Germany just lowered some retirement ages and raised pension spending. For real.

posted at 8:01 pm on December 17, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Evidently, this was all apart of same grand scheme so that Chancellor Angela Merkel, embarking on her third term, could form the German equivalent of a supermajority with a united coalition pact between her own center-right party and the Social Democrats — but, suffice it to say, I have the gravest doubts that the juice will be worth the squeeze on this one. The WSJ reports that, as she signed the 185-page program her coalition government will seek to implement over the next five years, she promised “solid financing, secure prosperity, and social security” — but the whole policy is already taking heat for costly long-term measures included high pension spending and lowering the retirement age for certain workers.

Opinion polls show the plans are popular. But economists warn that encouraging earlier retirement for some workers would add to the burden on public finances of Germany’s fast-aging population, while pushing up payroll taxes that weigh on jobs and workers’ incomes.

Earlier retirement for longtime workers was one of the concessions that Ms. Merkel’s conservatives had to make to convince the left-leaning Social Democrats to become her junior partner in a “grand” coalition. …

Offering “pensions at 63 collides with what Germany has recommended to other European countries,” said Mr. Hüther…

“The coalition agreement is nothing but a gift for the elderly and pensioners at the expense of those who are paying into the pension system,” said Bernd Raffelhüschen, economics professor and a specialist on pension systems at the University of Freiburg. “For intergenerational justice, this is the most stupid thing that could have been done.”

Germany’s currently strong economy and high employment level means the country’s social-security system can carry the extra costs in the near term without requiring higher payroll taxes. But Mr. Raffelhüschen said that in long term, levies on workers and employers that fund pensions will have to go up by around two percentage points to pay for the government’s generosity.

Germany has a median age of 45 and is already the oldest population in the European Union, and by 2050, Germany is projected to have only 1.5 economically active people per retiree; but perhaps the cherry on top of the whole thing is the minimum wage of $11.55/hour that will go into effect in 2015. I know Germany prides itself on being Europe’s fiscally responsible, economically well-turned-out older sibling, but this looks an awful lot like succumbing to the demands of the exact same forces that have so many other European countries struggling to emerge from beneath the shambles of years of wildly overly-generous and unrealistic public welfare systems. It’s only a matter of time before all of Germany’s workers start demanding a lower retirement age, and so on and so forth, and it doesn’t exactly smack of the right example they’ve been trying to set for the rest of Europe.


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We’ll, Germany has made worse choices, but, at least we’ll all be in the same sinking boat.

RovesChins on December 17, 2013 at 8:07 PM

Irresponsible fiscal promises made to the German Volk, which will be broken, leading to financial crises.

I think I seen this movie before…

JohnGalt23 on December 17, 2013 at 8:08 PM

The final stages of looting before the social security ponzi scheme falls apart.

Murphy9 on December 17, 2013 at 8:10 PM

They have shut down all of their nukes plants based on the CO2 kills lie of the nut job Earth First loons.

Now they will use coal, waste more tax money on solar and wind.

Our two party evil money cult leaders are just the same level of fools so be prepared for the worst possible outcomes soon.

After all more poor uneducated socialist from South America is the solution for our problems now here in the U.S.A., just ask the House and Senate.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on December 17, 2013 at 8:10 PM

Earlier retirement for longtime workers was one of the concessions that Ms. Merkel’s conservatives had to make to convince the left-leaning Social Democrats to become her junior partner in a “grand” coalition.

So she sacrificed principles to win temporary power? Sounds like a three-letter party most of us know.

nobar on December 17, 2013 at 8:17 PM

Wow. Germany’s doing that well? /

22044 on December 17, 2013 at 8:21 PM

This is how democracies die.

kcewa on December 17, 2013 at 8:24 PM

Like, oh, m’god!

More incisive Euro-analysis.

HB3 on December 17, 2013 at 8:24 PM

Germany is a very large welfare state… In fact it was Germany during the time of Bismark back in the 19th century that invented and implemented the modern day welfare system…

mnjg on December 17, 2013 at 8:27 PM

For the Fatherland! Heil Merkel!

Corporal Tunnel on December 17, 2013 at 8:28 PM

They’re just playing super strategy 3 dimensional chess like the repubs here are. Merkel is gonna get ‘em next time.

Mimzey on December 17, 2013 at 8:30 PM

So THAT’S why we’re spying on them.

Obama must think this is going to work for them, and he wants to know how they do it.

listens2glenn on December 17, 2013 at 8:32 PM

Maybe the Chancellor and her party are tired of bailing out Greeks, and have decided to bail out Germans instead.

But if Germany bails out, who will bail out the Greeks next time?

Steve Z on December 17, 2013 at 8:43 PM

…the need more illegal aliens!

KOOLAID2 on December 17, 2013 at 8:44 PM

Sadly there was no real choice here. Merkel had an astounding victory in the last election but the German system is such that it’s nearly impossible for any one party to get a majority. Only Adenauer has done it since WWII. Merkel’s allies in the FDP meanwhile fell apart completely, so that left her with only the options of dealing with the Socialists or the Greens.

I’d have liked to see her deal with the Greens. They actually have a strong base of limousine liberals who would have some economic common sense, but their leadership is five kinds of screwed up, and they put themselves out of the running. That left the Socialists, they wanted this, a massive minimum wage hike, half the cabinet and huge tax increases. Merkel negotiated them off of the tax hikes and down some cabinet members. They still have a minimum wage hike.

Overall the deal is absolute crap, but no real other way. Declaring unable to form a government and sending it to another vote would send all of Europe in chaos, since the whole thing pretty much relies on German stability. It certainly wouldn’t do any favors for the people of Ukraine looking to have Europe protect them from the prospect of becoming once again a Russian vassal.

