Property, interest, money, taxes

Theory experiments in search of the right social theory

If one poses the question of the most widespread and effective philosophy of history, one inevitably ends up in historical materialism of Marx. Not only does he make a radical reduction in the complexity of human history, but he also claims a natural law compulsion, described in the form of a one-dimensional sequence of "economic social formations." Although with communism the alleged historical final state was and is the most controversial point, its real clou is the invention of the slave-holding society. As the most crude and most primitive form of exploitation, it not only forms the prototype of the history determining class antagonism, but on top of that testifies to moral judgment over every form of social inequality, especially of private property. Robbery, greed and resentment are thus declared to be the engines of social change. Violent repressive conditions that almost scream for violent change. However, this shortening is now not entirely fair, since Marx tried to describe social developments in the style of Hegel based on social contradictions. But it is noteworthy that although slavery played a crucial socio-economic role in Marx's times, especially in the colonies, he strictly followed his sequential model, calling only ancient societies slave-holding societies. At the beginning of the Internet age, there were more people in slavery-like dependency relationships than ever before. In contrast, Max Weber distinguishes in his major work "Economy and Society" of 1922 consistently between modern and ancient capitalism. Today, with the Internet and its platform economies, another fundamentally different form of capitalism seems to emerge.

Following Otto Steiger and Gunnar Heinsohn together with the social transactionalism of Georg Herbert Mead gives a completely different picture. The individuals in their self and world relations are individually and collectively recognizable as the decisive motors of social change.

Otto Steiger and Gunnar Heinsohn show in their book: "Property, Interest and Money: Unresolved Riddles of Economics" of 1996 that classical and neoclassical economics have so far understood the money completely inadequately.

First, they put the relationship of money and interest from the head to the feet. Not interest is a succession of money, but interest is primarily a compensation for the charge of own property. This charge can subsequently in the form of money become the property of third parties. A rent as compensation for the use of foreign property can be explained without money if necessary. But as soon as rights over property become the property of third parties, is the money in the game.

Secondly, they relativize Marx's theory of "Original Accumulation" as incidentally or misinterpreted. Not robbery was thereafter the decisive condition for the transition to capitalist social forms, but the legal equality and protection of all people as owners, creditors and debtors. Rather, the brutal early capitalist conditions are a consequence of competition between nation states for access to markets and resources from an economy oriented on maximum profit. The resulting wars were often more or less also currency wars.

Thirdly, they make it plausible that it was not until the invention of property and money that an impersonal economic exchange came into the world in which the persons involved in the exchange are completely abstracted in the evaluation of the exchanged goods.

Money is always a three-sided debt relationship, which can be used as accounting unit, exchange and accumulation means. The three sides are the debtor, the creditor and the owner of the claim (money). The owner of the claim has a right against the creditor to redeem this claim (exchange of the claim to creditor's property). The creditor must charge as collateral own property in the amount of the claim. The creditor has a right against the debtor to settle his debt plus interest. The debtor must pledge as collateral own property in the amount of the claim plus interest. The interest is composed of the property premium and the risk premium. The property premium is a compensation for the charge of the creditor's property, which subsequently restricts the creditor's power of disposal over the charged property, because he can not charge or pledge another time. The risk premium is a compensation for the risk that the creditor will not repay the debt. Money is always credit money. With hard money existing property of the debtor is pledged, with soft only future income. The term liquidity preference instead of property premium goes a bit past the thing, since the property of money to generate liquidity results from the protected legal power over money and property. This protection is guaranteed by the state, for which it may collect taxes.

In the case of counterfeit money, the property of the creditor or the property or income of the debtor is not or not sufficiently debited or pledged. In the case of legal counterfeit money, this happens in compliance with legal rules. The distinction between soft money and legal counterfeit money is problematic because future income can not be reliably determined and can be falsified by wishful thinking. As long as counterfeit money is not revealed as such, it is very profitable. The term fiat money is misleading because it pretends that there is no difference between real money and legal counterfeit money.

Quasi-money is counterfeit money where there is no charge on the creditor's property. There are both hard and soft quasi-money. Quasi-money is much more problematic than just soft money, as the owner can exchange the money for the property of the creditor at any time (Bank Run) and not at a fixed time in the future. In the case of quasi-money, the interest would have to be lower, precisely because of the property premium, since no creditor's property is currently being charged. It is quite plausible, in the case of an introduction of full money (prohibition of quasi-money) to expect exactly for this reason with rising lending rates. Historically, Amadeo Giannini introduced modern expansive banking in 1909 following the San Francisco earthquake, as quasi-money was widely accepted despite frequent bank runs. As long as this expansive banking is in place, it also has the potential benefit of lower interest rates for debtor, as demonstrated by the accelerated reconstruction of San Francisco including the Giannini-funded Golden Gate Bridge. Worth mentioning is that Giannini donated almost all his income to charitable causes.

