Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Property, interest, money, taxes, ...

Theory experiments in search for the right society 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 "Primitive 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 debit 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 pawn 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 pawn 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 pawned, 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 pawned. 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 effective fight against 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 pawning 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

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.

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. The fact that trading in the non-backed so-called cryptocurrencies is still not prohibited, such as the operation of other pyramid schemes, is a clear sign that the key players have still not understood what money is or how our financial system works. Nevertheless, a cryptocurrency issued by a central bank could be an option for the future as electronic cash, but this would create the new danger of a digital bank run.

As a result of a large number of financial crises over the course of time, the issuing of cash such as the coinage of coins became increasingly centralized and controlled by the state. The resulting central banks were initially mainly responsible for financing public debt. Today, their main objectives of price stability, economic equilibrium and financial stability better reflect the complexity and central importance of the monetary system than in the past. But they were practically always driven by crises and not by better economic theories.

The state, as a creditor for the creation of money, can at least debit its current tax revenues quasi as income, if necessary even the entire wealth of the citizens as collateral. Commercial banks do not have this option in principle, so they would actually have to deposit 100% collateral when creating money. According to Basel III, however, only 7% collateral is required from 2019. For an effective fight against quasi-money and thus the containment of the real existing counterfeit money economy I see 3 possibilities:
(1) With gold standard (gold coverage of the currency), currency inflation can be effectively combated at least for the period in which it can be maintained. The rigid limitation of the quantity of money, however, makes a successful fight against crises impossible.
(2) In the case of a hypothetical introduction of full money or of full-reserve banking, the competence of commercial banks to create money is either restricted or completely abolished in favor of the central bank. Commercial banks would be more or less degraded to branches of the central bank. In the case of a system change, a gigantic amount of liabilities, some of which are difficult to trace, would have to be transferred to the central bank.
(3) A bailout tax could go in the same direction, but more flexibly and less drastically. This would have to be designed in such a way that the competitive advantages that a commercial bank gains by depositing lower collateral than its competitors are largely offset. In order to be able to carry out a fairly valid valuation, the sale of nested financial products for the purpose of concealing risk would have to be prohibited or at least strongly restricted. An institution controlled by the sovereign and independent of economic interests to assess the risks of financial products is already overdue. A gradually tightened bailout tax would not only be much easier to harmonise globally but could also make the introduction of full money much easier.

I would now like to unite the extended theory of money of Otto Steiger and Gunnar Heinsohn with an extended social theory of Max Weber to a new philosophy of history.

four dimensions of social with each other:

basic shapes cooperating vertically competing horizontally competing dominating
Ideal types of social acting solidary - self-centered patronizing - submissive
(passive - active)
expedient - affective
encroaching - defensive
(illegitimate - legitimate)
Ideal types of domination domination-free authoritative domination (mutual asymmetric deprivation of freedom) institutional domination (legal deprivation of liberty) authoritarian domination (unilateral deprivation of freedom)
Ideal types of society free (segmental)
donor society
authoritative (stratified)
command society
institutional (economic)
property society
authoritarian (militaristic)
exploitation society
binding principle relatives immaturity / hierarchical chains of command law / markets fear / aggressiveness
origin of domination   bottom up bottom up (Rule of law) / top down (Rechtsstaat) top down
power imbalance   strong moderate extreme
associated real types tribal society feudal society capitalist society despotic society
prerequisite structures   free free and authoritative free, authoritative or institutional

simplistic four-dimensional phase model:

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

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 gift normal?) A reciprocity of the exchange is often given with a time delay. Immediate quid pro quos are reputation and loyalty. This form of exchange is usually limited to manageable groups such as tribal societies, kinship and friendship networks. In case of neediness there is in principle an unlimited claim against 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 exists in a tributes and service obligation towards 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 neediness, there is in principle an unlimited claim against the possession of the respective higher-level instance. The real shaping of authoritative societies presupposes at least additional tribal structures in order to function.

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

The authoritarian (militaristic) exploitation society results from the possibility, always given in principle, of human acting not to adhere to rules and principles or to exploit others. If authoritative or institutional domination already exists, it is often easy to use existing power structures for encroaching acting. Out of a paternalistic attitude, hostile encroachments against others are often tolerated, sometimes even welcomed.

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

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

The despotic society is a real type with a primacy of authoritarian domination.

A fascist society is a despotic society in which authoritarian domination additionally contains a totalitarian claim.

The transition from a feudal or capitalist society to a despotism can take place continuously, where a demarcation can be difficult.

Due, among other things, to their dependence on tribal and authoritative structures and their simultaneous tendency to destroy them, societies with a high proportion of institutional or authoritarian domination and their economic and militaristic implications are extremely unstable.

