Middle class among predators – looting the self-employed

February 21st, 2012

A book by Eberhard and Imke Hamer (in german: Mittelstand unter lauter Räubern – Die Plünderung der Selbständigen, bei amazon.de – siehe auch in Zeit-Fragen vom 17.1.2012).

Published on Current Concerns, by Ewald Wetekamp, February 5, 2012.

Beginning with the definition that the medium-sized company is a producing collective of people, with people and for people, Prof. Eberhard Hamer and Imke Hamer outline the importance of the medium-sized company for society and for the support of democracy in Germany. They do this with impressive examples and figures. 

Already on the first pages of the book astonishing figures are supplied: 33.9% of the German citizens live on market revenues, the remaining 66.1% of the citizens (whether relatives, pensioners, unemployed or public service) are directly or indirectly kept by them.

The middle class – backbone of the society:

The self-employed middle class (about 4.1 millions entrepreneurs) – together with workers and employees – generates almost 80% of the nation’s tax revenue and pays more than 60% into the social welfare systems. At the same time it must compulsorily pay two thirds of its income to national and social institutions. For years however finance companies have relocated their holding companies in tax havens and thus welch themselves from social and tax liability. But the fact that even then these large companies receive more subsidies from the state annually than they pay taxes, is incomprehensible for any straight-thinking citizen.

The fact that at the medium-sized personnel enterprise some revenue remains despite the large burden of tax and social security contributions is only possible by means of a high work input and a strongly risk-threatened responsibility for enterprise and employees. If the trade union standard for employees in Germany is about a weekly 38,5 hours, the middle class carries out more than the double of working hours per week.

Medial campaign of envy and governmental mania of paragraphs: … //

… Non-governmental threats to the middle class:

In the second part of their book the authors also deal with the threat the middle class is exposed to from the non-governmental side. Thus no prosperity securing cooperation between trade unions and enterprises is taking place but there is still class struggle. Basel II and III complicate the banks’ reasonable credit conditions for the members of the middle class. Private equity and “Heuschrecken” (grasshoppers) shamelessly exploit this situation and thus also contribute to the burden of the middle class. Besides, the middle class is also exploited by the insurance companies. Nobody needs so many securities by insurances like the middle class. But in the event of damage, the insurance company turns into an opponent – and usually wins.

Furthermore the authors point out, that also organized crime threaten the basis of existence of medium-sized economy on a global scale.

Consequences for market economy and democracy:

The authors don’t leave any doubt that the attacks on freedom, wealth and property of the middle class must be understood not only as an attack on a single group in society, but also as an attack on the basis of our liberal order, founded on a – on individual ownership and personal freedom based – democracy and market economy. These are attacks on the legal basis of the entire population. When the middle class is going to decay, we are going to get a split society of upper and lower classes again. That would be the end of a self-responsible civil society. Market economy cannot exist without middle class, it will develop to a power economy a corporate economy, or to a private or a government monopolized economy.

A liberal democracy cannot prevail anywhere, where middle class is being dissolved by means of continued attacks. Then she tips over either into an elitist reign of capital – plutocracy – or into a military dictatorship or a dictatorship of a “politburo”, in any case all cases into a rule over subjects. Who wants that?

The middle class’ demands – Effective measures that would inspire the vitality of the middle class, would be:

  • Equality of taxes for all types of companies. It is unacceptable that 80% of tax revenues are provided by the middle class and that large companies and corporations obtain more subsidies than they pay taxes.
  • Tax exemption for profits remaining in the company,
  • reversing the social systems from domination to self-responsibility,
  • de-bureaucratization of life and medium-sized enterprises,
  • deregulation of instructions (contractors have to observe 164 different building regulations with more than 5,000 paragraphs).

For this purpose the middle class actually would have the political power in terms of figures. The self-employed middle class with its family members can alone mobilize 12% of voters, the gainfully employed middle class supplies the same number of voters. There would also be the fact of 23 millions of employees in the establishments in addition to their family members. That would truly be a big party.

What is necessary?

Necessary is the well-founded ideology-free reporting by the media, the dissemination and teaching of the real correlations of power, income, costs and profit in the market place. But not only that. Just basical is the recognition that it is the middle class, which takes care of freedom and democratic conditions through its work and its commitment to market economy and prosperity.

If this was brought to the attention of all citizens, reflections, which cold avoid the changing from market and democracy to monopolies and dictatorship, could start very quickly and cause a reversal.

That would be for the benefit of all. (full text).

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