Monday, August 12, 2013

Over 9 Percent of Germans Working Have Side Job

More and more Germans are working side jobs in addition to their normal job. According to Freie Presse,  a total of 2.66 million workers, whose primary job is subject to social insurance contributions, now are also working so called mini-job (€400 -  €450). The share of workers who in addition to a normal job work a side job more than doubled from 4.3 percent in 2003 to 9.1 percent at the end of 2012.

The Ministry of Labor conveniently neglected to investigate reasons for this development, and could therefore speculate that one possible reason for the strong increase might be "Konsumlust" ("wish to consume",  German "Lust" is not the English "lust"). Spiegel assumes that this might have been a slip, but I disagree. The government changed the Poverty and Prosperity report, in order to get rid of inconvenient facts like "private wealth is spread very unequally"; in 2003 the poorer half of the German population had 3 % of all wealth, much more than in 2008; the share of wealth actually dropped 2/3 to 1% for the less wealthy half. The government thinks that the structural reforms should have a positive impact therefore data which suggest otherwise cannot be relevant. It is building its on Potemkin wonderland, where everything is fine and dandy and the poor are living in late Roman decadence (yeah I know it's a while back, but our Foreign Minister said what was and still actually is on the governments mind).

Of course, reforms, that force people to accept low paying side jobs in order to make ends meet, should not be considered a success; and could be used by the opposition in the election campaign. Well, sadly the formerly social party SPD and the Greens are responsible for these reforms to increase poverty in addition to making the German society less equal. Merkel has nothing to fear, but our euro zone friends should. These countries have to engage in similar, but much harsher reforms, which even if they should, some day, probably in the next decade, turn out to be growth friendly, will have created a society in which the working poor have the great opportunity to become even poorer, while working twice as hard.

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