Authoritative and authoritarian dominations generally have much greater power gaps than institutional dominations.

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

Socialist societal utopias are based on manifold, mostly vague notions of a solidary society with many advantages of command and property societies almost without their disadvantages. In the past this always led to an authoritaristic domination with more or less strongly limited markets.
Communist or anarchist societal utopias are based on the illusion of the establishment of a collectivist or individualistic domination-free society with all the advantages of command and property societies without their disadvantages.

Value-rational or traditional acting according to Max Weber is understood as acting, which submiss itself to values or traditions. His concept of charismatic domination or traditional domination can be understood as an authoritative domination in which the authority of the rulers is based on their charisma or on tradition. The term legal domination is somewhat misleading in my view, as it suggests that there could be something like illegal domination, as expressed in the nonsensical notion of an Unrechtsstaat. It also leads to the false assumption that the law serves the purpose of justice. Justice can always only be achieved by acting subjects who use, for example, law or political instruments for this purpose.

The explanation of the origin of authoritative domination as mutual asymmetric deprivation of freedom is inspired by Hegel's concept of lordship and bondage and by systemic and personalistic concepts of autonomy.

Autonomy designates to an acting free from foreign-determination based on internal regulation. Neither rules or principles from outside nor those internalized through taking over may attain validity unchecked. Since the abilities for these examinations themselves presuppose rules and principles, there can be no secure final justification, but only a search for maximum freedom from contradiction. It follows that the maximum possible degree of autonomy is limited by the extent of the internalized rules and principles. From a systemic point of view, autonomy is also a system-environment relation, an autonomous person must have internalized the rules and principles of his environment in their totality in order to be able to react sovereign to all patronizations and encroachments from outside. Each self-deception and bias limits this autonomy. Since a person is genuinely social from a transactionalist point of view, this autonomy should not be misunderstood as an independence from the, especially social, environment.

When two non-autonomous persons meet beyond social roles and ties, a mutual struggle for recognition inevitably develops for the purpose of self-assurance of one's own existence. Since a mutual recognition of each other's autonomy is not possible, this struggle can come to a point where one subordinates and submiss to the other. If this one-sided recognition is accepted, a new relationship of domination has arisen. Within this relationship of domination, the Lord, despite the recognition and the resulting self-assurance of his own existence, is still as not autonomous as well as his servant. He is now not only responsible for him but also dependent on its ongoing subordination. In addition, he has only one access to the things, mediated by the servant. The servant remains trapped in his thinghood, robbed of his subjectivity in relation to his existence. The same process can also take place at the collective level between groups. A new authoritative domination can therefore always be constituted only by an act of submission and not by patronization, since authoritative recognition can not be enforced. This unpleasant fact is often not mentioned in the critique of relationships of domination. According to Hegel, it can also only be the servant who, through his estrangement and his work, can bring about the beginning of wisdom, his own autonomy and thus the abolition of the relationship of domination.

In Hegel's description of these processes, consciousness with its different stages of development of reflexivity plays a decisive role. Historically, with the invention of a structured multi-layered language and of money, the two most profound stages of development can be marked. The first let man step out of the animal kingdom as a world-open indeterminate being and the second had brought us what Max Weber described as the disenchantment of the world. To postulate a collapse of a bicameral mind or an invention of consciousness is not necessary from my point of view. All the changes Julian Jaynes describes can be explained much better by the invention of property and money. Until the invention of money, all human relationships were personal relationships. With digitalization, we may be at the beginning of a third profound transformation, perhaps aimed at lifting the two former secessions. The first was an estrangement from outer and inner nature and the second one from each other. Since the invention of money, the pursuit of autonomy has resembled a rat race. On the one hand, the ever-increasing efforts to increase the education of broad masses have even been extended to the academic sphere since 1968, while on the other hand the social environment has become more and more complex discontinuously. Perhaps we should give serious thought to what a society should look like in which it is easier to lie less.

Almost always when academics or non-academics talk about economics, they talk about a phantasm, as if economic processes were free or even independent of social structures. Even concealed intra-company relations of domination are social relations of domination. This phantasm becomes particularly clear in the contrasting words planned and market economy, as if there were no highly developed planning in companies in property societies. On the other hand, it is underestimated that plans in command societies often have only the task of concealing the actually existing relations of domination. Markets are a mechanism for a horizontally competing distribution of goods and resources in property societies. One gets the impression of this phantasm arises from the pursuit of the motto; one does not talk about money and property, or the desire for a special social zone with own rules and own morals.

