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Thursday, November 17, 2011

“Die Linke:” A Platform For Occupy Wall Street?

The Occupy Wall Street crowd is criticized for not offering an alternative to the capitalism that it says has failed. Maybe they should take the platform of Germany’s Die Linke (The Leftist) Party. It seems to suit their protest signs.
Die Linke’s base consists of young radicals and true-believer former members of the East German communist party. Its top leaders broke with the mainstream Social Democratic Party for having forgotten its Marxist roots.

As a minor party, Die Linke’s goal is to win enough votes to enter the German parliament and do well in local and state elections. Their platform rules out participation in coalition governments. It is therefore an electoral party that can be fairly open about its anti-capitalist agenda. It only has to win about five percent of the votes nationally to be a success.

In its party congress in Erfurt, symbolically a century after the Revolutionary Social Democratic party adopted its famous Erfurt Program, Die Linke adopted the following platform for the upcoming national elections:

Taxes:

53 percent tax rate for incomes of 65,000 Euros for singles or 130,000 for married couples (one Euro equals around $1.34).
5 percent annual wealth tax on a million Euros or more.
One percent tax on all security market transactions.

Economy:

Investment program of 200 billion Euros per year to create two million jobs, half in the public sector.
Nationalize banks.
State control of the financial sector
Employees get ownership shares of companies that receive subsidies.

Energy:

All atomic power generation should be stopped.
All energy from renewable energy.
Energy concerns to be nationalized.

Labor and Social Sphere:

Minimum wage of 9 Euros per hour to be raised each year.
Long term unemployed receive unemployment benefits basically for an unlimited amount of time.

Health:

All citizens must pay into “citizen’s health insurance” program.
All health care is free.
Employees in health care should be compensated according to fixed wages.

Foreign policy:

Replace NATO with a collective security system including Russia.

I imagine the American Left would embrace Die Linke platform, if it, like its German brethren, could be honest with the voting public.

The five percent wealth tax on a million Euros would be attractive. Millionaires who earn less than five percent will see their wealth fall each year. In a world of bad markets and low interest rates, we could get rid of marginal millionaires in a few years.

3 comments:

  1. "Millionaires who earn less than five percent will see their wealth fall each year." ??? Less than 5% of . . . what?

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  2. What I can not really understand is how could it happen that just 40 years ago the US government/CIA has spent around $6 million to prevent a marxist president in Chile. These efforts resulted in a coup and all the accompanying horrors.

    Yet, the current President of the USA is a Marxist who appointed a lot of marxists in his administration.

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  3. vityok, you and your ilk are completely out of your mind. Obama is no conservative but he's basically a centrist; I'm to the left and he's certainly not liberal enough for me. I doubt you've even read a page of Marx and simply associate him with a vague "red menace."

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