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Euro on Sunday Interview: Wolfgang Clement: "This was a wrong signal too much" Article

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017 | bitcoin updates

by Frank-B. Werner, € uro on Sunday
He was a thoroughbred politician. Today he mostly has to get upset about the politics business. "By emphasizing our own responsibility, we give the individual individual dignity. On the other hand, we strengthen our own initiative and willingness to serve, which in turn benefits society as a whole," says Wolfgang Clements Credo, who he followed as Minister of State, Prime Minister and Minister of Economics and Labor. This he sees in this election campaign injured in almost all parties, which in it surpasses, the voter an all-inclusive state to promise.
€ uro on Sunday: They have severely criticized the statements of the parties in the election campaign: "We are approaching the attempted vote purchase." How do you think you should win elections?
Wolfgang Clement: Through conviction, clarity and concentration. We talk about everything and everything, but not about the essentials.
What is the essential?
I believe it is the educational subject. It is a scandal that 50,000 young people leave the school without any qualification. If you do not have a school qualification, you will not get a place to train, and a lack of training is the greatest risk in terms of unemployment and personal failure. Firstly, we can not afford this as a business location, and secondly, it is a central issue for the right to chances in this country.
But at the moment there is always talk of justice.
"It's time for justice" Your former party, the SPD, has placarded across the country. The topic is not neglected by other parties either.
But completely arbitrary and in a completely false understanding of the welfare state as a state of care. It is not fair to simply spread good deeds across the country. In this respect, I am just glad that Mrs. Merkel says relatively little to retirement, if one of the television duel once. This, however, was already a false signal too much.
We should not make promises that can not be kept. In view of the demographic development, it is completely irresponsible if Mr Schulz told the people that under him the retirement age is not increased. This is untrustworthy. Children born today have an average life expectancy of 100 years. Since the retirement age can not remain at 67, the financing of the system flies around our ears. In the end, this also means that every voter can understand.
What should you do?
It needs a rule binding. If the life expectancy increases by three years, the retirement age should automatically increase by two years. This has something to do with justice – with generative justice.
Let's stay a bit with justice. They distinguish between the social and care …
Yes, because one thing has nothing to do with the other. The welfare state secures existential risks in a world in which people live on their own responsibility. The supply state pours out its cornucopia over all.
What do you mean?
Take, for example, the mothers' pension, which now also receives my wife, who gave birth to five daughters before 1992. It has neither reckoned with it nor is it in any way in need.
So do not you keep the promise that nobody should pay more Kita fees?
I agree. It is nonsense to leave all parents free of the fees of the children's day care centers. Promoting the really needy yes, but otherwise we should use the money to pay the educators better.
But do not citizens expect the state to regulate such things for all?
I hope not that it has come so far. Unfortunately, the self-understanding of many politicians is exactly the same. State-consciousness then assumes at any rate freedom-threatening proportions. For freedom and responsibility are two sides of the same coin. Who does not take responsibility for himself is not really free.
This fits very well into the thought building of Heinrich Pesch, a founder of the Catholic social doctrine, the name patron of a prize, with which you were awarded this summer.
I agree. Pesch, and ultimately also of Nell-Breuning, have always looked at people as the center of attention. By emphasizing self-responsibility, we give dignity to the individual, on the other hand, we strengthen self-initiative and willingness to serve, which in turn benefits society as a whole.
Speaking of care.
What do you think of IG Metall's demand for an individual working time of 28 hours?
I consider this very much if at the same time it would also be possible to work more than today. So if flexibility is possible in both directions, that would be wonderful. At the same time, the daily maximum working time of ten hours should be put to the test. This is neither up-to-date nor does it meet the requirements, for example, in gastronomy.
Flexibilisation does not necessarily correspond to the Zeitgeist. Agenda 2010 is being rolled back, the minimum wage has been introduced, temporary work has been further bureaucratized and complicated in the middle of this year.
First of all, I believe we do not need a minimum wage in Germany. And honestly, I do not understand the trade unions that they have allowed this. If there are minimum wages and the temporary work is regulated by law, why is it necessary – something provocative – actually still trade unions? I do not understand that Agenda 2010, which has been recommended by the Federal Government, in which the SPD has been involved in the last four years, has been recommended to the French and Italians, has been turned back in Germany and will be rolled back by some parties. In general, our country has developed into a growth locomotive from the so-called "sick man", as the "Economist" Germany declared at the turn of the century. I think it is wrong to say goodbye. It should also be remembered that there were majorities for the Agenda 2010 on all the SPD party congresses that were held on this topic.
Now we are supposed to win elections with a departure from the course of economic reason.
But this is short-sighted. Sure, we need solidarity with the weak. But good social policy needs a strong economy. We can only help if we have created something to distribute. Good-humankind can not and should not replace rational policy, we must not forget it.
The sources of control bubble like never before. Why does not a party advocate a strong tax reduction?
I understand that because we have obligations and are faced with tasks that are very, very expensive. US President Trump will be stubbornly making sure that we keep our contractual obligations within NATO – two percent of the social product for defense – in the future. We are faced with huge challenges in Africa's policy, which is just a reflection of the migration costs that are overcrowing us; we need resources to get more investment in Europe, and we have to do the homework in infrastructure and education. Education alone costs us 20 billion euros.
Much helps a lot. Do we not have to think about whether we need to change structurally in education? We can not only employ academics.
Indeed! In the meantime, we are dealing with an over-academy and neglect the professional qualification. I am clear for equality. We must put the skills of the people back in the foreground.
How will digitization affect the labor market? Do we need a basic income?
The first part of the question: I do not know. Technical revolutions have always existed, and they never set themselves on a blow, but come as a process to which one can adjust. I tend to weigh the odds higher than the risks. I regard an unconditional basic income as a basic trade – an excess of the state of the welfare state. We can not dismiss the companies, the collective bargaining parties altogether, from their responsibilities.