The "primitive accumulation", in contrast to Marx, can be better described as the economization of things or relationships that were previously organized tribal or authoritative. Describing this as robbery misses the point. Conversely, a de-economization, e.g. through a communitarisation, is in the actual sense no expropriation. For example, a communitarisation of cultural goods, in the form of a liberalization of copyright, would not expropriate the authors. Their intellectual property is argumentatively anyway based on shaky legs. With nationwide institutionalized donation markets, cultural creators could be adequately paid. In addition, the de-economicization of infrastructures seems desirable. It makes no sense that e.g. several highways compete with each other in parallel.

In their book, Otto Steiger and Gunnar Heinsohn present a multitude 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 considered to be a object of value in our sense. This transition can be particularly clearly seen in the changing forms of burial. Jewelry as a grave goods disappeared within a very short time, at the same time grave robbery blossomed. But the outer form of the grave design became more and more representative. The transition from Bronze Age feudal societies to democratic early forms of capitalist economic activity is attempted to decipher on the basis of the Theseus myth and the myth of Romulus and Remus and a multitude of historical reports. It becomes clear that at the beginning of these transitions there must have been an early form of an idea of bourgeois equality, rather than robbery. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, too, is probably only partially right when he says in his discourse upon the origin and the foundation of the inequality among mankind:

The first man, who, after enclosing a piece of ground, took it into his head to say, "This is mine," and found people simple enough to believe him, was the true founder of civil society. How many crimes, how many wars, how many murders, how many misfortunes and horrors, would that man have saved the human species, who pulling up the stakes or filling up the ditches should have cried to his fellows: Be sure not to listen to this imposter; you are lost, if you forget that the fruits of the earth belong equally to us all, and the earth itself to nobody!

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 borders he has drawn, as a report about the division of formerly feudal lands among equal citizens. So if you want to call this a robbery, then it was a robbery of feudal possessions, which for the first time turned it into property. The cascade of legal protection of the owners, the differently successful competing use of the property, the use of the possibility to debit and pawn property in credit agreements, the competing sale of goods for the settlement of debts and the execution of pawned property, creates a spiral of ever-increasing competition. It creates a division of labor and a permanent 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 surprises about this dynamic and the often unsuccessful countermeasures were manifold. In the end, new forms of feudal power and domination emerged, but they all differed from the earlier ones in that they knew that something like property and money existed or could exist. In China, bourgeois uprisings were not successful, possibly partly because of the lack of an inland sea with many islands as possible hiding places and germ cells for subversive groups, as was the case from the 12th century BC in the eastern Mediterranean (Sea Peoples). Also ideographic and logographic writings favour magical basic attitudes, and thus make independent thinking of broad masses more difficult.

The nonsensical distinction between private and collective property suggests that outside legal circles there is no real understanding that property always presupposes law and institutions that must guarantee and enforce its existence. As soon as its ability to be debited, pawned or executed is restricted, it merely becomes usable possession. Owners can only defend their possession or the value of their property, but the property itself can only ever be defended by institutions with the help of law. There is no single law text in which ever stood the term private property.

I find the imagination all human impulses or interpersonal conditions to be juridizible (legally formable) disturbing. This idea is perhaps most evident in the West German concept of a Rechtsstaat, which is strongly based on the code civil coming from France and which understands the process of finding law on the basis of a constitution as a top-down process. On the other hand, there is the legal principle of the Rule of Law, which comes from Anglo-Saxon law and is based on common law, and is based on a bottom-up process of finding law by judges. Even though modern democracies have complex legal systems based on contradictory legal principles, guiding principles remain intact. The Rechtsstaat can be criticized for its tendentious authoritarian character and the rule of law for its tendentious opportunism. I find it impressive and admirable how long the British have endured with us. As long as we do not fundamentally decide on a fundamentally hybrid approach, and thus on a fundamental relativisation of the rule of law, a further deepening of European integration is inconceivable. A revision of the American Constitution with insights from the German Basic Law could be a good starting point. In concrete terms, local jurisdiction should only be overruled where this is really necessary. In the course of reunification, West German law, similar to a protectorate, was executed in East Germany in its entirety and without interruption. Together with the principle of restitution before compensation, this led to the expropriation of the East Germans, in addition to the incapacitation that took place anyway. Today, West Germans own considerably more property in East Germany than East Germans. Nearly all influential positions in business, justice, art and science are occupied by West Germans.

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 settlements and fees. There can be no world peace without a generally accepted world currency. Since wars are expensive and currencies are important strategic war resources, there have never been regular wars between parties from one and the same currency area. If wars and natural catastrophes are left out of the equation, productivity differences according to current theories of economics can only be offset by variable exchange rates, migration or transfer payments. That is why I would now like to take a closer look at redistribution mechanisms.

