Sharing wealth used to matter more to the center-right Christian Democratic Union. The CDU’s first economics minister, Ludwig Erhard, once said lawmakers should aim for prosperity for all.
Economists at international organizations don’t put it this clearly, unfortunately, but that’s what the OECD and the International Monetary Fund are saying when they talk about “inclusive growth.” They want to see economic growth that benefits everyone, people with low incomes and high incomes alike, so that rich and poor children, men and women have the same chances to enjoy prosperity.
It’s ironic that Mr. Erhard’s country, mostly led by his CDU, hasn’t managed this in a long time. Top incomes have increased noticeably, middle incomes only a little and the lowest incomes have even declined. Family background plays too much of a role in young people’s educational success and we don’t invest enough in the future.