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Newsletter January 2017 - Ruinous Competition

We are making the film „Marketable people“ because we all isolate ourselves more and more, and are determined by competition with each other. Anyone has all the possibilities open to him if he can only assert himself. This is sold to us as increased freedom. In actual fact however it is only ruinous competition in which we loose more and more protective rights to a good life and a future, while the bonds of solidarity disappear.

The losers deserve to loose  - the winners deserve to win

It is an essential feature of this era, that we are all increasingly ready  to give our utmost. To show  ourselves in all circumstances to be creative, flexible, independent, risk conscious and customer oriented. Fear however is more present then ever before. Because if we fail, we always blame only ourselves.  Unemployment, low wages, poverty, career decline and poverty in old age are seen by most of us as a personal failure. Which it is of course often not.

No right to failure any longer

Even when we are occasionally successful, we are immediately concerned about future failures. This uncertainty forces us to continuously self-optimize. Not all of us however can withstand this competition. And no success and no effort can ban the fear of failure.

Class-oriented society

Some profit from this merciless competition. They are the owners of our debts. They get richer and richer without any achievement and competition.

Everything becomes a commodity

In the 200 year history of capitalism more and more fields of social life have been subjected  to  usage as a commodity. Right from the beginning it was the labour of humans that was used in the process of capital exploitation. In the labour unions, in sporting clubs and in a large part of one’s leisure time however it was possible to avoid the processes which resolved everything monetarily . It is only in the last 20 years that successively the whole person – even to his soul – has been made into a commodity. Recreational activities as well as Yoga, meditation, attention training and sport are all now a part of big business. A competition and money machine which runs day and night and around the world.

Solidarity and a sense of community instead of a commodity

In spite of these times in which everything is being monetized, increasing numbers of people are using a large part of their vigor for the opposite: Acts of solidarity and a sense of community. Whether it is open source programs such as  „Open Street Map“, or „Foodsharing“,or Econony for common good, increasing numbers of citizens are looking for and finding activities which retrieve valuable areas of freedom from the world of business. Our film „Marketable people “ can only be created and distributed due to the thousands who support it without any remuneration.

Our film project „Marketable people“

Should help, in a world where everything has been comoditized, to strengthen our solidarity and sense of community. Let us not sink into competition against one another, while the rich get ever richer and we get ever more defenseless and  sold out to their interests. Democracy only has a chance when we realise our common interests and  defend ourselves. The film  Marketable peoplewill be a tool for achieving that .              


Newsletter September 2017 - Marketable people in the market-oriented democracy

Marketable people in the market-oriented democracy

 The German chancellor Angela Merkel had already - in 1.09.2011 -  coined the appropriate term “market conform democracy”. An example of this is the EMA (European Medicines Agency) which is based in London and for which, because of Brexit, a new Location is being searched for. Actually it is a very important agency. Without its  approval no medicine can be sold in the EU. The EMA can also at any time revoke its approval subject to new information, and forbid the medicine. This should therefore be a strong and independent institution which protects us all from harmful medicines.

 The controller financed by those who it should control

 The real capability of the institution to protect our health can be seen from the budget it has: 300 Million Euro. Just the turnover of the pharmaceutical  company Bayer is about fifteen Billion Euro and is thus fifty time larger than this budget. Of the 300 Million Euro budget only 15% is financed by the EU, the rest of the  85% is financed by the pharmaceutical industry. Can you believe it; the controller is financed by those who it is to control. That’s like putting a fox to guard the chicken coop!

 The revolving door

 Vinzenzo Salvatore was the head of the legal department of the EMA. He then changed jobs and went to the law firm Sidley Austin, which advises companies how to circumvent the EU regualtions. Salvatore’s successor in the legal department of the EMA, Stefanio Moro, came sraight from the pharmaceutical company Sigma-Tau. The managing director of the EMA  Thomas Lönngren moved to the management of a pharmaceutical company …..

 Democracy oriented Market instead of the market oriented democracy

 The European medicines agency as a disguise for the self control of the pharmaceutical industries? An EU which allows that should not be surprised when their citizens turn away! Instead of a market oriented democracy we need a fair and  democratic market which excludes all forms of dominance of international corporations!  We call on you : help us to create the film     “MARKETABLE PEOPLE” .  It will help to increase our solidarity so that we do not sink into competition with one another  while the rich get richer.


Newsletter June 2017 - A neoliberal coup

Macron wants to deliver

The newly elected  French president  Emmanuel Macron has now, shortly after the vote, started tackling  what he considers to be the most important economic project :  the deregulation of the labour laws, something which, in his eyes, he only partially implemented during his time as minister for the economy under François Hollande. Doing so he wants to, at last,  follow the German example and perhaps overtake Germany. The project, for which he has himself taken on the responsibility,  is one of great significance even within the rest of Europe . He announced that the framework legislation will already be in place by summer, during he french holiday season. It will be valid without a vote in parliament, the details can be defined by ordinances of the government. A press secretary of the government added on a precautionary note that no one has the right block France – which however would hardly be possible to do in the summer months anyway.

