In an earlier randform post, the distribution of surplusses was discussed, among others it was proposed to simulate a different way of distributing surplusses in a game-like environment. There were some comments to this:
Sabrina Says:” why don’t you make a business model out of that game prototype?”
Victor Says:
“if you have these dangerous ideas to abolish banks or let them go bankrupt, this is communism!
“did you fit in all your parameters?!”

Here a reply to the comment by Victor “if you have these dangerous ideas to abolish banks or let them go bankrupt, this is communism !” :

First – I do not like to think and act according to any kind of what-so-ever buzzword ideology.

Furthermore the view that apriori it must be possible to allow for the possibility of bank-bankruptsies (mentioned e.g. in this randform post) seems to be rather common. This is last but not least expressed in proposals to scale down the size of banks in order to avoid the “too big to fail” or the “system relevance” argument.

The comment on bank-bankruptisies I cited in this randform post, was by the way by the investment baker Martin Hutchinson who seems rather to tend to the conservative side, but may be I am wrong.

I do think that the measures, which are currently discussed (here a link to a german article which summarizes the arguments quite conscisely or Wikipedia hosts also quite a list) and which are among others:

-scaling down bank sizes (already mentioned above)
-decoupling of commercial banking and investment banking
– making banks stop to do banking for their own profit (versus offering services for investor profits)
– asking for a compensation for the expenses of taxpayers which are
due to the financial crisis
– introducing an international tax on financial transactions (“a la Tobin Tax”)
– limiting boni and other incentives and couple them to long-term achievements

are a minimum of actions that should be enforced. But this is probably not sufficient and among others thats why I wrote the earlier randform post.

Moreover -as indicated before- quests like the above “are not communism”. In particular I dont think that Martin Hutchinson would like to call himself a communistic investment banker.

Apart from this it seems that terms like “socialism” and “communism” have meanwhile aquired some new “interpretations” (thats why I think they are (nowadays) rather “buzz-terms”). For example according to the article on CBSNews (Steele Calls Obama Health Plan “Socialism” , Republican Party Chairman Accuses Democrats of Conducting a “Risky Experiment”) the chairman of the Republican Party Mr. Steele said:

“Asked if Mr. Obama’s health care plan represented socialism, Steele responded: “Yes. Next question.”

Why do I think this may be related to a new “interpretation” of socialism? Because here in Germany a -as it seems to me- somewhat similar state organized health care plan was introduced in 1883 by Otto von Bismarck who was strongly opposing socialism.

So Otto von Bismarcks motivations for this were not socialistic and it is probably not so easy to explain his motivations but among others I could imagine that he wanted to avoid unnecessary deaths like similar to those mentioned in the Report of the Institute of Medicine of the national academy of science, with the title “Insuring America’s Health: Principles and Recommendations”, a citation:

Lack of health insurance causes roughly 18,000 unnecessary deaths every year in the United States. Although America leads the world in spending on health care, it is the only wealthy, industrialized nation that does not ensure that all citizens have coverage.

(side remark: As indicated in an earlier randform post there are also changes ahead to Germany’s health system, which is definitely not perfect. In order to provide details to this new german health system (..before you ask..:)), I tried to find out more about the socalled new plan of a “Gesundheitsprämie” (health premium) or unofficially also called “Kopfpauschale” (literally:”head flat rate”). This is an income independent (at the moment it is partially income dependent) premium for all adults (for people with a too low income there are income tax reductions announced). Since I couldnt find something I was runnning a search on the website of our health ministry , but that gave unfortunately only three rather undetailed and rather unrelated general informations.
Wikipedia gives also no clear details. So this needs further investigations. There was a link on the wikipedia site to a computation of an insurance company which is apparently intended to demonstrate how the proposed premium of roughly 107 Euros/month with a contribution of about 7% by employers finances the current health expenses. The calculation on the website as of yesterday:
financial need for health care: 175 billion Euros
7% of 1,03 Trillion Euros (german overall income) = 71,9 billion Euros of employers contributions
80 million (inhabitants of Germany)*12(months in a year)*107,42 (premium)=
103,1 billion Euro
71,9 billion Euro + 103,1 billion Euro = 175 billion Euro
As said I couldnt find out what the computations of our health ministry were I hope they were surely not like the above computations. Since if – then there may be problems ahead or lets say in the above computations the mentioned income tax reductions are not accounted for and secondly…there are not 80 million adults in Germany.

The questions about wether I intend to make a business plan out of the proposed game and/or lay out some more specifications will be answered another time.

update: today (Saturday Jan 23, 2010 afternoon) there was a report according to which the above mentioned new plans of the german health ministry would need up to 35 billion additional Euro in order to be realized. The federal state budget has however not yet incorporated this new sum in their budget plan.

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