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Where does this come from?

Based on high rates of growth after the second  world war, social rights and social advancement for large sections of the population were fought for in labour disputes. These  were fundamental for  our society right up to the nineties. Until that time the western world was mainly characterized by a world of large industries and Offices with an army of employees enjoying normal tariff employment.  The so called “normal employment situation” (with permanent employment, and dismissal protection which provided a certain measure of social security)  was generally the rule in those days. Solidarity and public spirit were highly valued by most people.

A slow decline in the high rates of growth started in the seventies. Thus it became fashionable since 1980ties for people in the US as also in the UK to call for a lean state and the removal of all barriers to trade to support competition with market.  Simultaneously everything was done to remove all limits to global competition.

These neoliberal policies were first introduced into the center of  Europe at the beginning of the new millennium during the government of Schröder/Fischer. Even today the SPD is proud of the fact that they positioned the country so well by means of a massive lowering of corporate taxes and a deregulation of Labour so as to provide German companies with enormous cost benefits. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, SPD, speaking in front of the German employer’s association: “If you would be fair enough to remember, the decisive tax reduction – to the extent of 60 Billion Euro – happened during the time of the social democratic government: with a lowering of the top tax rate, with a lowering of the entry tax rate, with a reduction of the corporate tax. Also the increased flexibility of working hours, the reduction by half of the contributions to unemployment insurance …. “

Since then these policies of reduction of the corporate taxes and the relaxation of labour laws are seen as the key to attracting international investors. And Germany is the best example of the success: best economic data right up to the present!