Start Europe Why is it provocative for many people that the CDU candidate Friedrich...

Why is it provocative for many people that the CDU candidate Friedrich Merz deserves well?

393629 20: *** EXCLUSIVE*** Friedrich Merz (CDU), attends a Party rally August 12, 2001 in Berlin. (Photo by Hermann Bredehorst/Getty Images)

Because it embodies the social inequality they have been experiencing for years.

Recently at McDonald’s. Several employees stand in front of the fryer, one gets upset. He had received his pension notice. „600 euros stood there,“ says the brawny guy with bald heads and tattoos. „For a lifetime of work.“ For years he has been working as a relocation helper, now he is serving meatballs at McDonald’s. „It will not even be enough for the rent with this pension,“ scolds the man.

What does this scene have to do with the debate over the income of Friedrich Merz? A lot. There is much discussion as to whether the candidate is suitable for the CDU chair despite his financial circumstances. Merz is a millionaire.
It is morally not reprehensible to seek a career in the private sector in politics. The economic experience can be a great asset to decisions about the life of citizens in this country. Why is Merz with his income and fortune still a stimulus figure? In the US, contractor and billionaire Donald Trump has made it to the presidency, even though he states with his wealth at every opportunity. Nonetheless, people with very low incomes have voted for him, as have top earners.

The difference lies in the history of the two countries. America has always been based on the myth that anyone can make it as long as he makes an effort. Wealth is nothing to reproach, but absolutely desirable.

By contrast, the founding myth of the Federal Republic has been based on the social market economy since the end of the Second World War. „Prosperity for all,“ proclaimed the CDU politician and Minister of Economics Ludwig Erhard in his book 1957th Most people in Germany understand that anyone in this country can make it to a good life. The prerequisite for this, however, is a balanced ratio of the income of employees and entrepreneurs. Desirable is not the fantastic wealth of individuals, but a prosperity based on compensation. Surveys show that people in Germany have no fundamental problem with wealth, as long as the performance of all others in society is rewarded and everyone can satisfy their basic needs.

And here’s the connection between the McDonald’s employee and the millionaire Merz. Especially for people in the low-paid sector, who have been moving from one job to another for years, an income of one million euros a year is likely to provoke something. And that has nothing to do with envy. Of course, Merz can not help that these people earn so little. But even low earners provide a service, sometimes a very important one for society. These people doubt whether their performance will be adequately remunerated when they can not even be sure they have enough money to live on in their old age.

Buy shares from what money?

For them, it is another provocation when Merz complains on the first day of his candidacy that „Germany has a far too small number of shareholders“. What money should be invested in stocks, perhaps to increase it for old age? Half of the population in Germany has no assets. If you can just settle your rent, there is not much left for a private pension.

For a few years now, lower incomes in Germany have risen again, after stagnating or even declining for a long time. Since the 1990s, the income of this economy has been distributed unevenly – much for the top and little for the bottom. This is mainly due to the fact that the trade unions have spent years exercising wage restraint – also under pressure from politicians – and that the number of employees with collective pay has fallen sharply. This development has created a lot of frustration and can only be corrected slowly.

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For many people, Friedrich Merz with his high income is likely to embody exactly this disproportionality of recent years. With BlackRock as a board member, he also stands for companies maximizing their profits and giving them to their shareholders