If she means households, then it is sensible not to spend more than you earn, but only measured over a lifetime. In youth, people borrow to fund education, buy a house, etc. In middle years people may save to fund retirement when spending is based on past income.
Even stranger was her claim that East Germany failed due to a lack of competitiveness:
“We witnessed in the GDR and in the entire socialist system that an economy which was no longer competitive was denying people prosperity and ultimately leading to great instability.”I can think of many reasons why the GDR economy collapsed, but wrapping them up in one portmanteau word is a feat beyond even Humpty Dumpty.
Finally, Mrs Merkel hinted at even scarier ideas to come:
Although Ms Merkel stopped short of suggesting that a ceiling on social spending might be one yardstick for measuring competitiveness, she hinted as much in the light of soaring social spending in the face of an ageing population.The right is out to cut the welfare state and Mrs Merkel is aiming to cut social spending in pursuit of the chimera of competitiveness.