Pseudo-money is quasi-money in which additionally no pledging of property or income of the debtor takes place. It is thus a complete imitation of real money with the characteristics of a pyramid scheme. Nevertheless, a pseudo-money system can be stable for a long time, such as the currencies of former Eastern Bloc countries. At least for the initiators of these pyramid schemes, pseudo-money is very profitable.

Money in which only the creditor is liable is theoretically conceivable but practically irrelevant. A creditor who is seriously liable with his own property would hardly forego the collaterals of the debtor.

In the case of debt money, the creditor is always the owner of the claim at the same time. The collaterals of the creditor is irrelevant to him, since he would have to vouch for himself. In this debt relationship there is the interest in so far as the value of the claims of the creditor/owner may be higher than the equivalent, which has received the debtor. Debt money can thus not be quasi money.

In the case of cash, the issuer is always both creditor and debtor. There is no interest here because the debtor is not at fault with the creditor. Only the issuer is liable as a creditor towards the owner with his collaterals. Cash can thus not be soft money.

Commodity money is protected by itself, with him fall the three sides debtor, creditor and owner in the person of the holder of the commodity money together. There is no interest like cash and the creditor's collaterals are irrelevant as with the debt money. Commodity money can thus be neither quasi-money nor soft money.

Natural money and currency money are commodity money.

Scheidemünzen and paper money are cash.

Bonds (bearer paper), promissory notes, bills of exchange, bonus miles, discount points and coupons are debt money. In practice, they are mostly unprotected with the exception of bonds.

Cryptocurrency is pseudo-money.

Demand deposit or bank money is credit money. If the debtor still owns the claim, his collaterals are nonetheless relevant because they must cover the interest in addition to the value of the claim.

Digital currency is demand deposit on a numerically cryptographic basis.

Central bank money is made up of scheidemünzen, paper money and deposits (minimum reserves plus excess reserves) of the commercial banks with the central bank.

An economy without interest thus would have only cash and commodity money as accounting unit, exchange and accumulation means, as was sometimes the case in medieval feudal societies.

The interest and compound interest yields a growth imperative for the capitalist economy. However, as economic growth can not be higher than interest rates in the longer term and adjusted for inflation, it is not possible for all loans to be repaid. In order to have these unavoidable defaults take place as evenly as possible, a complicated insolvency law was introduced. After the possibility to liquidate limited liability companies, the introduction of private bankruptcy was another significant milestone in the taming of capitalism. Thus, "only" the possibility of a regulated state insolvency is missing. Only through a consistent consolidation of debts or credits can the excessive formation of speculative bubbles be prevented.

Simplified, the following relationships be valid:
macroeconomic average interest rate* = money/debt growth* + credit default/insolvency rate
money/debt growth* - substance/economic growth* = counterfeit currency growth
macroeconomic average interest rate* = substance/economic growth* + counterfeit currency growth + credit default/insolvency rate
* adjusted for inflation

central banking system

Bretton Woods system

abolish cash / electronic cash

From the early 1980s to the present, the global money supply has increased about twentyfold. The economic performance has quadrupled. Assuming a conservative counterfeit money rate of 50% for the early 1980s, today it would have to be around 80%. Pseudo-money, such as the $ 700bn cryptocurrencies in December 2017, are not relevant to this calculation, unless a collapse happened and banks must be rescued with real money again.

counterfeit money growth => excessive creation of speculative bubbles
low old-money tax rate => increasing socio-economic inequality
low old-money tax rate + highly volatile potent investment opportunities => rapidly increasing socio-economic inequality
substance bubbles, such as real estate bubbles, are the most problematic bubbles.

