World’s smartest guys working on the wrongest problems

The financial industry pays in average twice the salaries than «normal» industries and employs in average twice as many highly educated people from all disciplines. Instead of inventing new sources of energy or more energy efficient machines and cars; instead of developing new and affordable drugs to cure cancer, HIV, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s diseases; instead of eliminating famine, illiteracy or oppression of people; instead of fixing our societies problems and designing new ways to organise economy, education, immigration, retirement, politics, social welfare, tax or legal systems; instead of solving all these and many more urgent problems, our smartest guys spend their brainpower to invent highly sophisticated financial instruments to trick the highly complex regulatory systems to maximise obscene short term profits for their financial industry with highly damaging consequences in the mid and long term.

What went wrong?

It is instructive to look at the development of salaries and educational levels in the financial industry compared to other industries during the last hundred years. The time before the Great Depression starting with the stock market crash, which was caused mainly by overleveraged lending to normal people to buy inflated stocks (sounds familiar?), salaries and the relative educational level in the financial industry soared to unsustainable highs. Read More

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Why we need recessions

We do everything to prevent recessions and by doing that, we reward unsustainable business behaviour, destroy sound businesses and corrupt generations of future managers.

The unfair competition

unsustainable growth

Image: flickr/Arenamontanus

I was always wondering how a sustainably managed business could compete against a cancerously managed business. Imagine for example a fast expanding company with hyped executives. They squeeze out all existing values (hidden assets and reserves, unrealised gains, customer loyalty, product pipeline, quality, employees, etc.), take high and irresponsible risks and thus generate much more profits in the short run than a sustainably managed business. After a certain time, shareholders of the latter business will look enviously to the much better performing business – and ultimately sell their company to the more successful management. Read More

Why we need to reform democracy

The «discussion» about the debt ceiling is the obvious proof that democracy as we know it has turned dysfunctional. A whole nation – if not the whole world – are being held hostage by a few representatives. Representative democracy gives too much power in the hands of too few people. This worked as long as there were representatives that did at least balance the good for all with the assumed special interests of their own constituencies and the outspoken interests of their lobbying groups. And it was the only way to organise a society in times when stage coaches were the only way to communicate.

Both conditions have changed: Read More

Why Obama finally lost my hope for change

In 2008 lots of people around the world – including me – were thrilled by the campaign of Obama, using grass root approaches to overcome the old establishment. He presented himself as someone who could change the way the United States are ruled because he was a man of the folks and not of the establishment – accountable only to the main street and to the constitution of his beloved founders of the modern America.

My first disappointment even during the early campaign came with the learning, that Obama had no scruple to use legal tactics in favour of his advancement, even if it was not necessary. Read More

We cannot afford waiting any longer for Mandelas in Israel and Gandhis in Palestine

The Israeli Palestinian Conflict – And What a Solution Could Be

The next round of efforts to negotiate a peace deal between Israel and Palestine does not start promising.  And some people have spent almost all their lifetime to bring forward a peace deal without any results – not to talk about almost every US president and numberless international initiatives. That is a situation the world no longer can afford. It costs hundreds and thousands of lives in many places around the world – and almost as important – it costs the western values lots (if not all) of its credibility in one of the worlds’ actually most important regions. It is one of the most successful recruiting and fundraising arguments for terrorism and it endangers the security in even the remotest and seemingly securest places around the world. And one of the most unsettling consequences: it even corrupts our own values in the western world.

How do we normally solve conflicts?

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Vorstellung(en)

Für mein politisches Engagement ist es eigentlich nicht wichtig, welche Vorstellungen ich selbst zu gewissen Fragestellungen habe. Der Think Tank soll eine Plattform sein, die Lösungen erarbeitet und auf der sich jede und jeder einbringen kann und soll. Weil ich aber gefragt wurde, stelle ich gerne meine Überzeugungen vor.

Meine Überzeugungen

  • Ich glaube, dass jeder Mensch das Recht haben soll, selbst über sein Schicksal zu entscheiden – mit allen positiven und negativen Konsequenzen. (Selbstbestimmung)
  • Ich finde, dass insbesondere die vom Schicksal Beschenkten sich für die Armen und Schwachen einsetzen sollen. (Soziale Verantwortung)
  • Ich weiss, dass jeder Mensch – unabhängig von Alter, Geschlecht, Überzeugungen, Ausbildung, sozialem Hintergrund, religiöser oder ethnischer Herkunft – gleich wertvoll ist. (Menschenwürde)
  • Ich bin überzeugt, dass eine offene Gesellschaft ein wichtiger Motor für die Entwicklung von Menschen und der Menschheit ist. (Chancengleichheit)
  • Ich bin der Meinung, dass ehrliche Anstrengung durch soziale und materielle Anerkennung belohnt werden soll. (Leistungsgerechtigkeit)

Meine Meinung zu aus meiner Sicht wichtigen Themen Read More

Glaubt man Guttenberg, muss er zurücktreten

Okay, nehmen wir Guttenberg beim Wort und stellen wir uns vor, wie diese Arbeit entstand. Er hat die Arbeit selbst geschrieben und ohne Vorsatz handwerklich gravierende Fehler gemacht. Stellen wir uns das also bildlich vor: Er sitzt vor seiner Arbeit und tippt seitenweise fremde Quellen ab – oder kopiert elektronisch. Und er vergisst, diese Quellen zu markieren.

In der wohlwollendsten Interpretation hat er die fremden Quellen bereits vor Jahren zusammenkopiert und nicht markiert und dachte später tatsächlich, dies wären seine eigenen Worte.

Arbeitsstil

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