There is just one sort of politician.
The growth politician.
The only thing he ever learned is how to distribute growth. It is the easiest way of doing the job, because being a growth politician, you will not have to hurt anybody by taking something from them. Everybody gets something. Of the growth. One politician shows generosity towards his voters, so does the next. If there is no growth, you create growth: by debt.
The debt is distributed and becomes part of the total economical product. Its increase each year is about 1 to 2 per cent. If you have a 3% rate of new debt each year, you basically get the result that you have no growth, but since nobody comes and actually puts the two numbers next to each other, what you get is: growth.
In theory, there should also be such a thing as a politician of shortage. But there is no place where you can train to be one. Consequently, he does not exist. He would certainly not be very popular. Even in Germany. The only politician in this country who ever took something away from the people since WW-II was Gerhard Schröder.
He did not last long, did he? Angela Merkel, who orders other countries to be more thrifty, does nothing of the sort in this country. As before, our national debt increases all the time. But, as I said, you cannot hold that against a growth politician, because there is no place where the other sort of politician is trained. The only institution that trains politicians of shortage is life. Only a catastrophe will drastically change your curriculum.
Politicians of shortage learn to do their own thinking, instead of chasing their voter’s carrots. Even growth politicians do not always fall for what their voters say. (At the moment, they actually tell us it is good to be thrifty. But as soon as it is all about their own standards, they cannot bark loud enough while pointing their fingers towards the others.
Experienced growth politicians ignore these kinds of polls). Since old, satiated societies with high standards stand against young, hungry societies with low standards, waiting for the catastrophe will not get boring for us. Perhaps those who are a little older today will even see a new generation of politicians of shortage. To be sure, they will not bring us prosperity, but perhaps, with a little luck, the way down to the bottom can be slowed a little.
Politically correct, we might call this hyper growth brake (haven’t we seen a good example of the beneficial effect of phrases with debt brake? Because whenever we talk about it, what we mean is not at all minimizing old debts. All it means is that the new debt will not increase quite as fast as the old one did). Besides, all catastrophes also proved to bring something good in their wake: afterwards, the societies that were affected had a little more equality.
(Translated by EG)