Several staff the other day at McDonald’s. in front of the deep fryer, a upset. He didn’t get his retirement notice. “600 euros”, says the beefy guy with a bald head and Tattoos. “For a whole life full of work.” For years he had toiled as a moving helper, now he’s turning burgers at McDonald’s. “It’s not enough with this pension for the rent,” scolds the man.

What this scene has to do with the debate on the income of Friedrich Merz? A Lot Of It. It will be much discussed, whether the candidate is suitable in spite of his financial circumstances for the CDU presidency. Merz is a millionaire.

It is morally not reprehensible, to the pursuit of a career in the private sector in the policy. The experience economy can be a great asset for making decisions about the lives of the citizens in this country. Why is Merz with his income and assets, nevertheless, a charming figure? In the United States has managed the contractor and billionaire, Donald Trump for President, even though he is showing off his wealth at every opportunity. Elected people with very low income, as top earners have him anyway.

the difference lies in The history of the two countries. America is based since time immemorial on the myth that anyone can make anything, as long as he exerts himself only. Wealth is nothing Wrong, but absolutely desirable.

the founding myth of The Federal Republic of Germany, in contrast, is based since the end of the Second world war on the Social market economy. “Prosperity for all”, proclaimed the CDU-politician and Minister of the economy Ludwig Erhard in his book, 1957. Most people in Germany understand that everyone can create in this country a good life. The prerequisite for this is but a well-balanced ratio of the income of workers and entrepreneurs. Desirable fantastic wealth of the Individual, but a prosperity that is based on compensation. Surveys show that people in Germany have a Problem in principle with wealth, as long as the performance of all other rewards in the society and everyone can satisfy his basic needs.

And here is the connection between the employees of McDonald’s and the millionaire Merz. Especially for people in the low-wage area, the go for years from one Job to another, is likely to mean an income of a Million Euro in the year is a provocation. And this has nothing to do with envy. Of course, Merz can’t help it that these people earn so little. But also low-income earners provide a service, sometimes also a very important for the company. These people doubt whether or not your performance is adequately compensated, if you can’t even be sure that you have enough money to live on in old age.

stocks to buy of what money?

For you, it is another provocation, if Merz has complained on the first day of his candidacy, that “Germany had a much too small number of shareholders”. What money will there be in the shares created, to multiply it, perhaps, for the age? Half of the population in Germany has no assets. Who can just pay his rent, not much left for a private pension.

© Michael stern Zacharias Zacharakis

editor in the Department of politics, the economy and society, TIME ONLINE

to the author of the page

Only in the past few years, the lower income in Germany, after a long stagnant merchandise, or even decreases. Since the nineties, the income of this economy have been unevenly distributed – a lot of up and little down. This is mainly due to the fact that the unions have practiced for years – back to printing the policy in a Wage position and the number of employees fell with the tariff payment. This development has generated a lot of frustration and you can be slow to correct.

For many people, is likely to embody Friedrich Merz, with his high income, is exactly this disproportion of the past few years. With his Supervisory Board activities at BlackRock, he is also to ensure that companies maximize their profits and to their shareholders, instead of the revenue to the employees pay in the Form of higher wages and salaries.

essentially, The question is whether all of this is for the core electorate of the Union is a Problem. To choose your count anyway, people with higher incomes, the majority of entrepreneurs, the CDU and CSU. If Merz wants to get as a possible candidate for Chancellor of the broad support of the population, he must formulate a program that dispels every doubt as to the socio-political claim. His goal is that he wants to reduce the social divide in Germany.