This article is mostly a whish-list. Things I would like to change in Germany, where I have an idea in which direction the change should go. For some, I don't know the details (and details are super important), though.
|2||Healthcare: Single mandatory public health insurance||❗❗❗||✘✘|
|3||Education: Open online education||❗❗||✔✔|
|4||Employment: Chained short-term contracts||❗❗||✘|
|5||Internet: Cookie Law||❗||✔✔✔|
|6||Paiment of public broadcasting||❗||✔✔✔|
|7||E-Governance: Tax Declaration||❗||✔✔|
|8||E-Governance: Declare Place of Residency||❗||✔✔|
|9||Consumer protection: Mandatory software updates||❗||✔✔✔|
|10||Diets of politicians||❗||✔✔✔|
|12||Consumer Protection: Homeopathy||❗❗||✔✔✔|
Getting around tax paying in a way / amount which lawmakers did not anticipate is a problem.
The solution: Simplify tax laws.
Mandatory Public Health Insurance
In Germany, people can opt-out from public health insurance and use a private insurance instead. This is a problem as they usally opt-out as they would otherwise pay more. And it is a problem as those people might be in need of it later.
The solution: Don't allow op-out of public health insurances. I'm also not too sure if the most severe cases should not be covered by a single insurance for everybody which covers the basics. Other insurances can still exist, but only as an additional service. For example, I could imagine parts in dental care or glasses to be covered separately, while I expect anything life-threatening or painful to go to the public health insurance.
Open online education
I would like to have a big, well-designed, open platform with all necessary educational information. For free. For everybody. Forever.
The idea is that Germany pays for two main pillars: (1) Initial development (2) initial content.
Then it is handed over to a non-profit organization like Wikimedia for operation.
The initial content could be provided by teachers. Pay them for approximately two years to create the content of one year of their subject. That is a lot of time for the teacher, but actually very little money for the content. Quality assurance is important, though. So maybe there needs to be a competition where teachers give samples of what they would hand in over that year.
Chained short-term contracts
Some companies and official institutions make only limited contracts (and often even only short ones). This is a problem for the employees as it is a loophole for some social security laws. It is also a problem if those people want to get a credit. Not even to speak about the additional paperwork it creates.
See Kettenvertrag for more information.
The solution: Revert it. Completely. I don't see any use whatsoever for the user. On the contrary, it just makes websites worse.
A solution for people is to use add-ons like I don't care about cookies.
The tax declaration is too complicated.
The solution: Make a website. The swedes make it pretty well 🙂
Declare Place of Residency
You have to declare where you live. Once you move within Germany, you have to go to the town hall and say where you moved from / to. You even need a written confirmation by your landlord.
This is a problem because it is time-consuming. Yes, I can see that you want authorities to know who lives in the city / where people moved, for example for law enforcement. But it should be simpler.
The solution: Make it digital.
Mandatory Software Updates
Devices which cost more than 20 EUR should have mandatory software updates. Like CCC proposes so often, I would at the very least expect a labeling requirement:
The software of this router / smart phone / smart watch will expire in 2019-01.
Better would be at least 2 years of guarantee - if a critical bug is discovered, an update has to be created within 5 working days. Something like that.
A first step would be to have a clear way to update devices. A next step could be to force comapnies to publish their source code in case of bankruptcy.
Diets of politicians
The diet of Germanys members of parliament are set by the parliament. This is a constant reason for rage for people who earn very little. "While their situation get's worse, the politicians put the mony in their pockets" or similar thoughts.
I think that members of parliament (MP) should be paid really well. It is a hard job and an important one. But it should also be connected to performance to align the desires of the general population with the personal goals of MPs. And it should be updated automatically to make the heads of MPs free for politics.
A simple way to achieve this would be to give MPs 4× the median income of working people in Germany. This would be roughly equal the amount they get right now. If they want to earn more, they have to make sure that 50% of the population earns more.
According to Focus 2019, the gross income of lowest earning 10% was 1201 EUR. So if we would like to connect the ambitions of MPs more to the poorer parts of the population, we could give them 8.3× the income of the 10-percentil.
There are some simple measures to fight corruption:
- Income Transparency: Every member of parliament should have to make their income public for their time in parliament plus the next 5 years. Failing to do so or purposely wrong statements should be a crime which is punished by having to pay back the money plus a fine, loosing pensions, and prison time.
- Loggy Register: See details here. This is blocked by CDU / CSU.
Consumer Protection: Homeopathy
Homeopathy is perceived as medicine. However, it does not have to follow the rules of medicine. Normal medicine has to prove that it provides value in a study. Homeopathy only has to prove that it doesn't do harm. It's not medicine. Typically, it's 100% sugar. It's a scam.
The main problem is not the scam. The main problem is when people stop using effective treatment and use the sam instead (example).
It shouldn't be forbidden, but it should be transparent. It should contain a clear list of ingredients with the amount of it and the common names (e.g. "sugar" instead of "glucose"). If possible, it should not be sold in pharmacies so that people don't even start thinking it's medicine. Or maybe the monetary incentive of pharmacies could be taken away: Homeopathy can only be sold with a 1% margin (or similar).
We could also add warnings to the packages like we have it on cigarettes:
- This product is NOT tested according to the medical standards.
- This product did not prove effectivenes.
I guess some problems will always be an issue:
- Healthcare: Which services should be covered? How much should be paid to doctors? How is it financed?
- Employment: How should we deal with unemployed people? How much do you have to pay for the insurance?
- Poverty: Some people have significantly less than others. How much redistribution of wealth is fair? Who gets something? How do people get money? Do they have to do something to get it?