Thursday, December 15, 2016

Deleting unpleasant tuths

The Report on Poverty and Wealth is published by the German government every four years. The labour ministry deleted potentially controversial parts of a forthcoming report.

"Political change is significantly more likely if it's supported by people with higher incomes" was a finding left out of the report

The document originally warned of a "crisis of political representation," concluding that "people with lower incomes forgo political participation because in their experience, politicians take them into account to a lesser extent when making their decisions."

Another deleted passage states that "not only do people in Germany with different incomes take part in politics to various degrees, but there is clearly a non-level playing field, to the detriment of the poor, in political decision-making. With that there is the threat of a vicious circle of unequal participation and unequal responsiveness. Socially disadvantaged groups find that their concerns aren't being listened to and therefore turn their backs on politics, and consequently politics increasingly focuses on the interests of the more affluent. This pattern of systematically distorted decisions, which has been demonstrated in the US, applies to Germany as well.”

Mention of "the influence of special interest representatives and lobbyism" were also omitted.

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