Why does society use alternative economic systems

Alternative economies in comparison

Alternative economic systems in comparisonJörg Gastmann2020-04-09T15: 47: 23 + 02: 00

"If the feeling is strong, you can no longer get away with facts." (Prof. Horst-Eberhard Richter, psychoanalyst and social philosopher)

The world urgently needs an alternative economic system as quickly as possible. Because capitalism has also failed. Among other things by:

Letting go is difficult

Most people find it difficult to consider any other economic system. After all, humans are “creatures of habit” and every change of system means opportunities, but also a risk. Most people have to be particularly bad economically before they give alternative economic systems a chance.

And those who have thrown themselves at the neck of the first idea, are particularly reluctant to let go of it. After all, you have invested more or less time and energy, and it should not have been in vain. That is why people who are enthusiastic about socialism / communism, old BGE models, free economy, economy for the common good etc. are even more difficult to reach, i.e. those who are just beginning to think and are still open.

For everyone who feels safe in the market economy, as well as for the riders of dead horses: "When the feeling is strong, you can't get away with facts.“

Kill criteria: What must an alternative economic system be able to do?

With this question we go further than e.g. the Federal Agency for Civic Education. A serious alternative economic system must meet the 3 kill criteria of economic and political ideas:

  1. It has to actually solve the problems it is addressing. And it must not create any new ones worth mentioning.
  2. It has to be workable.
  3. It has to be able to win a majority. Even the best solution will never become a reality if it is rejected by a majority of voters.

All other criteria are combinations or details of these 3 points. Let's go deeper. Every economic system must:

  1. Function in a large economy - and not just in small communities.
  2. Do not want to re-educate people against their nature, but take them as they are - with all their basic psychological structures. e.g .:
    • greed
    • Fears (loss, ...)
    • Aversion to insecurity
    • Self-preservation instinct
    • Caring for one's own family is a priority
    • Unwillingness to act in solidarity with strangers
    • Etc.
  3. Motivate enough people to work as much as necessary.
  4. Benefit everyone - even the average and weak.
  5. Function even without growth.
  6. Use scarce resources sparingly and recycle raw materials as completely as possible.
  7. Provide all people with at least a sufficient number of and sufficiently good goods (including services)
  8. Provide all people with the opportunity (means of payment / money, ...) to be able to purchase a sufficient number of goods.

List of alternative economies

We explain the advantages and disadvantages of the following systems / concepts / ideas. There are also borderline cases that can only be called a "system" to a limited extent.

