Actively shaping the economy
“The ability of the Swiss to listen is probably related to our democracy.
It is a basis for the innovative strength and competitiveness of our economy. “
- I have been an honorary judge, a politically elected side function, at the Rheinfelden District Court since 2013
- I am a member of the board of the political party glp in the Canton of Aargau, and the city of Rheinfelden
- As campaign manager political party glp Aargau, I led the party to success in 2012 with my slogan “Weiter Denken” (Think further).
- Cosmopolitanism and love of one’s country are not contradictory (NFZ 2019)
- The Swiss contribution as an act of true solidarity with Eastern Europe (AZ 2019)
- Necessary professionalization of intepreters in the justice system of our Canton (Radio SRF1)
- Does our region need its own regional currency? Article 1 Article 2 (AZ 2019)
- I founded a centrist support committee for the votation on an inheritance tax in 2015. A centrist comittee for the inheritance tax.
- Why an inheritance tax is a centrist idea (Basler Zeitung, 27.5.2015)
- Not only leftists, also centrists support the inheritance tax (Aargauer Zeitung, 26.5.2015)
- The inheritance tax is a tax to be supported by centrists (Interview) (Sonntagszeitung, 17.5.2015)
- I launched the cantonal initiative “Multilingualism – our trump card” in 2019. Subsequently, it was adopted by a group of parliamentarians. The Cantonal government found the proposal “unrealistic”, and we will have to decide how to proceed further.
- People’s iniatiative for linguistic exchange between German and French-speaking schools (AZ 2019)
- First success for the people’s initiative for linguistic exchange (AZ 2020)
- Complaint by Michael Derrer at the Federal Court against the communication of the Swiss authorities (NZZ, 21.4.2018)
- Interview with Michael Derrer about the Souvereign Money referendum (Tages-Anzeiger, 2.6.2018)
My priorities: actively shaping the economy
The market economy is a good system. In order for it to work, it needs sensible barriers. These barriers must be constantly checked and adjusted.
– The giving and taking of everyone are in balance
– The prices of goods and services include all costs
Specific measures to strengthen our system:
Steering taxes can prevent fairly produced goods that are transported in an ecologically sensible manner from being more expensive than goods that pollute the environment due to their production and overuse of the transport infrastructure and are socially incompatible. The income from the steering taxes must then be fully reimbursed to the population.
Assets acquired without performance, such as inheritances over CHF 10 million, oversized bonuses from CHF 1 million or speculative profits, on the other hand, should be taxed more, and tax evasion should be contained. This is not only fair – without this measure there is a risk of capital accumulation, which will bring the system out of balance.
- Healthy SMEs are the basis of our prosperity – they need the same conditions as large international companies
- Innovation and hard work have to be worthwhile – property has to remain widely spread
- No profits from overexploitation of natural resources or at the expense of the environment and employees
- Transparency about policy funding and lobbying to safeguard our democracy
In the following I justify these priorities:
I support all of the current policy positions at glp Switzerland (www.grunliberale.ch), but in some cases set other accents and want to implement my values even more consistently in some areas and proceed more systematically.
Starting point – The common political coordinate system in economic matters is too simple:
- There is more than “capitalism vs. Socialism”.I oppose the simplistic view that the political coordinate system in economic matters consists only of capitalism on the one hand and socialism on the other, even if both liberal and left-wing circles are based on it.
- Market economy and capitalism are not the same thing. Marketeconomy means the same playing fields in competition for everyone, fairness in terms of performance and true costs in prices. A functioning market economy is an ideal that we should implement as much as possible. In real existing capitalism, large companies have advantages over SMEs, prices do not include all costs (e.g. not the reduction of non-renewable natural resources, pollution and congestion of the infrastructure due to long transport routes or social costs of unworthy working conditions in developing countries), and there are different types of underperforming earned income. Capitalism also means: unwanted telemarketing calls from call centers; planned wear; and non-transparent political lobbying.
- Freedom of action within clear guidelines.It is not about introducing close-knit symptom-fighting regulations in all areas, as is propagated by the left, but rather consistently enforcing a few, clear and basic rules within which there should be freedom of action. Clever boundaries do not restrict freedom, they enable freedom in the first place – without unduly restricting the freedom of others.
- We are the economy. Contrary to the myth that we have to obey higher-level economic laws, we can democratically determine the rules of our economy. It is important to create incentive structures that promote responsibility, long-term thinking and ecological, economic and social sustainability.
- You have to shape markets. Markets are basically a good tool for solving economic tasks. However, it must be checked periodically whether a market really works for the common good. If this is not the case, the legal regulations should be adjusted.
- Performance justice is a suitable guideline. Performance justice means a healthy relationship of give and take between society and every individual or company. If there is fair performance, the need for government redistribution is lower.
- Property bears responsibility. Those who have greater property should also assume greater social responsibility. This attitude can be promoted by incentives, for example incentives for the formation of charitable foundations by companies and the wealthy.
