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The CDU and the "Social Market Economy": Düsseldorf Guidelines for Economic Policy, Agricultural Policy, Social Policy, and Housing (July 15, 1949)

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We hereby present the following principles in order to implement the social market economy:

1. Performance-based competition must be secured by law. Monopolies and holders of economic power must be subject to an institutionally based, independent control authority that answers only to the law.
2. We aim for legal measures that foster genuine responsibility in the business community.
3. Legal measures must be implemented to ensure stricter reporting requirements, particularly for incorporated companies.
4. A central financial supervisory body is needed to protect the currency.
5. Market-driven prices must be allowed to evolve, and they must not be distorted by the state or by private industry through arbitrary action or decree. This type of interference only squeezes products out of the market. However, we support efforts to organically influence prices by means of economic policy, particularly by means of monetary, credit, and tax policies, so that goods will flow into the market in growing quantities and at sinking prices.
6. In the interest of German competitiveness in global markets, we aim for a reduction in price levels in Germany. This will simultaneously bring about an increase in real income.
7. The fixing of wages and working conditions must be left to the collective agreement system. Performance-based pay and wage increases must be supported within the framework of proper market-economic prices. They increase both purchasing power and demand in much the same way as sinking prices.
8. Technology and science must be strongly promoted. They create new needs and job opportunities. They lower prime costs.
9. The “social market economy” embraces the free choice of profession, the right to establish a business, freedom of trade, and freedom of movement. In the skilled trades, however, the certificate of professional competence (master craftsman’s exam) must be presented as before. The same applies to all professions that require proof of professional competence.
10. The “social market economy” affirms and promotes private property. A just distribution of economic proceeds and a socially anchored legal system must seek to transform, on a large scale, the poorer classes into property owners. Aside from a broad distribution of property, we favor, in the industrial sphere, business forms based on public ownership, where they are economically useful, operationally feasible, and politically necessary.
11. We will emphatically promote the accumulation of savings.
12. We demand a comprehensive tax reform, in particular through cutting the existing tax rates in all brackets and by simplifying the entire tax system.
13. Effective safeguards must be put in place to prevent economic crises and mass unemployment. These must include an effective credit and currency policy as well as a public investment policy.
14. We aim to promote foreign trade by all possible means. We support the Marshall Plan (European Recovery Program).
15. The German merchant fleet must be rebuilt.
16. The “social market economy” can only be realized if it enjoys the trust of all strata of society, that is, when entrepreneurs, blue-collar workers, white-collar workers, and consumers are actively involved in its implementation.

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