simplistic four-dimensional phase model:
- tribalism (flexible language for 70,000 years) - reputation-based exchange
   - neolithizations (settledness since 12.000 years)
      - pets (dog 30,000, sheep/pig/goat 11,000, cattle 10,000, cat 9,500, donkey 7,000, horse 6,000)
      - inventions (pottery 24,000, pottery wheel 8,000, ore smelting 7,000, wheel 5,500, saddle 4,500)
   - for 7,000 years short-lived protofeudal illiterate societies
- feudalism (scripture since 5,500 years + metallurgy) - patriarchal-paternalistic and subsidiary supply and duty system
   - absolutism - centralized and bureaucratic exercise of power - mercantilism
   - for 4,500 years, short-lived protocapitalist alphabetless societies
- capitalism 1.0 (alphabet + city-states for 3000 years) - credit markets + money markets + commodity markets (slaves as commodities) + debt slavery
   - refeudalizations through market manipulations and capital accumulation (monopolies/money aristocracy)
   - Christian/Islamic refeudalizations - credit and seizure obstruction and thus relativization of property and thus of hard money
   - diverse overarching exploitation (rentier state)
      - colonialism / slavism - based on repression
- capitalism 2.0 (book printing + nation states for 550 years) - institutionalization and regulation of labor markets (monotheistic slavery ban + antitrust law)
   - refeudalizations through market manipulations and capital accumulation (monopolies/money aristocracy)
   - Marxist/Leninist/Maoist refeudalizations - credit and seizure obstruction and thus relativization of property and thus of hard money
   - social stately retribalizations (trade unions, social insurance)
   - diverse overarching exploitation (rentier state)
      - neo-colonialism / protectionism - based on corruption (degenerate donations and foundations)
- capitalism 3.0 (internet + transnationalism for 25 years) - institutionalization and regulation of donation markets (transparency bids + extended antitrust law)
   - refeudalizations through market manipulations and capital accumulation (monopolies/money aristocracy)
   - technology-based retribalizations (open source, open data, open access, open government)
      - minimal world state with world currency, tribal financial equalization and tribal basic income (radical federalism)

  cooperating (legitimate) vertically competing (legitimate) horizontally competing (efficient) illegitimate
Ideal types of social action solidary - self-centered action patronizing - submissive action expedient - affective action overarching - defensive action
Ideal types of domination free reign authoritative rule (mutual asymmetric deprivation of liberty) legal rule authoritarian rule (unilateral deprivation of liberty)
Ideal types of society tribal (segmental) donor society authoritative (stratified) command society constitutional (economic) ownership society authoritarian (militaristic) exploitation society
binding principle relatives hierarchical chains of command markets fear
origin of domination   bottom up bottom up top down

There are four ideal typic forms or logics/ethics of society, the tribal, the authoritative, the constitutional and the authoritarian.

[from here created with google translator]

The tribal (segmental) donation society organizes itself in tribes of manageable size. The exchange of goods is based on the reputation of the exchange partners. (The term gift economy is itself contradictory nonsense.) How ideologically blinded must one be to consider economic motives behind a present normal?) A reciprocity of the exchange is often given with a time delay. Immediate returns are reputation and loyalty. This form of exchange is usually limited to manageable groups such as tribal societies, kinship and friendship networks. In need, there is, in principle, an unlimited entitlement to the possession of other group members. The ideal type of tribal society is the only social ideal type which is at the same time a real type, ie can exist real without other social ideal types.

The authoritative (stratified) command society is a duty of duty and duty to higher-level authorities. The different instances are arranged hierarchically. This hierarchical structure enables the coherence of large and very large group associations. In the case of need, there is in principle an unlimited entitlement to the possession of the respective higher-level instance. The real design of authoritative societies requires at least additional tribal structures in order to function. An authoritative rule can never be completely free from authoritarian rule. At the very least, their constitution constitutes an assault or a violation of principle. In addition, under certain conditions, abuses to a limited extent, both individually and collectively, are tolerated, as it were, as compensation for the assumption of authoritative authority.

The constitutional (economic) ownership society organizes itself on markets by means of a money-based exchange. The money resulting from the property guarantees the reciprocity of all exchange transactions as a clearing unit. In the case of neediness, there are basically no claims against others, since, ideally, full reciprocity is already guaranteed or, in principle, the person in question has the option of taking credit. The real configuration of constitutional societies presupposes at least the integration of tribal and authoritative structures in order to function.

The authoritarian (militaristic) exploitation society results from the principle always given possibility of human action not to abide by rules and principles, or to exploit others.

The feudal society is a real type based on a mixture of authoritative and authoritarian rule with a primacy of authoritative rule.

The capitalist society is a real type based on a mixture of authoritative, legal and authoritarian rule with a primacy of legal rule.

Fascist Societies are societies with a primacy of authoritarian rule.

Among other things, because of their dependence on tribal and authoritative structures and their simultaneous tendency to destroy them, constitutional and authoritarian societies are extremely unstable.

Authoritative and authoritarian rulers generally have a much greater power gap than legal rulers.

Depending on the moral situation, societies with authoritaristic rule are, among other things, a variable mixture of authoritative development dictatorship, authoritarian tyranny and set pieces of positive law in a spectrum between pluralistic democracy and ideological totalitarianism. A corrupt-repressive social environment and the successful pursuit of authoritarian " psychopathic " career designs require each other.