 A neoliberal coup. We would, in the following paragraphs,  like to warn you of the fatal consequences for France and Europe .

 Marketable employees soon in France too?

On the one hand Macron wants to largely get rid of the protection from termination of employment so as to simplify the process of dismissal of workers and reduce the cost of redundancies for employers. On the other hand, and this is the core of the project, the object is to break the power of the nationally organized labour unions and the nation-wide validity of the collective bargaining agreements. After the deregulation of labour laws last year it is already possible to decide upon questions of working hours on a factor by factory basis. In future it would be possible to decide upon other matters such as remuneration between the enterprises and employee representatives. The company agreements are to have priority over the national labour laws. Only if a labour union represents more than 50% of the workers would they be allowed to take part in the negotiations at the factory level. If that were to happen, not only would the minority labour unions be left out of the loop, the power of the national labour unions and the scope of the industry-wide wage agreements would have been broken.

 Even better than the export world champion ?

In Germany the deregulation of labour under the chancellorship of Gerhard Schröder caused the unit labour costs to sink dramatically and allowed the exporting enterprises to conquer new markets with lower prices. Is Macron in the process of achieving an even greater deregulation of labour to outdo the export champion Germany?

 The dangerous example of Germany

The chart above shows clearly That in the economically exemplary country Germany the golden fate of the export enterprises is not the same as that of the employees in the country.  They have not only lost considerable income as against their colleagues  in other developed countries. (the lower half has indeed suffered a real income loss of between 13.1 and 23.1 percent ) In spite of prosperous companies there are now more well educated people who often have to simultaneously hold  2-3 insecure jobs, often just to be able to pay the rising rents

 The ruinous competition of the export champions

Just following the role model of Germany has fatal consequences. Not all can be export champions. A nation with a strong export surplus always needs other nations that import more than they export.  If France soon also terrorizes the neighboring economies with low wages (and Spain, Italy, Greece are also trying to do the same) then we all will be the losers. The wages will be lower all over, Employees all over will  lose out on rights and security.   They are all wooing the markets so that these so called investors can expect the best yields with the lowest labour costs – a competition which only delivers a progressive  impoverishment and deprivation of all EU citizens.

 This development is not God-given

let us not continue to watch whilst almost all the citizens of Europe lose out on social security and ar sent into competition wars, in which all areas of existence are progressively included. This development is not without alternatives. We only have a chance if we can see and follow through on our interests. The film „ Marketable people“  is to be the tool for that.

 We appeal to you:  let us make the provisional final spurt! Help us to see to it that this film is made. which strengthens our solidarity, and rescues us from the danger of sinking into  competition with one another while the rich get ever richer.


Third Newsletter December 2016

More than 400 people have already shown their support for the film MARKETABLE PEOPLE with 30.300 € ! We thank you for your trust – it‘s a start! And actually a bit more: The film has been awarded a further sum of 131.000€ from the official film promotion board.

However with just one precondition: We must gather together a

sum of 110,000 € until 1 July 2017

as crowd funding support. Then the official support will be released which is then enough to fully support the making of the film!

Almost all over the world

Racism demagogy and the return to supposedly national values are in advance. Because more and more people are being pushed aside by neoliberalism which comes bearing the name freedom. These people are bringing politicians such as Donald Trump into power who plans to lower the rates for company tax from 35% to 15%, but also plan the elimination of public health services, the even more ruthless usage of oil and fracking exploitation and the faster deployment of nuclear weapons (“why do we have them?”). He will see to it that those who have been pushed aside get even poorer and live more dangerous lives. In Europe we face the danger that in two weeks in the voting for the Austrian president Trump’s political friend Norbert Hofer (FPÖ) triumphs as also in the coming year Marine le Pen (Front National) in France. They all appeal to the diffuse yearning for the so called better times in the nation states of yesteryear.

Sure some things were better

In the post war years after the 2nd world war. Due to the enormous damage that had been done during the war, industry had no problems selling things. There was much to be built up and to expand into. And due to the competition to the soviet system industry was ready to let the employees participate in the rapid recovery. The Social market economy was born. Full employment and consumption again boosted demand. However when the returns and economic growth sank, the owners of capital canceled the pact with the employees. At the latest since the nineties their position changed to deregulation, the expropriation of public property and the redistribution from the bottom to the top.