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

The whole results in a ratio between excise-transfer tax / income taxes / capital taxes of 45/50/5

A more useful distinction, in my opinion, would be the more philosophical distinction between new and old money taxes. Real estate transfer tax, capital gains tax and interest withholding tax as well as a possible financial transaction tax would have to be calculated in addition to capital taxes as old money taxes. The remaining income taxes would be new money taxes. The ratio of excise-transfer tax / new money taxes / old money taxes would then be 44/46/10. The worldwide continuous decline of the old money tax share over the last decades can essentially be explained by the globalisation of the financial and product markets and the thereby enabled high mobility of wealth and wealthy individuals and the associated pressure on tax systems. It is irrelevant for the overall economic dynamics which tax is changed or abolished in detail. The decisive factor is the relationship between the three categories. From an ecological and health point of view, an increase in excise duties seems desirable; at least a carbon tax, a progressive vehicle tax, an sector-specific advertising tax and a sugar tax would make sense. In socio-economic terms, it would also be possible at any time to increase the real estate transfer tax and the property tax while simultaneously introducing tax allowances. Limiting property tax to land values would also have some advantages. A taxation of buildings can be achieved more fairly and flexibly by means of a wealth tax. New money taxes always inhibit growth. A stabilisation of the unequal distribution of wealth with an old money tax share of only 10% is completely illusory. 60/20/20 could be desirable in the longer term.

If a luxury tax (3rd VAT rate) is reintroduced on luxury articles, the difference to the normal VAT rate could be calculated as old money tax. At the same time, basic foodstuffs could be exempted from VAT. However, the best solution would be a complete conversion of the value added tax into excise taxes differentiated according to product groups anyway. A conversion would make carousel fraud impossible, and the insane expense of collecting turnover tax would be reduced. The tax rates of individual product groups could be specifically chosen according to the social or economic requirements, as has long been the case with the existing highly effective excise taxes. Tax avoidance by companies would also be made considerably more difficult. For ecological reasons, an approximation to the ideal of real-price goods markets would be necessary anyway. The price-depressing externalisation of costs to society, the environment and future generations or to colonies and markets is also limited on a limited planet. This does not mean postulating a post growth society, but when economic processes are converted to sustainability, a temporary economic shrinkage of 50% is quite conceivable, especially when environmentally damaging bullshit jobs are taken into account.

If a financial transaction tax were introduced, inheritance and gift tax in addition to wealth tax could easily be abolished, as these always had a huge legitimation problem and are difficult and costly to levy. In order to reduce the unequal distribution of wealth that has arisen in recent decades, a one-off equalisation of burdens would in any case be simpler and less bureaucratic. In 1952, the Bundestag passed a law on the equalisation of burdens, after that 50% of the assets on reference date 21st june 1948 had to be paid into a compensation fund, spread over 30 years. This corresponded to a theoretical wealth tax of about 1.6 % per year, which was reduced in the course of time by inflation, whereby the administrative expenditure only corresponded to a fraction of that of a wealth tax, since the wealth determination took place only once and not annually. In addition, there were hardly any possibilities for manipulation due to the earlier reference date. If economists and journalists would finally ideologically unbiased deal with this, they could also stop talking about an economic miracle in relation to the 50s and 60s. All the more if one adds the Marshall Plan, the mass immigration of qualified skilled workers from the GDR and later the exploitation of recruited migrant workers. Today, the indebtedness of all public budgets amounts to about 20% of the available assets. A burden equalization could repay these e.g. with about 1% times 20 years completely. Anyone who doubts the legitimacy of a wealth tax should not ignore the fact that the accumulation of large assets rarely goes hand in hand with the socially exemplary acquisition and taxation of income. This does not mean, however, that all owners of large assets should be placed under the general suspicion of aggressive tax avoidance, corruption or anti-democratic political influence. As a counterweight to the social and labour market reforms of Agenda 2010, a new burden equalisation act would have been justifiable and would have significantly increased the acceptance of the reforms. I find it scandalous that there was nothing comparable in 2008 as part of the enormously one-sided bank bailouts.

Luxury taxes and financial transaction taxes, on the other hand, have the unsightly characteristic that they only work well within financially and commercially closed spaces. Their collection should therefore be coordinated globally.

When establishing a financial equalisation between economic areas that are strongly separated in terms of taxation, not only the different economic power but also the capital flows would have to be taken into account, e.g. each year flows many times of development aid from Africa, e.g. in tax havens.

The best way to understand Marx and the consequences is to read the last section of the part "The so-called primitive accumulation" from his main work "Capital":

The transformation of scattered private property, arising from individual labour, into capitalist private property is, naturally, a process, incomparably more protracted, violent, and difficult, than the transformation of capitalistic private property, already practically resting on socialised production, into socialised property. In the former case, we had the expropriation of the mass of the people by a few usurpers; in the latter, we have the expropriation of a few usurpers by the mass of the people.

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