Socialist social utopias are based on a variety of mostly vague notions of a solidary society with many advantages of authoritative and constitutional societies almost without their disadvantages. In the past, this has always resulted in authoritaristic rule with more or less limited markets.
Communist or anarchist societal utopias are based on the illusion of the establishment of a collectivist or individualistic rule-free society with all the advantages of authoritative and constitutional societies without their disadvantages.

Value-based or traditional action according to Max Weber is understood as action that subjects to values ​​or traditions. His concept of charismatic rule can be understood as an authoritative rule in which the authority of the rulers is based on their charisma.

In their book, Otto Steiger and Gunnar Heinsohn present a wealth of historical evidence that shows that before the invention of property, the capitalist logic of money-based exchange was completely unknown. The same applies to the cultures that were discovered on the American continent after Columbus. There were no treasuries and jewelery was not regarded as a valuable object in our sense. This transition is particularly evident in the changing forms of burial. Jewelry as a grave gift disappeared within a very short time, at the same time grave robbery blossomed. For the outer form of grave design adopted increasingly representative forms. The transition from the Bronze Age feudal societies to the early democracies of capitalist economics is attempted to be deciphered on the basis of the Theseus myth and the myth of Romulus and Remus and a multitude of historical accounts. It becomes clear that at the beginning of these transitions an early form of an idea of ​​bourgeois equality must have existed rather than a robbery. Even Jean-Jacques Rousseau is probably only partially right when he says in his treatise on the origin and foundations of inequality among men:

The first one who had fenced in a piece of land and came up with the idea of ​​saying, "This is mine and found people who were silly enough to believe him, was the true founder of bourgeois society. How many crimes, wars, murders, how much misery and misery and how many horrors would have spared the human race who had torn out the piles or filled in the ditch and cried out to his fellow men: "Beware of hearing this imposter, you are lost if you forget that the fruits belong to all and the earth to anyone. "

One can understand the myth of Romulus and Remus, in which Romulus (the little Roman) slays his (feudal) brother Remus, because he does not acknowledge the limits he has drawn, but quite understand it as a report on the division of formerly feudal lands among equal citizens , So if you want to call it a robbery, then it was probably a robbery of feudal possessions, which for the first time turned them into property. The cascade of legal protection of the owners (constitutional state), the differently successful concurrent use of property, the use of the possibility to encumber and mortgage property in the loan agreement, the competing sale of goods to settle debts and the enforcement of pledged property, because Due Not all of the interest and compound interest rates can be able to settle their debts, creating a spiral of ever-worsening competition. It creates a division of labor and a constant pressure to innovate. The cultural explosion in the Greek city states and in Rome can probably be attributed at least partly to this. Debt spirals drove and drove many into debt slavery. The surprise of this dynamic and the often unsuccessful countermeasures were manifold. In the end, new forms of feudal power and domination emerged, all of which differed from the earlier ones in that they knew there was something like property and money. In China, civil uprisings were unsuccessful, possibly due to the absence of an inland sea with many islands as possible hiding places and germ cells for subversive groups, as was known from the 12th century BC. In the eastern Mediterranean was the case ( Sea Peoples ). Ideographic and logographic writings also favor basic magical attitudes, thus making independent thinking of broad masses difficult.

The nonsensical distinction between private and collective property suggests that outside of legal circles is not really understood that property always requires a constitutional state, which must guarantee its existence and enforce. Once his resilience, pledging or enforceability is restricted, it becomes only usable possession. Owners can only defend their property or the value of their property, but ownership can only ever be defended by the state. There is no single piece of legislation in which the term private property has ever been used.

As a creditor for the creation of money, the state can at least use its current tax revenue as an income, if need be, even the entire wealth of the citizens as collateral. Commercial banks do not have this option in principle, so they would have to deposit 100% collaterals when creating money ( full money ). According to Basel III , however, only 7% collaterals is required from 2019. Where the resulting accusation of a counterfeit money economy is now not quite fair. Just like nation states, banks also compete with each other. A country that would introduce full money would immediately have a serious competitive disadvantage, just as a bank deposits higher collaterals than its competitors.

With the special drawing right we have since 1969 a world currency. So far, however, this is only used for about 5% of the currency reserves and a small number of clearings and fees. There can be no world peace without a universally accepted world currency. Since wars are expensive and currencies are important strategic resources, there have never before been regular wars between parties from one and the same currency area. But since differences in productivity according to the usual theories of economics can only be compensated by variable exchange rates, migration or transfer payments, I would now like to take a closer look at redistribution mechanisms.

