Inequality For All

That seems to be what most Germans think their country provides them with these days. They are forever moaning and groaning about how the German “social divide” keeps widening.

Germans can be pretty innumerate, you see, believe it or not (when the media hype wants them to be). Nobody ever stops to consider the numbers here, either (just like everywhere else). You have to go to professional-like people on the outside (like at The Economist) for that.

DIW, an economic think-tank in Berlin, says that inequality rose significantly after German reunification; but that it has fallen a bit since 2005 (see chart). Awkwardly for the left, that is when Angela Merkel became chancellor, in coalition first with the SPD, then with the FDP.

Numbers

This is the opposite of what the public believes. According to a study by Allensbach, a polling institute, 69% of Germans think wealth and income are unfairly distributed, and almost two-thirds believe inequality has risen in the past few years. That is good for the left.

Germany remains a huge social and economic success, something that it often seems unGerman to savour.

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