Volltext: A Policy of Consensus. The Austrian Experience.

In addition two facts are relevant. Private capitalism in 
Austria has been much weakened by nationalisation; the 
strongest capitalist force are the foreign concerns. 
At the same time the trade unions in Austria are not split 
politically, so that some problems typically occurring 
for example in Great Britain, are absent. 
While the social partnership was very successful in short 
term economic policy the same can not be said with respect 
to long term policies. These "structural" problems have now 
acquired more and more a dominating character: Old industries 
are decaying and are kept in operation by large subsidies, 
while innovative new industries and firms are rare. A 
technology policy which would systematically encourage and plan 
innovative development, is absent, like any kind of long term 
indicative planning. 
In fact the features of the social partnership which guarantee 
its success in the solution of short run ("Konjunktur") problems 
prove a handicap for a structural policy. The centralised power 
of the interest bodies, with their discipline and coherence 
involves a petrification of economic structures which often 
extends also to the management. The tendency to conserve 
structures which is in any case inherited from Austrian history, 
has been powerfully reinforced by the system of social partnership.


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