The perspectives for solidarity in society

Up until now in our films from down below have dealt with these neoliberal policies. The privatization drives for public property and the redistribution from the bottom to the top through the power of the financial markets. With the film MARKETABLE PEOPLE we are trying now to shine a light on to the radical changes within our society and our lives. While really rich people are getting richer the masses fight amongst each other with increasing competition for a share of the ever smaller pie. Certainly it is difficult to gather together the individuals exhausting themselves in increasing competition to one another, but the solidarity of individualized people is the only way to stop the increasing division of society. Bernie Sanders with his Utopia of a society based on solidarity would have been the more real and possibly the more successful alternative to Trump. The film MARKETABLE PEOPLE wishes to strengthen this real perspective against those of the Hofer, Le Pen, Orban and Petry in Europe.

In case you do not already belong to the supporters from down below, we would now like to ask you if you do not wish to support the new project MARKETABLE PEOPLE”. Until the 1.7.2017 every contribution is worth double or triple the amount! (as mentioned above). We therefore call on you: Help to see to it that the film „Marketable People “, is created, which strengthens our solidarity, shows us and rescues us from the danger of sinking into competition with one another while the rich get richer.

  • Please distribute this circular and the appeal through all your channels (facebook Twitter, Websites ...)

  • With a donation you become a promoter of the film. From 20 € onwards you receive a copy of the DVD, with the license to show the film in a non-commercial screening.

  • From 100 € onwards the promoters are classified as Gold promoters. If you so wish your name will be listed in the final credits.

  • From 1000€ onwards the promoters are distinguished as sustainability promoters. You will be invited to the premiere of the picture as a guest of honor.

Payments should please be made to the Account: Recipient: Der marktgerechte Mensch, GLS Bank, IBAN: DE 430609672020346200, BIC: GENODEM1GLS or via PayPal

 

 


 

Second Newsletter 31 - Oktober, 2016

Germans should be proud of themselves - and most Europeans believe that too

„We live in such circumstances that the world is jealous of us“, said the president of the German parliament Norbert Lammert: Since years we have the highest rates of employment. The unemployment rate is at the moment at its lowest since the so called Reunification. “We are doing well” is what is said to the Germans. And most Europeans believe that too. But those who have growing children in Germany have considerable doubts about that. Only a few of the next generation of Germans has the security of employment contracts which were taken for granted by most people some 20 years ago. Already 43.5% of Germans work in permanent existential insecurity in internships, mini jobs, recurring temporary work, work contracts and precariously as self employed. With the exception of Greece, that is the highest percentage of precarious employment in Europe! But France, Portugal, Spain and Italy follow this lead since the liberalization of labour laws there.

 In „old western Europe“ social advancement was taken for granted.

 The small car became a middle class car, children of working class parents became academics. Up until the beginning of the nineties the real wages grew continuously. The so called “normal working conditions” (permanent employment with protection against dismissal which granted a high level of security) were the rule. Every citizen had a right to minimal social security (as for example in case of sickness, unemployment, poverty and age) and a right to participate in the education and health systems. Salaries increased along with the increases in productivity. This meant that in this period the rich became richer but the salaries of labour grew in parallel  - their share of the common economic pie stayed approximately the same. The basis for these golden years was the continuously high economic growth and the understanding, that increasing wages and social benefits kept the economy going. The increased demand for mass consumption was the guarantee for the sale of goods from the  thriving mass production.

 Termination of the agreement about the social market economy

 When, after the mid 1970ies economic growth slowed down slightly, and the average rates of profits started dropping, more and more of the owners of capital and their ideologues started terminating agreements about social equity. The deregulation of the financial and labour markets, the transformation of social rights towards reduced benefits which were performance dependent, and the privatization of public institutions (a lean, partly privatised, state) would allow the fountain of profits for the rich to start gushing. Since then more and  more capital from the private economy flowed into the deregulated financial industry. Here it was possible to achieve again above average profits through speculation.  And the large enterprises of the real economy were financalised too. Which means that they were reduced to shareholder value thinking with an orientation towards the optimization of short term stock exchange values. This took away ever more capital for long term investment – something which continues till today. With lower investment came a lower rate of economic growth and today we proceed towards a permanent stagnation.

 Has the neoliberal U-turn failed?

 As measured by the results for the 99%, the deregulation measures are certainly catastrophic! But from the point of view of those who have been pursuing a radical alteration of society since the 1980s, they have been extremely successful: the 1%, the rich, continue to become ever richer.   

 „Germany is doing well“

 Since 1993 real incomes in Germany have been dropping. In the last 19 years they have fallen, on average, by 4.2%. In the lower 40% income group the real incomes have fallen by 13,1 to 23,1 percent. For the upper 20% the incomes  in the same period have grown. In the so called “exemplary”  Germany, a huge void has been created between the income of  labour and that of the rich owners of capital. And within labour too the gap between those with higher and lower incomes increases. Even in factories with good labour organizations such as the automobile and aircraft industries only about half the workers are employees of the companies. The rest of the employed are precarious temporary workers, contract workers and employees of other companies. Without the ability to be able to fire 50% of their workforce at any moment, and without their much lower wages the top companies would not be able to achieve the profit ratings which the rich capital providers require. The fast growing service sector is dominated by growing numbers of employees not bound by labour tariffs and working in repeated temporary work. The younger the employee the more the  likelihood of precarious employment. Occupation, income, survival and prestige – nothing seems secure any longer.

