Virtudes e poupanças na Alemanha, vícios e despesismo em Portugal

Ah, a disciplina alemã: The new pension provision to give a little more to women who might otherwise face old-age poverty because of time they took off to raise children, or the provision allowing those who have worked for at least 45 years to retire at age 63 without any penalty may both be well-meaning gestures. But the large sums of spending that will result from that kind of redistribution-of-wealth-minded reform package is hardly the kind of thing that is going to help bring Germany’s finances in order. Thoughts about making sustained cuts to subsidies, lowering government spending and taxes, or providing effective relief to families and small- and mid-sized businesses petered out almost without a trace. Instead, Merkel and company parceled out other people’s money with a friendly smile. The good news is that this can work at times when there is an economic upswing and rising tax revenues. The bad news is that this upswing can’t last forever. The next crisis will most certainly come, and then everything that has been distributed will be collected again.

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