What 130 years or so of “Progressivism” looks like:
The German disease is a disease of the welfare state, which, despite being the cornerstone of the German model, has incurred immense fiscal costs and has destroyed economic incentives.
Germany invented the welfare state. In the 1880s, Chancellor Otto von Bismarck introduced public health insurance, public disability insurance, and the public pension system to appease the disgruntled masses and help reconcile them to the capitalist market system. He succeeded in preventing the revolution that his Karl Marx had predicted and that later was to take place in Russia. [Or at least postponed it for a spell -- Ed.]
– An excerpt from Can Germany Be Saved?: The Malaise of the World’s First Welfare State, by Hans-Werner Sinn, 2007.
– Angela Merkel, Bismarck’s latest successor, in an interview with the Financial Times, yesterday. Good luck with that, considering how easily the concepts of austerity and fiscal responsibility come to the welfare state…