Or: fiscal policy as social policy may sound as provocation … though Robbie Pye and Owen Parker rightly state
A greater array of social and labour policy areas have been subsumed within macroeconomic coordination (as discussed further in the following section), wherein they are decided by economic and finance actors in DG ECFIN and the Economic and Finance Council (Copeland and James, 2014; Oberndorfer, 2015; Schellinger, 2015: 6). DG ECFIN has, moreover, repeatedly proposed increasing its own powers of oversight of member state ‘competitveness’ (EPSC, 2015) – conceived problematically in terms of ‘structural reform’ and labour market flexibility – in ways that critics have rightly asserted would amount to the Europe- anisation of the MoU approach and the significant further erosion of social rights (Oberndorfer, 2015: 199).
In this light it does not really matter “who” is delivering – as I stated myself in various contributions on social policy, EUropean integration and Social Quality: the problem is not about weighing social ad economic policies, the problem is what kind of economic policy do we ask for.
Anyway, for Germany it is now apparently getting even clearer what this subordination means – the Bundesbank reviving an old proposal and asking for retirement at 69 – though it still seems to be disputed. Anyway, one sentence from the article in French language
deserves special attention, so my translation follows:
Life expectancy in Germany is 78 years for men and 83 years for women, climbing stubbornly. … – the legal age (for retirement) is already moving gradually from 65 to 67 years, though the effective age of end employment is approximately 62 years – that’s a lot of years to spend in retirement. Financed through contributions of those who work … and this is a a decreasing number, aging population is under pressure.
At least three questions remain on the table.
* If we are referring to an insurance principle, it is strange that people pay into the system …, and do not get the “premium” paid out
* If it is about solidarity between generations, it remains to be answered if solidarity is a matter killing pro rata temporis
* If it is about global justice and human rights, the most fundamental question remains why there is still this one percent that is allowed to expose the most parasite behaviour and even may fly in their jet for presidential candidature
– For those who like the more sober analysis, may read Branko Milanovic’s book on Global Inequality also showing some interesting global shifts behind this. Indeed, the wealthy continue to gain, for most of the others it remains pain.