  1. Market Balance System by economy4mankind: uses market economy mechanisms. Consists of many modules that interlock:
  2. Social market economy: Capitalism with a welfare state and a more or less large compensation for the losers of the system.
  3. New Deal: US model of the social market economy by Franklin D. Roosevelt.
  4. Communism / Socialism / Planned Economy
  5. Market socialism
  6. Sharing economy / platform economy / "coconsuming": People or companies rent out their property (cars, apartments, etc.) for money. Platforms like Uber, Airbnb, Car2Go, etc. mediate the leasing of free capacities. Often referred to as an economic system, but it is not. Either is shared. Then no money flows. Then it's not an economy. Or it can be rented for money. Then it is not a sharing, but a rental via a platform / website.
  7. Common good economy by Christian Felber (attac Austria): Companies are taxed or subsidized on the basis of “common good balance sheets”. The balance sheets are based on largely unmeasurable and not objectively comparable self-assessments by the companies. In order to obtain a maximum value, a company must disclose all operational data including calculations, salaries, suppliers, etc. Trade secrets and know-how are open source. Profits are limited. (more)
  8. Responsible ownership: Not an economic system, but a building block that fits into other economic systems. Basic idea: All companies are self-owned, like foundations, and cannot be sold or inherited. Such companies are not state property, but private property, similar to a cooperative in which the founder / entrepreneur makes the decisions. Entrepreneurs run these businesses and also receive appropriate, motivational compensation. Distributions are only made to the company's own employees. All that would be needed to implement it would be a new legal form, which, however, is prevented by the governing parties in order not to endanger the system of asset concentration in the hands of the upper class. More info can be found here.
  9. Stock market socialism by Giacomo Corneo: The state becomes the majority owner of all stock corporations whose headquarters are in their own country by means of foreclosure. Employed managers run the AGs like private companies, but according to the specifications of an independent institution called "Federal Shareholder". The federal shareholder (like private shareholders) demands profit maximization. The associated rationalization, automation, etc. should continue to cause mass unemployment. The unemployed then receive money from the profits of the AGs. Stock speculation should be maintained. GmbHs and other forms of company as well as foreign companies are not affected. Neoliberalism / market radicalism / growth pressure will remain.
  10. State pension funds: Countries like Norway, which make large profits from raw materials, invest the profits in pension / equity funds. Its profits are distributed to the citizens or the state.
  11. State ownership
  12. Free economy from Silvio Gesell
  13. Regional money (variant of free money)
  14. Unconditional basic income: People receive money unconditionally. Depending on the model, either as "Hartz IV without sanctions" from the state (redistribution through VAT or income taxes) or from the economy (as a tax-saving model and participation in value creation).
  15. Libertarianism: Depending on the variant, the state is either completely abolished or restricted to the judicial system. Instead of using laws and standards to prevent damage in advance as much as possible, the injured party can sue the perpetrator after the damage has occurred (see TTIP). Everything else is regulated by the completely free market. In its pure form, anarcho-capitalism (see next point), a wild west society.
  16. Anarchism / anarcho-capitalism: Complete abolition of the state, laws and regulations. Stone Age / post-apocalyptic form of society in which the strong subjugate the weak. Social systems do not exist.
  17. 100% inheritance tax redistribution: 100% of all inheritances go to the state. This distributes the assets to all citizens.
  18. Sovereign money: Instead of creating money in positions X (central banks) and Y (commercial banks), money is only created in position X. The commercial banks borrow from the central bank as soon as customers receive credit. As before, the money is created at the moment the loan is granted - only elsewhere. Banks make the same profit by taking central bank interest plus processing fees instead of their own interest. Conclusion: No effect for customers / borrowers.
    Extreme sovereign money advocates demand that banks simply pass on central bank loans without profit of their own: Effect: Nobody offers more loans. That would have to be done by the ECB and a gigantic administration set up to manage hundreds of millions of loans and accounts. Effect for citizens: 1 bank instead of many banks, probably lower interest rates.
  19. Self-created money (bills of exchange / promissory notes): Since 1849 with the General German Bill of Exchange Ordinance and since 1933 with the Bill of Exchange Act, every citizen has been free to create his own money with bills of exchange. Since nobody has to accept it, almost nobody accepts it (except loan sharks, mafia etc.).
  20. Plan B: By Andreas Popp, "Wissensmaufaktur". Consists of 4 sub-areas BGE, free money, free land and free access for all citizens to the mass media.
  21. Exchange economy: Highly inefficient type of trading that some "monetary system critics" want. Medieval market concept without money as a medium of exchange. Whoever has nothing to trade has to die.
  22. Community of property: everything belongs to everyone. People give each other what they need.
  23. Resource based economy by Jacque Fresco: Radical-utopian variant of communism: All people would get what they need for free. There is no more money. Miraculously, people without a salary are motivated to work as if there was a salary. In the future there would be a fully automated land of milk and honey, in which machines and software that belong to everyone do all the work. How this is to be implemented and coordinated remains completely unclear.
  24. Star Trek Society: Works according to some episode dialogues of the series without money. People would only realize themselves. The fact is: The financing of the Starfleet, the salaries of the crews etc were simply never mentioned. Money, on the other hand, was necessary on practically every field mission as soon as one wanted to purchase a good locally. How the energy and the raw materials of the replicators and drives (“Dilithium” was only available on alien planets) was never an issue, and in Quarks Bar on Deep Space 9 certainly no one from Starfleet received their drinks without payment by gold-pressed latinum ". Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry never mentioned how the economy worked in Starfleet. There is no basis in interpreting a moneyless, radical communist society into it and citing Star Trek as proof of the feasibility of a moneyless society.

(this page is constantly being expanded)