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TV-Discussion: „I wasn’t aware of that“: Lanz is shocked to hear statement about pension system

According to the Hubert-Burda-Foundation, the average age of Germans could soon be around 55 to 65 years. Particularly alarming: in the next few years, about 18 million workers from the “baby boomer” generation will retire. At the same time, there will be only about eleven million new adults coming in.

This results in a deficit of approximately seven million able-bodied individuals who would have to contribute to the pension funds. On “Markus Lanz,” sociologist Stefan Schulz therefore warned of serious societal and economic consequences: “We don’t have the money lying around somewhere to meet this expectation.”

Lanz is shocked to hear how precarious the pension system is

According to the expert, in Germany, sometimes “there is only a week between ‘We pay in, the retirees get paid.’ This tight “pay-as-you-go system” even shocked Markus Lanz. The ZDF presenter remarked: “That’s insane! I didn’t know that! We earn money in January and in February, the retiree has it in their account?” Schulz confirmed and added that the “imbalances” in demography could also “checkmate” democracy. The reason? “Soon, we will have federal states where there are more voters with care needs than voters under 30 years old.”

“That’s a harsh statement!” Lanz countered. Johannes Winkel, however, shared a similar view and added: “We must be careful that the demographic problem does not eventually become a democratic problem.” In this context, the politician from the “Young Union” stated that in Germany, politics is already primarily made for the older generation, “and I have the feeling that the priorities (…) are not being placed on the younger generation.”

 

Journalist doesn’t feel “demographic panic”

Winkel expressed similar concern about the topic of “Retirement at 63.” The politician sharply criticized the idea and noted: “In a society where we have too few contributors, it’s absolutely insane. Especially when people are growing older, getting healthier (…), it’s obviously madness for the government to set incentives and say: We will now take entire generations out of the system many years earlier.”

Business journalist Rainer Hank strongly agreed and warned: “You can’t just go on cruise ship trips for 50 years!” Instead, Hank wished for “a sense of purpose in work” and “a gradual extension of the working hours.” However, he didn’t seem too concerned about an increasingly older society. When asked by Lanz if he felt a “demographic panic,” the journalist denied: “Then economies will produce less wealth. They have to live with that. (…) This doesn’t lead us into impoverishment.”

He added: “It’s actually a blessing and a great success that we have become older. Life expectancy has increased. (…) It’s not that people are in decline, but people at 80 today live like they did at 70 twenty years ago.” While Johannes Winkel described the statement as “a bit too relaxed,” Markus Lanz reacted with a laugh: “It’s interesting that an older person in the group is being accused of too much optimism.”

Stefan Schulz: “In the past, people had children for security, now they hinder you”

Even when it came to the low birth rate, Hank and Schulz didn’t seem to agree. While Rainer Hank criticized “all rich industrial nations” for a certain individualism, Stefan Schulz mainly blamed economic reasons for the declining births. “In the past

Man bemerkte, dass Eltern, die ihre Nachkommen präventiv erwirben, nun eine Einschränkung erfahren”, erklärte der Soziologe. Laut Schulz muss jetzt nicht nur die Problematik des “Wohnens” im Voraus geklärt werden, sondern auch die des “Arbeitens”, um sich den Wunsch nach Kindern leisten zu können.

Rainer Hank widersprach sofort: “Das ist doch absurd! Wenn wir ständig wohlhabender werden, wenn es uns immer besser geht, dann darf jetzt nicht im Gegenteil (…) die Tatsache, dass unser Einkommen gesunken ist, der Grund sein.” Der Soziologe argumentierte, dass wir bloß “kollektiv, nicht individuell” wohlhabender werden. Dennoch fuhr Hank unbeirrt fort: “Seit 20 Jahren ist die Regierung bemüht, Kinder mit sämtlichen Mitteln zu unterstützen. Kindergeld, Kinderfreibetrag, Erziehungszeiten. (…) Die Ausgaben, die wir auch staatlich (…) für die Kinder tätigen, sind innerhalb von 30 Jahren gestiegen.”

Laut Hank sind die hohen Wohnkosten in den Städten daher “kein Grund, keine Kinder zu bekommen”. Eine Äußerung, auf die Stefan Schulz nur mit einem Lächeln antwortete: “Das sagen Sie so leicht.” Daraufhin brachte Johannes Winkel sich in die Debatte ein und erklärte, dass man “gesamtheitlich auch noch einmal insgesamt dem Thema Familie” mehr Aufmerksamkeit schenken sollte, da es sich “auf lange Sicht” stets auszahlt. “Die Entscheidung für Kinder und für eine Familie ist, glaube ich, weit mehr wert als bloß die Betrachtung im Hier und Jetzt”, folgerte Winkel abschließend.

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