Gingotts on December 17, 2013 at 8:45 PM

Hey, do you remember, “If you like your plan, you can KEEP your plan!”

Perhaps Ms. Merkel has just reworded that a bit…

…And with the same intention.

climbnjump on December 17, 2013 at 8:49 PM

If Germany has to pay for the rest of europe’s welfare state, then they deserve to splurge on themselves. If the rest of europe is going to take them down, they might be the biggest eaters. Maybe if they can spend all the money first, there won’t be any left to give to the PIGSs.

keep the change on December 17, 2013 at 8:50 PM

They’ll just import more Muzzies. Conquest complete.

Welcome to Leftism.

WhatSlushfund on December 17, 2013 at 8:53 PM

They’ll have to import tens of millions more Turks and other non-white foreigners to do the work that Germans won’t do, to pay for all those pensions.

Because nothing makes people safer and happier in their old age than having lost their country. Just ask the Boers how well this works out.

David Blue on December 17, 2013 at 8:56 PM

They’ll just import more Muzzies. Conquest complete.

Welcome to Leftism.

WhatSlushfund on December 17, 2013 at 8:53 PM

Correct.

And it doesn’t matter that the new majority will create a third world nation that bears no resemblance to the proclaimed aims of leftism.

Leftism, as a practical matter in the 21st century, aims at the destruction of the nation – any white nation, anywhere in the world.

Massive non-white immigration, frequently Muslim, plus forced assimilation means the native white population will be submerged and cease to exist.

When it’s something like the Chinese swamping the Tibetans we call that genocide, and it is.

David Blue on December 17, 2013 at 9:05 PM

How do you say “not Maggie Thatcher” in German?

rrpjr on December 17, 2013 at 9:09 PM

In fact it was Germany during the time of Bismark back in the 19th century that invented and implemented the modern day welfare system…

mnjg on December 17, 2013 at 8:27 PM

No, not really. It was social security beginning in 1889 for people at least 70 years of age when the life expectancy was 48, therefore hardly the same as the welfare state today, benefits for people well before the average life expectancy of 80+ today in Germany.

voss63 on December 17, 2013 at 9:19 PM

David Blue on December 17, 2013 at 8:56 PM

To be clear, it’s not a racial matter, it’s an ideological one. No one on either the Left or the Right (what little there is left of the Right) is acknowledging that Islam is a religion of war, not peace as we’re constantly being told. That is simply a fact. The problem isn’t “non-whites.” The problem is Muslims. Along with the fact that Leftists are importing them to prop up their failed economic paradigms.

WhatSlushfund on December 17, 2013 at 9:24 PM

Gingotts on December 17, 2013 at 8:45 PM

This.

AH_C on December 17, 2013 at 9:39 PM

Bound to happen. Can’t keep asking German workers to subsidize the rest of the European Union. They’re taxed so much, they can’t even afford families of their own. How more generational theft here will solve the problem is beyond me. Now Germany turns unto Turkey even faster.

Real losers? The Greeks and Spaniards.

WryTrvllr on December 17, 2013 at 9:40 PM

On the other hand, she may have just given the rest of Europe the big finger.

OldEnglish on December 17, 2013 at 9:40 PM

WhatSlushfund on December 17, 2013 at 9:24 PM

“White folks’ greed rules a world in need.” – Barack Obama.

In the 21st century, the “progressive” liberal agenda is anti-white.

David Blue on December 17, 2013 at 9:56 PM

“If Latinos sit out the election instead of saying we’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re going to reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us, if they don’t see that kind of upsurge in voting in this election, then I think it’s gonna be harder…”

He’s not calling for the proletariat to rise up. It’s racial.

This isn’t your grandfather’s socialism.

David Blue on December 17, 2013 at 10:08 PM

In the 21st century, the “progressive” liberal agenda is anti-white.

David Blue on December 17, 2013 at 9:56 PM

I couldn’t agree with you more that the “Liberal” agenda is anti-white. This is clear. White “Liberals” (which make up most of them) hate themselves. I was addressing this post strictly from an economic/national security policy standpoint.

WhatSlushfund on December 17, 2013 at 10:14 PM

I couldn’t agree with you more that the “Liberal” agenda is anti-white. This is clear. White “Liberals” (which make up most of them) hate themselves. I was addressing this post strictly from an economic/national security policy standpoint.

WhatSlushfund on December 17, 2013 at 10:14 PM

OK.

In the short term, like this year’s budget or next year’s budget (if your ruling class is functional enough to even pass a budget) the problem is always socialism. It’s been a proven loser for a hundred years; it’s not about to start working tomorrow.

David Blue on December 17, 2013 at 10:47 PM

David Blue on December 17, 2013 at 10:47 PM

Hey David,

I’ll simply wrap this up with this statement:

I am unapologetically pro-West, pro-Judeo-Christianity, anti-Communism, and anti-Islam. Anything else anyone needs to know about me (if they care) can be derived from that.

Fight on brother

WhatSlushfund on December 17, 2013 at 11:06 PM

So what happens when their economy completely fails? I mean the whole European economy? War?

I bet they have another war of some type.

And I bet we will not be able to escape it, again.

Isolation is becoming really attractive, the world is full of people who simply cannot learn from the past.

petunia on December 18, 2013 at 1:24 AM

@#$%ing Europe…

They just can’t help themselves.

Alberta_Patriot on December 18, 2013 at 2:56 AM

It is not what it seemingly is reported to be.

albill on December 18, 2013 at 6:56 AM

Good luck with the ponzi scheme.

After the failure of the rest of Europe who bails out Germany?

Carnac on December 18, 2013 at 11:01 AM

She can do it because unlike the USA Germany has its financial house in order on a national scale. Eighty years of austerity does wonders for a foundation of long term prosperity.

jake49 on December 18, 2013 at 11:09 AM