The federal government of CDU and FDP today adopt the poverty report (“Armutsbericht”), which shall inform about conditions in Germany regarding poverty. According to recent news (Süddeutsche Zeitung, Tagesschau), in the final version of the report, many euphemisms have been introduced and passages have been deleted (mainly due to the wishes of the FDP) compared to the original poverty report, even though the original report was already produced by a government department. Also, some proposals in the report, for example to raise taxes for super rich elites, have been removed.
In these two aspects, neoliberalism issues its own report of failure:
1 Censorship and euphemisms instead of transparency and information
The government, by means of euphemisms / omission / censorship of content in the poverty report, attempted to withhold important knowledge to the public about actual conditions regarding poverty, in order to preserve existing elite power structures and their political wishes. Many euphemisms and deletions were performed. Fortunately, many changes and further attempts to changes in the poverty report became visible in the public and the press.
Instead of this policy of maintaining oppressive structures by limiting knowledge, we as the Pirate Party demand more political transparency to make democratic control and an enlightened society possible.
(See Pirate Party program: transparency of the state.)
2 Inequality and privilege instead of democracy and human rights
The poverty report shows that neoliberal policy (Agenda 2010 and the deregulation by the SPD and Greens as well as the current government policies of the CDU and FDP) means extreme inequality, poverty, a giant and growing divide between poor and rich, injustice, privileges for super rich elites and corporations, exploitation of people as precarious workers, and a threat to democracy and its institutions and its principles. On top of it, it shows that in neoliberalism, the increase of low-paying jobs and evidence of poverty of people are not perceived as problems, but instead referred to euphemistically as competitive advantages and improvements in the report, and even celebrated.
Instead of this notion of an economic system, we as the Pirate Party propose a different image of humanity and a completely different policy approach to actually abolish poverty for every individual: The unconditional right to secure existence and social participation. We stand for a poverty reduction strategy that does not build on the chance that with enough privileges for corporations, business and elites, sometime jobs and full employment will be created (and also no matter how inhumane the work is), but for a strategy, that sees full employment as no longer as contemporary or desirable. Instead, we want an unconditional basic income guarantee (BIG) for every single human, that meets the goals of the human right to secure existence and social participation, and want to establish a comprehensive system that generally and unconditionally secures all livelihoods, and makes the emancipation and empowerment of all humans possible.
(See Pirate Party program: right to secure existence and social participation; Pirate Party program: employment; Pirate Party program for the Bundestag election 2013: Unconditional basic income and minimum wage.)
See also my blog posting from November 2012: “The departure from the dogma work. The economic program of the Pirate Party.”
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