- Pragmatic division between the state and the private sector.The market / state – the opposite has to be overcome – both are complementary. The division between state and private-sector fields of activity should be individual, pragmatic and scientifically sound in each area instead of on an ideological basis as is the case today.
- State institutions per se are neither necessarily worse nor better than the private sector. The state can also have processes that become an end in themselves (e.g. receiving subsidies, maintaining the budget in the following year). State functions and processes are periodically subjected to an external review. However, a small share of the state is not an end in itself, and a balanced state budget should concern current income and expenditure, not investment in the future.
Guidelines and approaches:
- Integrate external costs into the prices.Incentive taxes based on the model of the existing CO2 tax redistributed to the population (“Cap & Dividend” principle) are a tried and tested means of doing this. This can not only counter environmental damage, but also other problems in our system (clogging of the transport infrastructure; social dumping due to poor working conditions in developing countries). Free trade is only fair if all costs are included in the prices (e.g. importing illegally felled wood abroad leads to unfair competition and must be prevented).
- Fair We live in Switzerland in a capitalism tamed by democracy. At the same time, we benefit from unrestrained capitalism in many developing countries through cheap imports. Fairer trade relations with the producing people in developing countries also reduce economic migration.
- A wide spread of propertyenables sustainable economic and social development. The disadvantage of SMEs compared to large companies is to be countered, primarily by combating the possibilities for tax avoidance of large international companies. Stricter competition law is intended to limit size and economic power and to guarantee the same length of skewers for all market participants.
- A tax reform to relieve the workers and SMEs. Taxes on work performance (income tax) and on entrepreneurial success (profit tax) should be reduced in order not to punish initiative, hard work and innovation. In return, benefits earned without efforts (e.g. speculation, capital gains, large inheritances, bonuses worth millions) should be taxed more heavily. As a means to do this e.g. a microfinance tax, a national inheritance tax on large assets, or Henry Georges’s approach to a land tax.
- Tax evasion and abuse of social systems must not be played off against each other – both are to be combated as blatant violations of the fairness of performance. Companies should increasingly be taxed at the place where they provide their services.
- Performance principle adapted to the weaker. Instead of receiving state benefits, the participation of even the weakest in the labor market is to be encouraged through partially subsidized jobs. The discrimination of older workers by high pension fund contributions should be removed.
- Innovationsshould be allowed, but without undermining our legal and social achievements (e.g. labor and social security law in the context of the sharing economy).
- New means of paymentare to be promoted, whereby it must be ensured that they function in the general interest and help to reduce the systemic risks of our debt-based money system. The creation of an e-franc by the National Bank is desirable.
- A high level of transparency in political finance and lobbyingis essential to preserve and improve our democracy.
I draw theoretical inspiration for the above-mentioned priorities from some of the less well-known economic traditions, some of which I interpret emphatically in an undogmatic way and try to combine, in particular: ordoliberalism; Georgism; Distributism; Free economy; American institutionalism; Social loyalty of property and stakeholder value; Market sociology. Some of these approaches are nicely summarized and meaningfully linked, for example in the book “Repairing Market Economy” (Richters / Siemoneit 2018).
My position in other social areas (comment on the positions of the political party glp Switzerland):
- Progressive attitude. To solve societal problems, we must have the courage to break out of previous thinking and to test intelligent approaches that address the problems at the root (see my suggestion for the prevention of crime tourism).
- Social liberal attitude.Equal opportunities should be implemented consistently. Warning: quota regulations are the opposite of equal opportunities. The end of the disadvantage of the return of mothers to work should be made possible by providing day-care places for all children.
- Educationis not only economically important, it also leads to higher quality democracy. Instead of the one-sided orientation of educational reforms on technological hype (current keyword “digitization”), we should orientate on the humanistic ideal of education of self-determined people. Let us also use our strengths and develop them (see my initiative multilingualism – our trump card Mehrsprachigkeit – unser Trumpf)
My campaign against crime tourism
Young, not previously convicted persons are recruited by gangs in Eastern Europe and sent to burgle into Switzerland.
Punishing burglars is not enough because the gangs recruit new people who believe that crimes are hardly punished in Switzerland.
With a deterrece and education campaign in the countries of origin, the Swiss judicial system could save more than CHF 10 million a year.
My campaign got a lot of media attention:
My musical contributions to Swiss politics
Music and politics – areas that bite? Music wants to entertain. Politics should be serious … You may regret it, but of course politics also has an entertainment function today. Music allows an alternative, playful processing of social developments. And it can be self-deprecating – which might be good for politics.
In the year of the acceptance of the mass immigration initiative in 2014, I created a remix of the well-known Swiss song “übre Gotthard flüget Bräme”. The message is: we can combine nostalgia for the past with today’s time. Link to the project page:Übre Gotthard flüget Bräme (Remix)
In 2019 I composed the song “Der Grind” and recorded it as a singer in the studio. The message: Instead of repeating slogans, you can stay yourself in politics – an invitation to everyone to get involved in politics! The music video can be seen here on Youtube. The song is available on the well-known music portals. Report in the Aargauer Zeitung and the Neuen Fricktaler Zeitung.