 This development, which has all of Europe in its grasp, is man made and not just destiny.

We therefore call on you: Help to see to it that the film „Marketable People “, is created, which shows how solidarity is being lost and we all are in danger of sinking into  competition with one another while the rich get richer.

 Invest in the Film „Marketable people“! Help in securing a piece of your future

 With a donation you become a promoter of the film. From 20 € onwards you receive a copy of the DVD, with the license to show the film in a non-commercial screening.

  • From 100 € onwards the promoters are classified as Gold promoters. If you so wish your name will be listed in the final credits.
  • From 1000€ onwards the promoters are distinguished as sustainability promoters. You will  be invited to the premiere of the picture as a guest of honor.

 


First Newsletter - An appeal to support the film project

Marketable people  www.marketable-people.org

A film by Leslie Franke, Herdolor Lorenz and Stefan Corinth, 90 minutes

 Help us to create a film which shows how solidarity is lost and how we are all in danger of sinking into competition amongst ourselves while the rich only get richer.

 Europe is experiencing radical change.  New paths are being laid out. Social systems which have been championed over decades are being undermined. The labour market in particular is changing rapidly. This where the film Marketable people points to.

 Just 20 years ago about two thirds of the employees in Germany had full time employment with social security. Today that figure is just 38% . At the moment just under half of all employees are working without social security.  They are working in internships, in repeated temporary work, in work contracts and in temporary employment through agencies! Or they are In totally unsecured jobs as „crowd workers“ (Internet-workers).  These Jobs function „fee-based“ and are usually won by the lowest priced offer:  A lector checks a book by a well known publishing house for a wage of 7.90 € per hour. That is not the minimum wage but the person is working freely. Even professors are now employed as freelancers. On Internet platforms such as MyHammer craftsmen offer their services. Here only that person gets to work who offers to work for the lowest hourly wage for example 5.80€ . Corporations such as Audi, Telekom Henkel, Deutsche Bank or Coca Cola, but even NGOs such as Greenpeace are moving their work out to crowd platforms. Some well educated people have to have 3 jobs to be able to survive. Whoever wants to compete in this environment must be prepared for this right from the beginning. This competition is in fact already intrinsic.

 This development is not God given it is man made!  The neoliberal ideas of a lean state and a global market without borders were first introduced into the US and England. In Germany these policies were taken over by the red-green government of Schröder/Fischer. Through the reduction of corporate taxes and the deregulation of work they managed to provide German companies enormous sustained cost advantages.  Simultaneously real income sank between the years 2000 and 2010 on average by 4.2 percent. Employees in the lower half of the income pyramid had to cope with a reduction in real wages of between 13.2 and up to 23.1 percent.

 Ruinous competition  Through the reduction of corporate taxes and the deregulation of work they managed to provide German companies enormous sustained cost advantages, and other countries within the newly created Euro zone the corresponding economic disadvantages. In the end the financial crisis forced some of them to likewise lower their labour standards, allegedly be become competitive. “ I have delivered is what the  minister president of Italy said during his state visit to Berlin. He had delivered the deregulation of the labour market as had already before him Greece, Portugal and Spain.  But the deregulation of their respective labour markets has not till now reduced the unemployment in any of these countries. On the contrary: Almost all people in Europe are losing in social security and are being sent into a competitive fight which encompasses ever more areas of life.  Many people feel that something is “on the wrong track”. However this development does not mean “there is no alternative”. Democracy has a chance only if citizens recognize their concerns. “Marketable People” is to be a tool in achieving that aim.

 Marketable People”  is being produced as a Film from Below , financed by those who wish to see and show the film. The latest projects of the film makers Who's saving Whom”, and “Water makes Money”   have shown how one can Influence decisions through enlightenment and mobilization.

 Invest in the film „Marketable People“ and help to secure a part of your future.

 With a donation you can be a promoter of the film. From 20 € onwards you will receive a DVD copy with the license to show the film in a non commercial screening.

  • From 100 € onwards the promoters are classified as Gold Promoters. If you so wish your name will be listed in the final credits.
  • From 1000 € onwards the promoters are distinguished as sustainability promoters. You will be invited to the premiere of the picture as a guest of honor.

 Payments to be made to  Account holder (Receiver):   Marketable People,  GLS Bank,  IBAN: DE 49430609672020346200, BIC: GENODEM1GLS

180,000 Euro

 is the film support from below to make the foundation on which the film can be created.

   

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