by Jerome a Paris
Wed Feb 28th, 2007 at 09:56:43 AM EST
The Financial Times is shocked - shocked! - that social-democratic politicians worry about sharing the fruits of growth:
EU business ‘must redistribute wealth’
European companies must give workers a bigger share of their soaring profit or risk igniting a “crisis in legitimacy” in the continent’s economic model, Germany’s finance minister warned on Tuesday.
Peer Steinbrück’s comments were part of a concerted attempt by Europe’s economic leaders in Brussels to persuade companies to share profit with workers as well as shareholders.
The co-ordinated message to Europe’s company bosses surprised some onlookers. One EU official commented that the closing press conference of the monthly Ecofin council of finance ministers sounded “like a trade union meeting”.
Ministers are treading a fine line between encouraging companies to share with workers while deterring unwarranted pay rises.
We've been told that the genius of capitalism is that it allows for greater wealth creation, thus allowing all to benefit from increased prosperity. The problem is that wealth creation (and often, capture) has become the only goal, and the "increased propserity for all" bit is forgotten - indeed, is seen as a direct obstacle to the wealth creation/capture. By explicitly mocking - in a news article! - the officials that modestly try to remind the business world of the need for some redistribution, the FT is doing nothing less than waging class war on the 99.9% that are currently not benefitting in any way form growth. Hiding behind "onlookers" and indirect claims to objectivity (when are wage claims unwarranted? When are equity return requirements unwarranted?) should not fool anyone any more.
They need to answer: when is it a good time to share prosperity?