DISTRIBUTION JUSTICE IS THE COMMAND OF THE HOUR
By Tilo Graser
[This 8/11/2008 article is translated from the German on the World Wide Web, http://www.volkssolidaritaet.de.]
"Increasing costs for income support reflect a social dislocation. The answer can only be the end of redistribution from bottom to the top and more redistribution justice," declared the president of Volkssolidaritat (People's Solidarity), Prof. Gunner Winkler in Berlin. According to the German statistical office, income support spending in 2007 was 3.5 percent higher than in 2006.
"The rising expenditures for basic security in old age and reduced earning capacity, assistance, care and life support are expressions of the growing poverty." It is alarming that more and more people must live from income support, Winkler said. "The costs tear holes in the treasuries of communities. At the same time the German government distributes tax gifts to big businesses. Those with mammoth incomes and assets hardly share in financing state expenditures. Something is not right here. The answer cannot be demanding more personal responsibility and personal investments from citizens. More and more citizens are not financially capable of these investments.
The association president refused to see the cause as only demographic development. Mass unemployment, low wages, precarious jobs and falling real income strain the social budgets, not demographic development. "Social reforms and continuing redistribution from bottom to the top are described as `reforms.'" Winkler urged a reversal and referred to the German government's forecast predicting an annual 6 percent increase of productivity up to 2050. "This will also cause a great increase in per capital social wealth in the future. A more just distribution of the people's income is necessary to secure social justice for all generations."