report:

CNN: Rich Germany has an inequality problem. These numbers prove it The richest 10% of households saw their real incomes jump by 27% between 1991 and 2014, according to the German Institute for Economic Research. Middle class incomes increased by 9% over the same period, while households at the bottom saw their incomes drop by 8%.

Reuters: Renowned for its highly-skilled workforce, Germany has in fact a greater proportion of working poor - people who have a job but are struggling with poverty - than Britain, France and even some less wealthy EU states such as Hungary or Cyprus.

The Local [A German paper]: Experts warn of rising inequality in Germany

Income inequality has leapt in Germany since 2000, a new study shows, with the lowest earners having less money in their pockets than 15 years ago despite sustained economic growth.

The study by the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau, a government-owned development bank, shows how unevenly the fruits of prosperity have been divided over the past decade and a half.

The figures show that, whereas in 2000 the top 20 percent of earners were taking in 3.5 times the amount of those in the bottom 20 percent, that ratio has now increased to five times.

Earnings in the bottom ten percent of German society actually decreased significantly in real terms across this period, with an increase in earnings of 6 percent clearly being outpaced by a 24 percent rise in consumer prices.

In contrast the top of German society saw earnings increases of 39 percent....While top earners are able to save 40 percent of their income each month, bottom earners do not take in enough to cover living costs and fall into debt.

Money.com:Thanks to strict government budget policies, Germany has avoided the debt problems that plague some of its neighbors.

The favorable conditions have combined to produce the strongest economic production per person in Europe. 

But the cheery statistics help disguise an urgent inequality problem.

A third of all income ends up in the pockets of just 10% of Germans, according to the German Institute for Economic Research.

The wealth gap is even wider, with the richest 10% holding 60% of assets.

 

Why German Workers Have to Go on Strikes

The German working class lives in a society where there are some rich and some poor--class inequality. The few who are the very rich have the real power (because in Germany money is power!) and use it to increase their wealth and power at the expense of everybody else. Working class people are thus always on the defensive. This is why they have to go on strikes. Read about the strike going on as I write this: 

German industrial workers stage second 24-hour strike

 

"Social Democracy" Is a Treadmill of Defeat

For ordinary working class people to get off of the treadmill of defeat (i.e., increasing class inequality despite going on strikes for higher wages and better working conditions) it is necessary to remove the rich from power to have real, not fake, democracy with no rich and no poor. This is an egalitarian revolution, which is discussed (what it means, what egalitarianism is, and why it is indeed possible to win it) at www.PDRBoston.org .

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