• How does Germany do it?

    Engine - AUTOMOTIVE RHYTHMS“The lives of the dead hang like a nightmare on the minds of the living,” wrote Marx. His words apply to the relationship between Margaret Thatcher and the Labour Party.

    She defeated us in life and her ghost was not laid at her funeral. Thatcher’s inheritance still sets the parameters of political rationality and government policy today. She argued that Labour spent too much, taxed too much and borrowed too much.

    The trajectory of the Labour Party over the past 35 years has been defined by the challenge Thatcher posed. What is the alternative to the market as the exclusive generator of innovation? What is the alternative to managerial prerogative in the pursuit of efficiency?

    Part of Labour’s challenge is historical: to show that the durability and comparative strength of Europe’s most successful economy – Germany’s, which has come to be understood exclusively as a function of its monetary discipline –was in fact rooted in a series distinctive, decentralised institutions. The “equalisation of burdens” act of 1952 stipulated that there had to be negotiation between capital and labour both inside firms and in society as a whole.

    Read more in the New Statesman.

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