The bag of tricks in Europe
It is nteresting to see the extent to which different tricks are being applied to manipulate people's perceptions about the situation in Europe.
It is commonly said that Greece needs to reduce its debt to avoid bankruptcy, while the attention is skillfully shifted away from the piles of debt of countries like Germany, USA and others. Whose interest is it to present things in such a way? And how many generations will have to suffer as a result of sweeping the truth under the table?
Merkel and Schäuble are trying to give European countries orders and ultimatums on a one-by-one basis (today Greece, tomorrow someone else). Whose interests are they defending and who is financing them behind the scenes? Are these the people who have contributed most for the total extraction of wealth from European economies? If so, why should advice from them be taken lightly?
Another nice strategy masked as a help from the European Union: give many countries a lot of money specifically for agriculture to please them in a sustainable way while Greece is leaving. The rest of the countries should not come to the idea to leave as well, since this would allow to further command them. The second possible goal of such an investment could be to corrupt countries by forcing people to avoid technological work for the sake of activities with lower added value, again to the full benefit of the German tech sector.
“Unfortunately, Europe grows on two speeds.” Whose interest was it to apply the divide-and-conquer strategy across Europe—attract their brightest people, pay them survival-rate salaries and exploit them as much as possible, while letting all others who didn't want to work for us fight for their survival in their weakened economies and crushed markets? How legal is it to attract up to 400 000 workers/year within a Union to grow your own economy knowing that others will rapidly shrink? Whose decision was that and who said that this was right? Where is the international evaluation of this practice? Why is stealing money illegal, but stealing people legal?
Why is it possible to not only hire all the workers of a country, but also leave your dominating businesses there? Are we attempting a free double lunch at someone's back here? Isn't enough never enough?
“You can earn more by human traffic than you can by selling drugs” - a drug dealer cited in an online newspaper. Is the decision to make false promises, suppress salaries, provide bad working conditions to newcomers and hide behind “it was their decision” any less than human traffic happening in the middle of Europe?
German businesses once complained that they were getting only 12 CV's on average for each position. Is getting many candidates giving you enough power to hire them more cheaply? Is telling them that they are “not capable enough”, “not qualified enough” a way to convince them to sell their skills more cheaply?
Some employers tried to convince us in an article that we should ask about payment only at the end of an interview. How does this refer to what they want? Isn't it better to follow our needs rather than their wants? Even though I always asked at the end in the past, I thought that maybe I should make this question the first one next time when someone felt entitled to tell everyone publicly what to do. It seems a better long-term strategy to rule out a potentially bad employer from the start than to allow them to lead the interview in the direction they want. There is no rule that tells that an employer can ask rude questions (I have seen it frequently), but forbids a candidate from doing the same if they choose so. If we feel offended, standing up and walking away always remains an option. There is no need to wait for the end question in case we are clear about our decision.
Lately I understood that Lidl and Kaufland belong to a single owner. This would be not too bothersome if there were other stores in my neighborhood, but they didn't survive such competition. Some people want us to believe that we have the power to choose, while in any case they manage to extract high profits. Where was the anti-monopoly comission of the European Union to allow such a big acquisition? How can so many different buscuit packages differ in the price only 8 euro cent? If we don't want to buy a German product can we be sure that we truly aren't buying one? No, because they change the packaging and the price slighly, but when we buy, we recognize that the product still tastes the same. They tricked us. “Produced in the EU” is a nice way to hide the product's origin, though it is likely that it will be the result of a German investment, causing some people somewhere to suffer. If so, do we want to support this practice as buyers? Consumer expectations and intentions are constantly analyzed during each purchase for the sole means of extraction.
"Only if it is in our best interest" and similar quotes appear very often in German online newspapers like Spiegel and Zeit (you can't object without registration). Very often could also mean every second or third comment among many. This happens in a very repetitive way, but in slightly varying contexts. From what I saw, many Germans seem to feel very strong about their best interests, probably up to a point that they expect Europe to bend in their way. Yet, if you were a frequent reader, you would notice that noone would openly admit that they are probably making some kind of a mistake. Others will always be guilty for something, imperfect, lazy or something else. Just not them. It is almost astonishing how self-sure many of them are. It is important news that the German economy is always growing and rarely if ever shrinking. Everything has to look perfect to the outside. Telling that the problems are small and decorating the facts is something at which Germans are quite good, because this already follows their best interest. For instance, in terms of corruption, Germany is said to be on place 13 in Europe, which is far from perfect, but something which is very rarely discussed. Another mockery over Europe was the decision to increase salaries in Germany, while telling Europeans that there was no money for them and that they should learn to live on less and less or better said learn not to live. Such things clearly demonstrate double standards.
There is one possible solution for European countries in case they feel threatened by German ultimatums. They can create an European coalition of many carefully selected, but randomly chosen people, unknown in advance to the current politicians and send them all together at predetermined times, unknown in advance, to keep in check those willing to exert power. It must be clarified and guaranteed that within the Union everyone has to follow the Union's rules and that no single country can tell another single country directly what to do. In people's perception about the Union, things should never appear as country X vs. country Y, because this is a subtle gift for all participating countries and something which polarizes and tunes people against each other. Why should someone in France accept Italian advice or someone in Romania accept Spanish advice? People become so detached from reality that they tend to believe that a solution that works for France may also cure Italy, for example. But contexts are very different and often unpredictable. If someone wants to open a business in another country, they have to learn everything about the rules of doing business at the new place. They have to learn the language, the culture, eventually they need to make new friends, exchange experience, find a good place to live, learn about the kinds of activities that could be valuable at that particular place and they need to stay and be active in this country for at least a couple of years, before attempting to give advice to anyone there. As a very wise man said: "First seek to understand, then to be understood". But it is unrealistic that someone from France would go to work in Italy, or someone in Spain would go to work in Romania. The language barriers are a major hurdle and it is just one contributing factor for our inability to understand each other the way we want. I think that the differences among us are great and that they should be embraced rather than be a subject for constant accusation or constant reproaches that someone needs to change. Making someone feel inferior is rarely a good strategy, because everyone then starts asking themselves: “What if tomorrow I was in their place?” Everyone feels the need to change when the knife touches the bone, and everyone wants to do better than they currently can. Asking someone for much more would make them less human. Moments like these will test the extent of our own humanity and they are when we most need it.