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.