Dhe founding fathers of the social market economy are not in danger of being forgotten, but long-term appreciation requires an understanding of their performance. In Freiburg on Saturday Wolfgang Schäuble will open an exhibition about one of the most important founding figures of the social market economy, the economist Walter Eucken, founder of the Freiburg School. The exhibition, which is well worth seeing, traces the life and work of Walter Eucken and presents Freiburg as the “cradle of the social market economy”. Even during the Nazi era, a group of professors around Walter Eucken had come together there to think about what the economic order should look like after the Second World War.
They conceived an alternative to the centrally administered command economy of the National Socialists, which was also intended to distinguish itself from the laissez-faire liberalism of the Weimar Republic. The aim was to finally establish a human economic order with real competition, without privileges, without cartels, without inflation, but with open markets, free pricing and clear rules of the game such as the liability principle, the correction of external effects and, to a certain extent, state redistribution . This made them pioneers of the social market economy, a term that does not appear in Eucken’s work.