Some American presidents become famous due to specific economic policies they managed to formulate, get approved and implemented them. Reaganomics, of previous U.S. president Ronald Reagan, was coined in connection with an open market doctrine, favouring monetary policy instead of fiscal stimuli. Bidenomics, of incumbent president Joe Biden, is characterised by his “produce in America”, Inflation Reduction Act, and fiscal stimulus provided for green and social investments.
Whereas Reagon sat more with bankers and central bankers, Biden is keen to stand with unionised workers even on the picket line. Investments that favour good jobs, jobs that apply pay scales agreed upon through collective bargaining are part of the Bidenomics that seems to work to raise the wages of the middle-class people. In the medium-term there might even be effects to lift the lower wages in other sectors of the economy as well. However, this is the tricky part of the equation to support the middle-classes and somehow the median voter.
American elections are won in so-called swing states that have voted democrats or republicans by narrow margins. Many of these states are in the “Rust-belt” states that have or had a strong manufacturing base. Bidenomics works hard to make the economy work for those people in these states, who have felt threatened by declassification, job loss and undercutting of wages due to migration. Substantial wage gains from $32/h to $40/h over 4 years is a landmark achievement in the U.S (see New York Times below). Non-unionised firms like Tesla, Hyundai or BMW and Mercedes in the U.S. will be isolated if they do not follow General Motors, Ford and Stellantis in the coming months or years.
It is not just about cars and trucks and wages, but about the chances of Biden and the Democrats to stem the renewed populist tide in the U.S. German car makers appear to be in the camp with the Tesla X-Man avoiding to negotiate with trade unions in the U.S. If Biden stays on as president after the next election, Bidenomics will gain further support and production of batteries and cars will be favoured locally with good paying, unionised jobs. Despite the high interest rates currently it is astonishing to many economist that the U.S. has not fallen into recession like for example Germany in at least 2 quarters of 2023. (Image: extract of Ney York Times 2023-11-2)


We mostly think of greenwashing of big polluting industries , but there many other ways to cheat with green labels. When you travel through green Switzerland you might be surprised of how the Swiss way of greenwashing works. In order to survive as tourist attraction with less snow (Study published in Nature Climate change 2023) and reduced numbers of trees, greenwashing has to happen quickly before tourists arrive again.

The challenge is to clear your sick parts of the forest quickly and to build new ways for fast lifts to heights in the mountains where you are likely to find snow at least for the next 30 years after which the investment is amortized. (quote from Neue Zürcher Zeitung 5.8.2023 p11). This all is carried through in speedy fashion and probably in the most polluting way you can imagine. Heidi would cry in the arms of her grandfather and join Greta in the school strike.

Graubünden 8-2023
Pilotis Pilotitis 2023


Some say, a book is a book, is a book. This is to reiterate the lasting effect a printed volume might have. Many books are a form of a documentation of facts. Creative writing in whatever form finds most of the time some way into a format of a book. For centuries books have facilitated the diffusion of myths and stories throughout societies including translated versions of the content. 2 aspects are constituent here (1) form and (2) content. Annual book fairs receive most attention for new content within more or less the same rectangular format. There are, nevertheless, interesting variations of the form to be discovered as well. Traditionally book binding was the art that gave shapes to the content. Images in form of film are yet another representation of the book content. All this is “dealt” with at the Frankfurt book fair #fbm23, particularly in form of dealing in and with copyrights. New forms of delivery of content, online or as e-book, have added to the variety of books. Pay as you go or as abonnement with monthly delivery is the old and maybe fashionable new way to digest abundant content. People trust in books. The format as book in general seems to remain an authoritative form to present content, irrespective of the truthful or fictional kind of the content. The more we live in insecure circumstances, the more we tend to be willing to hold on to a pile of paper nicely woven or clued. It is still a very powerful tool to guide imagination for all ages. It allows us to learn at our own rhythm as far as we are willing to go. We are, or seem to be, in control of the process as well as the likely outcome. And yet, the spice of life is the surprise. Book it.

See Wasser

Der Bericht der europäischen Umweltagentur 2023 beschreibt eine durchschnittlich gute Wasserqualität der Seen in der EU (Link). Die Aufmerksamkeit für das Baden in den Seen und als touristisch wertvolle Naherholungsgebiete haben die Beachtung in den letzten Jahren wieder steigen lassen. Das ging leider oft auf Kosten der zu Wasserstraßen ausgebauten fließenden Gewässern. Dort befanden sich bis vor einigen Jahren noch vielerorts Flussbäder. Das war früher riskant und ist heute eigentlich größtenteils verboten. Wieder etwas, das wir dem Wirtschaftswachstum geopfert haben. Mehr Wirtschaftswachstum erscheint statistisch sinnvoll, mehr Lebensqualität hat das aber nicht immer mitsichgebracht. 

Beyond growth

We have reached the bio-physical limits to economic growth much earlier than most people and experts expected. The “Beyond growth conference” at the European Parliament 15.-17.5.2023 is quite unanimous in this verdict of collective failure. Some advocate “degrowth” in various forms. Maybe the framing of how to address the vital topic of how to set objectives for a post-growth economy needs an even broader perspective. It is a global issue, but the industrial growth societies around the globe will have to work together to find and implement solutions. The worldwide conference COP-XY are hardly delivering on the issue. At best they satisfy the ego of political leaders to address important issues providing nice images from nice places in the world (Paris agreement) to advance their own political campaigns.
From an economist’s view rather than solving a very complex issue with uncertain outcome, it is more instructive to, for example, start to produce the same economic and social well-being by using much less natural resources above all climate-toxic elements (Carbon-dioxide CO2, Chlorofluorocarbons CFC, or methane). These are simple first steps with a rather immediate effect. After the recent crises we have learned to safe resources (heating) and reduce mobility, just continuing on this trajectory is feasible. Vastly excessive forms of consumption need to be capped through targeted taxes that allow redistribution or investment in reduction of pollution. It isn’t hard to do, or “It’s easy, if you try“, we might sing.