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United States. Office of the US High Commissioner for Germany. Information Services Division / RIAS, Berlin

Economics commentary by Dr. Anton Schoepke,   pp. 39-42 PDF (1.7 MB)

Page 41

- 4o
carries with it a corresponding curtailment of these various aspects,
the enterprising spirit will 'of necessity decrease and the original-
success of the redistribution of the national product will turn into
a general soci-economic decline. This is especially true if the share
of the entrepreneur has already been seriously limited by taxes, social
security and similar compulsory contributions. In most instances these
things will not happen since in a free economy the entreprenepr will
pass on those additional burdens, which one really cannot expect him
to bear., to the consumer in the form of price increases- if this pos-
sibility exists. Thus the cost of social betterment for a part of the
population will have to be born by the consumer in general. In an ideal
case this can only lead to a state where after going through certain
business cycles the other income brackets become readjusted. That
would finally bring us to the original point of departure and the game
can begin once more.
"Such developments would place the heaviest burden upon and
discriminate most seriously against those groups whose incomes have
a tendency to lag behind - the weakest social economic groups who can
neither raise prices nor threaten with strikes, for example those re-
ceiving social security or retirement pensions, etc. It can well de-
velop that the weakest groups never catch up and therefore even have
to pay with their poverty for the betterment of those who are already
in a more favorable position. Furthermore, such a procedure endangers
competitive abilities vis-a-vis those countries which do not follow
the same trends and therefore places the whole socio-economic situ-
ation in jeopardy. In the national economy of a country all factors
and forces are so closely interrelated that the above-mentioned
course will turn out to be most hazardous. The margin which possibly
may be squeezed out of income peaks is so insignificant in most cases
that it vwould never take care of large-scale wage increases without
concurrent increases in productivity.
"But how can labor currently benefit by an increased producti-
vity? Until this has been determined months elapse; these months can
be regarded as lost. J7ell, there are other possibilities worth con-
sidering. For instance the distribution of premium after determin-
ation of the annual profits, or the endowment of special retirement
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