"Social Democrat Without a Party"
Wolfgang Clement, born in 1940, graduated from the "Westfälische Rundschau" after graduating from high school. He then studied law at the University of Münster, where he graduated with the first state examination in 1965. He returned to the "Westphalian Rundschau" in 1968, where he soon became head of the department and finally deputy editor in chief of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum. From 1986 to 1989 Clement was chief editor of the "Hamburger Morgenpost". Since 1970 he was a member of the SPD, where he worked in various committees. In 1989, he was appointed head of the state chancery in the government of Johannes Rau. In 1995 he became Minister of Economic Affairs and in 1998 succeeded Johannes Rau as Minister President. After the Bundestag elections in 2002, Clement gave up his position as Prime Minister and joined the Schröder government as Minister of Economics and Labor. In this supreme ministry, Agenda 2010 was devised and implemented with the so-called Hartz laws. After the election of Angela Merkel to the Federal Chancellor he left the office at the end of 2005. After controversy over the approach of the SPD to the left and the nuclear and coal exit operated by red-green state governments, Clement emerged from the SPD in 2009. As a "social democrat without a party book," he nevertheless interferes in the political debate. Clement is a member of numerous supervisory and advisory boards and trustees of the New Social Market Economy initiative. He is a multi-disciplinarian and was honored with numerous medals and prizes, such as the Ludwig-Erhard-Prize for Economic Studies and a few weeks ago the Heinrich Pesch Prize. Clement is married and has five daughters.


Homo politicus
Wolfgang Clement, since 1970 member of the SPD and for his party in North Rhine-Westphalia Minister and Prime Minister, from 2002 to 2005 under Chancellor Schröder supervisor for economy and work and there one of the supporting pillars of the Agenda 2010, left its party at the end of 2008 in dispute the approach to the left and the growing tendencies of a deindustrialization policy. Nevertheless, he is still politically active as a "social democrat without a political party", but he is already supporting the liberals.Picture sources: Paul Ripke / obs


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