Archive15. Dezember 2012

»Our Grandchildren Will Have to Pay Back Our Debts«


The German weekly newspaper Welt am Sonntag (June 26, 2011) explained to Sigmar Gabriel, chair of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD): »We’re living at the expense of our grandchildren and great grandchildren, since they have to pay for all of that.« In every talk show debate, the remark always comes up at least once that »we« cannot incur debt at the expense of our children and grandchildren. That is a requirement of the fundamental principle of »intergenerational justice«. The dramatic picture is clear: debts incurred today have to be paid back in a few years or decades. If new debts are taken on every year, then the pile of debt becomes larger. The more debts accumulate, according to this argument, the less money there is for other expenditures, for example for education, road...