The farmers’ protest is mobilising the middle class

by Professor Dr Eberhard Hamer, Mittelstandsinstitut Niedersachsen e.V.

In Germany, we have never seen tens of thousands of tractors blocking motorway access roads, traffic junctions and city centres! Neither the government nor its media had expected such an explosion of farmer protest.
  The permanent ecological and bureaucratic pressure on our farmers has suddenly cracked the cauldron. Instead of looking after their land and animals, farmers now have to spend almost 40% of their time on bureaucratic duties, inspections, statistics and reports at their desks.
  One of the farmers complains: “I wanted to be a farmer. Now I spend a third of my working time as a bureaucrat and two thirds of my agricultural activity following the rules of external bureaucrats, who leave me less and less personal freedom of action. I feel less and less like an independent farmer and more and more like an employee of an eco-bureaucracy!”
  More than 6000 protesters gathered in Magdeburg. But only 4000 of them were farmers with their tractors. A further 2000 entrepreneurs had come with their lorries or private cars because they were also fed up with the green economic policy and bureaucracy.
  Even a medical doctor joined in the protest: “I work like a hamster on a treadmill on a capped income – more and more patients, but more and more regulations and reports and checks that are already stealing 40% of my working time. In order to do justice to my patients, I have to sacrifice my free time to bureaucracy. I can’t take it anymore!”
  A building contractor complained: “New construction is dead because costs have risen dramatically due to bureaucratic environmental regulations, but rents are being squeezed. In addition, interest rates, wages and material costs are rising, so that I can only fulfil open orders at a growing loss. I would never have believed that it was not the market and the economy, but ideological government policy that could harm me the most!”
  Many conversations with entrepreneurs taking part in the protest were similar. In just one and a half years, the economic amateur dramatics in Berlin have apparently enraged the entire self-employed middle class with their mismanagement.
  This does not bode well for the political perpetrators: our five million entrepreneurs with their just as many spouses (= 10 million) employ 25 million people who also realise that their existence is endangered by the wrong ideological economic policy. So, if 35 million voters (out of 61 million) employed in small and medium-sized businesses and surgeries are angry, an election can only end disastrously for the traffic light party.
  The government’s behaviour is also incomprehensible in terms of electoral economics. Does it believe that German voters will agree that

  • 0.9 billion euros will be saved in diesel taxes for farmers, but at the same time 8 billion euros will be spent on the war in Ukraine, which is of no concern to us?
  • energy prices are tripling in Germany, not only for the economy but also for private consumers, simply because the government has cancelled cheap Russian gas on American orders and replaced it with American fracking gas that is three times as expensive?
  • the 17 billion savings in Germany are offset by economic and ideological payments to foreign countries that are three times as high (from cycle paths in Peru to queer-sex aid in Asia)? The money is being dribbled into Germany and poured abroad.

So far, CDU governments have burdened the middle class in order to subsidise the banks and corporations. And the socialist governments have redistributed from the middle class to the lower class. But the fact that a government is harming the entire middle class and all voters in order to push through its eco-ideas is new.
  Like a shock, the independent middle class has realised that it can be as efficient as it wants – if the public framework is deadly, it cannot survive.
  The revolt of the middle class is about whether the middle class survives or this government.   •

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