Germany 5% pay-cut

Maybe I am a bit thick or something but why is it that in our capitalistic based economies we punish the main revenue providers (low to middle income workers) when the economy has a downward hiccup. For example the latest idea to drop public sector workers wages in Germany by 5%. I don't really think it is their fault that the economy is in a bit of bother. Even before the downturn I can only presume these people were doing their best and earning only just enough to pay bills and enjoy very modest luxuries ?:confused::confused:
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