That there are more and more companies that – since the reform of welfare – calculate welfare into their profit-loss balance sheets, and pay their employees less than what would amount to the legally mandated existential minimum.
Now, people like me have called that one out years ago, only to be laughed at and ridiculed, having been called "communist" and "anti-capitalist". It's so nice that the mainstream media has finally caught up with what millions and millions in Germany already know: that you can work your ass off and still not have enough money to make ends meet, while your bosses buy themselves the next Porsche.
Took you fucking long enough.
The cost of such a corporate fleecing?
10 billion Euros per year! Yes, the ones who hold up the shield of "capitalism, capitalism über alles" in their interviews, who bribe and steal, who whisper into the politician's ears, who give them cushy jobs once they are out of power, steal from the tax payer to the tune of 10 billion Euros per year. Because not only don't they pay living wages, not only are they fleecing the state's coffers by exploiting those who are weakest, they also shift the costs of the present to the future, not paying in enough for their workers into the German version of Social Security, so that at the end of a full working life, these workers will still not have enough money to reach up to the lowest level of the existential minimum.
And again, they claim – and this is the thing that grates me the most, that is unforgivable – that their companies wouldn't make any profit whatsoever if they paid their employees a wage that would in other countries like France or Britain be legally mandated.
Of course, our politicians don't want that to change. Why? They can use the "nominally working" people to clean up their employment statistics, where the numbers of unemployed are going down, down, down... as long as you don't look at the ones who are on welfare, working or not, which is a number that is steadily rising.
But then, nobody reads that far into the monthly reports, do they?
Let me point this out, in a language that even the most retarded capitalism worshippers can understand. These are companies that are playing the market, that position themselves through those subsidies as competition to those who actually do "real capitalism". Their implicit reliance on the state to pick up the tab are ruining the markets for any and all other companies, forcing them to either go out of business or to fire their employees (soon to be re-hired by the parasites as temp workers, isn't it fun how corporate communism works?)
And that all brings us to a statistical number that has not gotten enough play in the media during the "debates" that dealt with the next social welfare reform that is on its way. See, in order to calculate the existential minimum, the government took a look at what those who are working and are on the lowest end of the spectrum inside the workforce make.
The lowest 20 percent, to be quite exact (I am not going to go into the whole fuck-up of the point that the government sometimes used the lowest 15 percent, sometimes used the lowest 20 percent in their calculations. That would be an entire essay)
What should have been the overwhelming headline in the media?
EVERY FIFTH WORKING GERMAN EMPLOYEE
MAKES ONLY THE EXISTENTIAL MINIMUM!
If you count in those who are on welfare and not the working poor, just the poor, the headline should have then been...
EVERY FOURTH GERMAN LIVES
ON THE EXISTENTIAL MINIMUM!
But what was the headline? Pretty much everywhere?
WELFARE RECIPIENTS GET MONEY FOR
TOBACCO AND ALCOHOL CUT!
This play is always the same. Frame the debate, frame how the public reacts. Neve mind that it is a statistical calculation, either way, and has no bearing on the reality. But if you frame it this way, you can count on an overwhelming public support by those who don't know how to sift through language, how to look very fucking carefully at what is not being said. Of course welfare recipients don't deserve to smoke. Or booze up. Fucking lazy fucks! I have to pay for my drinks!
And 56 percent of Germans polled fell in line immediately.
It's the same argumentation used to expand state surveillance everywhere. Find the right PR moment, say something like "we need to surveil you all, because there are pedophiles out there. Or terrorists. Or terrorist pedophiles."
And who can have anything against that?!
Are you supporting pedophiles? Terrorists? Just you wait, we are going to take a fucking good look at you, my friend! And people fall in line. People always fall in line.
Not understanding that they have been duped again, not knowing that they do not, can not and will not be allowed to see the bigger picture.
In the United States, Arianna Huffington called this the transformation of her country into "Third World America", where all of the news is good, all of the indicators are going up, up, up, the recession is over, everybody is posting record profits, Wall Street is already breaking out the bubbly again...
... while a growing number of people fall into poverty, working or otherwise, but that is not what you usually see on TV. What you see is that "happy days are here again".
And don't you dare believe otherwise.