The decline in newspaper circulation is now hitting Germany, a decade after the US. I remember predicting this was going to happen at a Germany conference, I think it was Next in 2009, and being told that Germans were different than Americans, and wouldn’t switch to online news and entertainment. Sure.
A growing slice of the US workforce is stuck in low wage temp work, even though they would like better paid full-time work. These are not the elite freelancers, selling their programming or marketing skills to the highest bidder. Instead, these folks are blocked from making a living or dependable wage.
Erin Hatton, The Rise of the Permanent Temp Economy
A quarter of jobs in America pay below the federal poverty line for a family of four ($23,050). Not only are many jobs low-wage, they are also temporary and insecure. Over the last three years, the temp industry added more jobs in the United States than any other, according to the American Staffing Association, the trade group representing temp recruitment agencies, outsourcing specialists and the like.
Low-wage, temporary jobs have become so widespread that they threaten to become the norm. But for some reason this isn’t causing a scandal. At least in the business press, we are more likely to hear plaudits for “lean and mean” companies than angst about the changing nature of work for ordinary Americans.
How did we arrive at this state of affairs? Many argue that it was the inevitable result of macroeconomic forces — globalization, deindustrialization and technological change — beyond our political control. Yet employers had (and have) choices. Rather than squeezing workers, they could have invested in workers and boosted product quality, taking what economists call the high road toward more advanced manufacturing and skilled service work. But this hasn’t happened. Instead, American employers have generally taken the low road: lowering wages and cutting benefits, converting permanent employees into part-time and contingent workers, busting unions and subcontracting and outsourcing jobs.
Contrast this with the work programs of Germany, where the non-professionals are trained systematically, and grown into skilled and highly productive workers: a key resource. The leadership there opted to avoid massive outsourcing of manufacturing to other countries, and instead of pocketing the profits from wage arbitrage the Germany corporations invested in their own people, driving up the wages there.
Hatton’s piece details the rise of Kelly and other temp agencies, as well.
Gabriele Pauli (born on June 26, 1957 Schweich, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany) is a German politician, formerly with the conservative Christian Social Union (CSU) party. She was the District Administrator for the rural districtof Fürth from 1990 to 2008.in
In 2006 and 2007, Pauli’s open criticism of Edmund Stoiber, fellow CSU member and minister-president of the German state of Bavaria, led to a crisis in the party which ultimately resulted in Stoiber’s resignation.
She left the CSU on 21 November 2007. In June 2008 she joined the Freie Wähler Bayern (Independent Voters Association of Bavaria). She was one of the party’s candidates for the parliament of the state of Bavaria (Landtag of Bavaria) on 28 September 2008. Although she was list candidate number 8 in Central Franconia (Mittelfranken), she was ranked first by the region’s voters (Bavaria has an open-list system), making her one of the two Independent Voters Association candidates elected from Central Franconia. She then ran for the European Parliament on June 7, 2009, but her party got only 1.7% of the votes across Germany.
- "Von Stoibers Flucht aus Berlin bis zum Amtsverzicht". Süddeutsche Zeitung. 18 January 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-26.[dead link]
- Madeline Chambers (21 September 2007). "Glamorous Bavarian wants law to allow 7-year itch". Reuters. Retrieved 2007-12-26.
- "Erwin Huber wird neuer CSU-Parteichef". Der Tagesspiegel. 29 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-26.
- "Gabriele Pauli verlässt die CSU". Der Spiegel. 21 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-26.
- "Sicher nicht Frau Pauli". Süddeutsche Zeitung. 23 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-15.[dead link]
I like the idea that marriage should be term-limited. It would save a tremendous amount of trouble, although provisions for children would have to be built into the terms.