The traditional policy has developed two weaknesses. Achilles’ heels: The disregard for the so-called silent population in the rural areas produces instability – let’s listen to them and take their concerns more seriously.
As well the excessive burden on high performers and the middle class amounts to sawing off the branch we are all sitting on. Let us help them in our own interest to achieve greater prosperity and create more jobs.
The Silent People Have No Lobby
There is a huge gap between what the media consider major issues and the concerns of so-called “Joe Sixpack”. Journalists tend to rush to particularly conspicuous topics. Mostly minority issues. This kind of media exclusion makes many citizens feel neglected, abandoned and provoked. Some of their opinions are even taboo. Moreover, the media increasingly lecture them with a moralising forefinger. Minority issues in the media also dominate daily politics, but not major everyday worries, hardships and fears of (silent) citizens.
This does not go well for long in a democratic society tearing up its social fabric.
On the one hand, society is divided into a dominant class of intellectuals holding high positions and wielding power and influence in politics, media and organisations. On the other hand, stands an under-represented class without power, influence and public attention. These powerless people no longer find an adequate venue for articulating and making their legitimate concerns and needs being heard. Perceptions are shifting dramatically. Like two drifting blocs, society is becoming more and more divided. Frustration breeds anger at “the top”, opposition and votes for those who, in their perception, supposedly better understand their needs. This is the breeding ground for all kinds of rightist and leftist populism and extremism poisoning the model of representative democracy.
Obviously, issues such as internal security, admission of foreigners, affordable housing, pensions, health care, and secure and sufficient income are high on the list of concerns worldwide.
Many Hard-working High Performers are Frustrated
The so-called Mittelstand, consisting of small and medium-sized enterprises and self-employed individuals. These are craftsmen, entrepreneurs or doctors who keep the nation running. Germany for example has six million of them (less than 250 employees and a maximum annual turnover of € 50 million) and persons with a total turnover of € 5,550 billion per year (in 2018). There are 3.5 million small and medium-sized enterprises. Many are owner- or family-run. That is 99.5% of all enterprises. They train most apprentices (81.7%), employ 58% of the entire work force and generate 97.1% of exports. They produce half of the added value. They constitute the country’s employment and economic engines serving as important innovation drivers. The “German Mittelstand” is a global success model.
Over-Taxed and Over-regulated
The broader middle class is squeezed like a lemon by the progression of taxation and harassed daily by too much bureaucracy.
Representatives of the middle class with more income and entrepreneurs are the whipping boys and the milk cows of ideological leftists and their propagandists in the media and NGOs. The „evil rich“, the „privileged“, the „neoliberals“. In movies, entrepreneurs are predominantly ruthless villains. They can’t expect any gratitude, but everyone wants their money. Leftist ideologues rave about their expropriation and about a supposedly “fair redistribution” through ever higher taxes. A wealth tax, ideologically demanded again and again by the leftists, would hit this middle class and all entrepreneurs in its substance, bleed it dry and permanently destroy many businesses, all jobs for other people and tax revenues.
A state without a thriving economy is like a sinking Titanic without lifeboats, quite stupid and a collective suicide
Cracks in the foundations of democracy become particularly apparent when this important minority – an estimated only ten percent – of the country’s most hard-working people feel marginalised and see their prosperity and opportunities for advancement threatened. This creates a snow-covered crevasse.
For only they – not the well-paid politicians, civil servants, trade unionists or journalists – invest and risk their money and their economic livelihood and retirement provisions. The effects of the Corona crisis hit these hard-working movers and shakers particularly hard. Thousands had to close their businesses due to insolvency. Thousands of their employees became unemployed.
Only the successful entrepreneur can secure jobs for them in the long term and provide them with good wages. This group alone provides most of the jobs, not “the state”.
They produce the overwhelming share of government revenues.
They generate our prosperity – the basis of our social stability and well-being.
Entrepreneurs and top performers produce the humus for the tree of democracy – they are indispensable. Without this productivity humus the tree will perish. forever.
They are the branch on which we all sit.
Are we aware of that?
Are we strangling or slaughtering the cow that produces our tax milk and jobs instead of producing more cows and thus more milk and more secure jobs for everyone?
Why do so many politicians and journalists pick on this vital group of top performers instead of thanking them for their commitment to public policy and tax-paid-public wealth? Because they pay the show. They employ the people. Isn’t that rather stupid and in the end even deadly for all of us?
Our democracy is thus being severely eroded.
There is a deep crack in the state. Alienation and frustration.
The general social contract is breaking down.
Democracy is in danger.
China is bringing its companies up to world standards and buying into Western companies.
You can only spend what you have earned before. You can only enjoy the prosperity that has been created by entrepreneurs and their hard-working employees with globally competitive products.
We cannot build a state or good democracy with sociologists, yoga teachers or civil servants alone. We need craftsmen, skilled workers, traders, businessmen and inventors.
Shall we continue like this? In this self-righteous and ignorant manner?
What we really need are more hard-working and many new bold and creative entrepreneurs, like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. They alone generate our prosperity and the resources for social welfare. No social welfare without free enterprises and people who make money with it and take risks. Let’s encourage them instead of constantly rolling new stones in their path. This is the only way a powerful democracy can survive, and a good future can succeed in a globalised world economy.
A newly conceived Policy 4.0 must never turn a blind eye to these truths and mechanisms and reality. It must focus much more clearly on silent portions of the population as well as the middle class and take their needs into account. This would amount to a more balanced approach without rejecting issues of other groups. We must tend to their needs with heart and mind relinquishing an attitude of arrogant ex- clusion, condescension as well as restricting their freedom of action or even expropriating them.
Without the solid foundation of a flourishing and globally competitive economy of committed and motivated entrepre- neurs and the middle class, democracies would ossify in just a few decades, become increasingly indebted, impoverished and finally sink encountering the inevitable Yellow Iceberg, as the Titanic once did.
For the Silent People:
The Minister for Future and Creativity, the Minister for Happiness and the Minister for Digitisation and Artificial Intelligence filter the needs, fears, concerns and hopes of all citizens via an online network, in cooperation with the specialised ministers. The online survey system developed in Taiwan by the Minister for Digital Affairs is exemplary. Moreover, opinion polls, symposia and expert reports help to weigh the most pressing issues of the population.
A fresh Social Market Economy is bound to tame turbo-capitalism and create social justice for many neglected groups in our society (see details below in D 28).
For the Middle Class:
- Reduce as many burdens on high performers as possible, to let them grow and blossom, which is in the core interest of the society.The burden In all areas, and small and medium-sized enterprises. No wealth tax, but a reduction in taxes and less bureaucracy.
- An annual situation report “Mission Future Middle Class” with concrete proposals is discussed in the cabinet and committees and made available online for broad discussion. The special ministers implement the topics quickly, subject to a deadline. The concerns of the small and medium-sized enterprises are examined in detail and suggestions for improvement are presented.