Overview of the German tax system sorted by shares in% of 2006 Source Wikipedia

The whole results in a ratio between consumption traffic taxes / income taxes / capital taxes of 45/50/5

A more useful distinction in my opinion would be the more philosophical between new and old-money taxes. Real estate transfer tax, withholding tax and withholding tax as well as a possible financial transaction tax would be expected in addition to the capital taxes as old-money taxes. The other income taxes would be new money taxes. The ratio consumption-traffic taxes / new money taxes / old-money taxes would be then 44/46/10. The world-wide continuous decline of the old-money tax share in recent decades can essentially be explained by the globalization of the financial and commodity markets and the resulting high mobility of wealth and wealth and the concomitant pressure on tax systems. For the overall economic dynamics it is comparably insignificant which tax one modifies or abolishes in detail. What matters is the relationship between the three categories. From an ecological or health point of view, an increase in excise duties seems desirable, at least a CO 2 tax, a progressive motor vehicle tax, an advertising tax and a sugar tax would make sense. Socioeconomically, an increase in land acquisition tax and property tax would be possible at any time with the introduction of allowances. New money taxes are always growth-inhibiting. A stabilization of the wealth inequality distribution with a share of old-money tax of only 10% is completely illusory. 60/20/20 could be desirable in the longer term.

With the reintroduction of a luxury tax (3rd VAT rate) on luxury items, the difference to the normal VAT rate could be counted as old-money tax. At the same time, staple foods could be exempt from VAT. With the introduction of a financial transaction tax one could easily abolish the inheritance and gift tax in addition to the property tax, since this always had a huge legitimacy and collection problem, and is difficult and expensive to collect. In order to reduce the prosperity inequalities that have arisen in recent decades, a one-off burden-sharing would be simpler and less bureaucratic anyway. In 1952, the Bundestag passed a burden-sharing law , after 50% of its assets had to be paid into a compensation fund as of the reference date of June 21, 1948, distributed over a period of 30 years. Dies entsprach einer theoretischen Vermögenssteuer von etwa 1,6 % pro Jahr, die sich im Laufe der Zeit durch die Inflation noch verringerte, wobei der Verwaltungsaufwand nur einen Bruchteil dem einer Vermögenssteuer entsprach, da die Vermögensermittlung nur einmalig und nicht jährlich stattfand. Darüber hinaus gab es durch den vorverlegten Stichtag auch kaum Manipulationsmöglichkeiten. Wenn Wirtschaftswissenschaftler und Journalisten sich endlich einmal ideologisch unvoreingenommen damit auseinander setzen würden, könnten sie auch aufhören in Bezug auf die 50er und 60er Jahre von einem Wirtschaftswunder zu sprechen. Erst recht wenn man noch den Marshallplan, die massenhafte Zuwanderung qualifizierter Facharbeiter aus der DDR und später noch die Ausbeutung angeworbener Arbeitsmigranten mit hinzunimmt. Heute beträgt die Verschuldung sämtlicher öffentlicher Haushalte etwas 20% des vorhandenen Vermögens. Ein Lastenausgleich könnte diese zB mit etwa 1% mal 20 Jahre vollständig zurückzahlen. Wer die Legitimität einer Substanzsteuer bezweifelt, sollte nicht ignorieren, dass die Anhäufung großer Vermögen selten mit sozial vorbildlichem Erwerb und Versteuerung von Einkünften einher geht. Als Gegengewicht zu den Sozial- und Arbeitsmarktreformen der Agenda 2010 wäre ein neues Lastenausgleichsgesetz dürchaus begründbar gewesen, und hätte dessen Akzeptanz deutlich erhöht. Dass es 2008 im Rahmen der enorm einseitigen Bankenrettungen nichts vergleichbares gab empfinde ich als skandalös.

Luxussteuern und Finanztransaktionssteuern wiederrum haben die unschöne Eigenschaft, dass sie nur innerhalb finanz- und handelstechnisch geschlossener Räume gut funktionieren. Ihre Einführung müsste deshalb global koordiniert werden.

Am Besten versteht man Marx und die Folgen, wenn man sich den letzten Abschnitt des Kapitels "Die sogenannte ursprüngliche Akkumulation" aus dem Kapital durchliest:

Die Verwandlung des auf eigner Arbeit der Individuen beruhenden, zersplitterten Privateigentums in kapitalistisches ist natürlich ein Prozeß, ungleich mehr langwierig, hart und schwierig als die Verwandlung des tatsächlich bereits auf gesellschaftlichem Produktionsbetrieb beruhenden kapitalistischen Eigentums in gesellschaftliches. Dort handelte es sich um die Expropriation der Volksmasse durch wenige Usurpatoren, hier handelt es sich um die Expropriation weniger Usurpatoren durch die Volksmasse.

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