_ Prof. Dr. Gerd Habermann, executive director, Friedrich A. von Hayek Society, honorary professor, University of Potsdam. 11 September 2021.
The future program. What we stand for. What drives us. What we strive for. (85 pages).
The German SPD (Social Democratic Party) differs gradually and less consistently in individual points from the GREENS and LEFT. Here, too, the boundaries between state and private are almost completely blurred. Where the state does not act directly in the interests of strict equity and solidarity (“equal participation and more cohesion”), it does so indirectly through paternalistic support and subsidies. A private virtue becomes a state goal here: respect for other people is to be “renewed”. The state becomes a great educator and guardian of virtue in the interests of the stated goals of equity. “Inclusive society”, that means “nobody should be left behind”, everyone should be valued equally socially, there should be no differences in value. Incidentally, the fact that occasionally the program speaks of an “open society”, the promotion of self-employment (through more social security!) and innovative entrepreneurship, does not mean much. Here, too, “climate justice”, climate neutrality and climate control from Germany are central points. A centralized, “sovereign” Europe with majority decisions on taxes and in foreign policy, including a “health union”, is demanded of course… Health should be a “global public good”. The EU as “the most modern democracy in the world”. After all: “We see a lot of good things. We also see a lot that can be done better”.
Economy and Social: The Radicalization of the Welfare State
The public transport (train, bus) with “ticket-free” local transport and individually especially the bicycle are preferred. A purely planned economy is promoted: 15 million electric cars by 2030. For the SPD, “sustainable economy” means: Extensive investments by the public sector, general collective bargaining coverage (everything else “indecent”), “gender equality” and “climate friendliness” as well as the promotion of companies geared to the common good. The party speaks out against the “privatization of currencies” – at least the idea of currency competition has now reached this party itself. The fashionable fetishization of the digital: One strives for a “gigabit society”. In the craft, master training should be free of charge. More co-determination in companies, legal entitlement to mobile working and the right to not be available at times. Promotion of public housing construction and rent regulation (“affordable living”).
One main point lies in the implementation of the radicalized welfare state with compulsory social insurance, i.e. further nationalization of risk prevention, remnants of social independence are eliminated with this “citizens’ insurance”. Health should not be a commodity. There has to be state “needs-based” basic funding of the clinics and expansion of the integrated care centres. A “basic security” for children: an encroachment on family autonomy. There should be a “gender-equitable household taxation” and, with the construct of a “community of responsibility”, subsidization of all forms of family-like coexistence.
Finance: against private property
Against thrift after the corona epidemic. It is also about debt-financed public investments in the future. For the SPD, fair taxation means: relief for middle and small incomes, at least, but sharper progression of 3 points for incomes over 500,000 euros for married couples and 250,000 euros for single persons. Limitation of the tax deductibility of manager salaries (to fifteen times the average income in the company). The wealth tax is to be reactivated; the inheritance tax is to be reformed through a minimum taxation – against the “overprivileged large business assets”. Financial transaction taxes and the fight against international tax competition through an “effective minimum taxation” fit into this program.
Various, partly curious
There should be gender-equitable representation in the federal, state and local governments (“parity laws” – i.e. a new order of status according to sexual characteristics – this could also be applied to other groups with specific characteristics such as migrants, according to the LGBTQI code, according to occupation, religion, think about health, origin, etc.). The tax non-profit status should now – as with the Greens – include political purposes, such as the fight against right-wing extremism, such as the “Antifa” in the future as a non-profit organisation. Computer games should be promoted – yes, why not? There should be a “special fund for democracy and the rule of law”, which, given the ideological background described, does not bode well.
*Translated from the original German publication on Achgut.com.