Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I disagree with you that today, market-liberalism in Europe is that far from the US.
But the net income distribution is. Otherwise you are right, that our markets are as liberalised. I put the income distribution thing up, because in the US it seems to be more justified to assume that middle class and poor people interests are well aligned.

I disagree with you (and your sources) on the assessment of recent social changes in Germany
One difference between what you describe and what Fricke describes is, that he speaks of the middle class as people with a certain qualification (as Jake put it "tenured worker"). You speak of people with a certain income.

grew to 13% in Germany, with another 13% held above with social benefits.
The first is sad. The other, well isn't that exactly the purpose of social benefits? That is more a sign of a working system than a non-working system.

With the greens, I really think there is more to it. Of course they prefer the SPD, but they will usually prefer the CDU above the left (maybe except when the CDU incumbrant is named "Koch").
The political opinion center in Germany has definitively changed. Schröder's politics with regard to taxes (reducing the maximum income tax by 12%) and welfare is undoubtfully rightwing policy. And the greens were part of that, too.
It is more the social policy, where the greens always were against the CDU and there the CDU has moved significantly to the left, while some on the left has as well moderated their tone on some issues (Haven't heard an attack on the Ehegattensplitting in quite some time now).

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Sun May 18th, 2008 at 08:46:42 AM EST
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