(We 're working; 02-03; p.4)
In Germany, the first way outlined has scarcely
been chosen, to follow the second one becomes increasingly difficult.
In respect to labour market policies one may
state that there is obviously no recipe to slow down or turn back
the development shown within the framework of market-economy solutions.
One consequence is that it is not at all sufficient just to lower
the price of labour to achieve a high grade of employment (if
this is a policy goal at all; in Germany, it is stipulated in
the law about growth and stability of 1967). A side-effect is
that once steady employment slides into a steadily precarious
or irregular one, i.e. the black market.
If any, new and viable companies come up in the field of widely
automated services: providers of programmes for electronic data-processing,
call-centres and so forth. Face-to-face services, be it in traditional
fields like banking, insurance or gastronomy or in newer ones
like law advising, care or education, are either scaled down or
What concerns pensions, questions arise whether
such income is still to be correlated to income generated while
employed, whether one allows differences between different forms
of occupation and whether one lets decide markets over pensioners'
Health care policies have to decide about the
risks that a - measured in wealth generated by its inhabitants
- rich country like Germany thinks of acceptable for society.
In other words, an answer has to be given whether different individuals
have to bear different risks or whether the state treats every
individual equal in the first place but leaves opportunities to
bear some risks individually.
To date, problems are recognised, but comments
on solutions are usually: "we're working on it."
Politicians thus are obliged to name concepts and to apply measures
(or to consciously reject them) that formulate goals and clearly
state who will win and who will lose as result of such activities.
The population in turn is obliged to decide which concepts it
prefers: ones that give some a chance to win a lot and confront
many with the risk to lose some or concepts that promise small
profits and of which a lot have something.
(end of article)