Politico: Germany mulls scrapping minimum wage for refugees

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Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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28 Responses

  1. Avatar Kim
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    says:

    Fuck that’s nasty. Powers that Be are up to more fuckery.
    As if deliberately creating havens for Rapefugees wasn’t enough?Report

  2. Avatar Kolohe
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    says:

    Yeah, this creates all kinds of perverse incentives that are going to make things worse for everyone.Report

  3. Avatar notme
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    says:

    Why should a business be expected to pay minimum wage to someone with no skills, education and doesn’t speak the language? A business has to get some value from the employee.Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to notme
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      says:

      notme,
      Yes, I’m aware of how much you are in favor of child slavery. Thanks for being upfront about it, but really, this is Germany and not the United States. I feel we ought to hold them to a higher standard.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to notme
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      says:

      For starters, you don’t know they lack those things.

      More importantly, the business is choosing to employ these people. Why?Report

    • Avatar rtodkelly in reply to notme
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      says:

      @notme The problem in this particular case, if you are a person with nativist tendencies such as yourself, is that you have just created an incentive for employers to hire refugees instead of natural born German citizens.

      Which I suspect you knew, and still had to reflexively defend it on the basis that it’s right wing and liberals will hate it.Report

      • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to rtodkelly
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        says:

        “…on the basis that it’s right wing and liberals will hate it.”

        Honest question… is it right wing? Given that it’s coming from Merkel’s govt. this seems to my outside eyes very neo-liberal and to be a very good example of attempting to dig your way out of the hole you’ve created.

        The proposal, it said, is not about avoiding minimum wage but about allowing workers to get recognized professional qualifications during an internship-like period.

        It certainly might be a naked attempt at exploiting cheap labor – the Merkel right-wing plan all along… but I’ll be confounded if I can distinguish it from the Globalist neo-liberal plan for labor betterment (and humanitarian relief).

        As I say, seems like a lose/lose option… if you don’t do it, then you potentially have large groups of unemployed and assimilated populations; but if you do do it, then you potentially have large groups of Trade workers displaced by cheap labor.

        The German Federation of Trade Unions warned that refugees and migrants, who are often not familiar with their legal rights, may be exploited as cheap labor if the proposal is passed

        Either way, honestly not seeing a left/right divide here… just an attempt to thread the needle. It might work, it might not. It might even work in one sense and still fail in another.Report

      • Avatar notme in reply to rtodkelly
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        says:

        I think it is true that this proposal creates an incentive for employers to employ refugees. Honestly I think all minimum wage laws are BS because I don’t think that the gov’t should be in the business of setting wages. It isn’t a gov’t function. That being said, if the gov’t is going to force places to pay minimum wages I don’t see why someone should be forced to pay that same minimum wages to someone that has even fewer job and language skills that the typical German burger flipper. So despite your desire to believe otherwise, it really doesn’t have anything to do with liberals and what they think, or racism, etc.Report

        • Avatar Kolohe in reply to notme
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          says:

          I’m against minimum wage laws (but won’t go to the mattresses to fight them). But I’m even more against exceptions to the rules. Law by asterisksis how the bad guys win.

          Eta – and my objection to minimum wage laws goes away almost completely when I consider some de miniumus level is a valid way of enforcing the 13th amendment in the US.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to notme
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      says:

      Why should a business be expected to pay minimum wage to someone with no skills, education and doesn’t speak the language?

      Much less elect her governor of Alaska.Report

  4. Avatar Gabriel Conroy
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    says:

    I’ve been critical of the minimum wage, but I’m even more critical of schemes like this. (One politician in Sangamon has suggested that the minimum wage apply only to people over a certain age, say, 25, which to me seems like a recipe for age discrimination.)

    ETA: disclosure: I didn’t read the entire article, just the excerpt here.Report

  5. Avatar Jaybird
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    says:

    Was the plan for the refugees to stay in Germany indefinitely?

    Like, a new post WWII/Turkey situation? If so, I think that Germany will find that they made a lot of assumptions about the refugees that were true about the Turks that ended up not being true about the refugees and these assumptions evaporating in the harsh light of what actually ended up being true will more quickly result in a general consensus that, of course, the refugees were never going to be staying in Germany forever. They came here to be safe and then, now that the unpleasantness in (country) is over, they’re going back to (country).

    I mean, if the main thing that they were hoping for was a bunch of good hard menial workers who would be grateful for an opportunity to work hard doing unskilled labor in a first world country, I think that they’re finding that they made a handful of very bad assumptions.

    Those assumptions have secondary effects and tertiary effects and those tertiary effects are now coming to light.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
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      says:

      I mean, if the main thing that they were hoping for was a bunch of good hard menial workers who would be grateful for an opportunity to work hard doing unskilled labor in a first world country, I think that they’re finding that they made a handful of very bad assumptions.

      I’d imagine their thinking was more along the lines that you’ve championed wrt US immigration policy for … well, ever since I’ve been here: if they want to come and work then we’ll take ’em.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Stillwater
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        says:

        Probably right. Question is whether the German people know that.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater
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        says:

        if they want to come and work then we’ll take ’em.

        What’s the unemployment rate of the refugees, then? 6%? 7%?Report

        • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
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          says:

          Nice work. Points for difficulty. And landing!

          Add: Nice clipping of the actual sentence too!Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater
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            says:

            Let’s quote your entire sentence, then:

            I’d imagine their thinking was more along the lines that you’ve championed wrt US immigration policy for … well, ever since I’ve been here: if they want to come and work then we’ll take ’em.

            And then I can repeat my question:

            What’s the unemployment rate of the refugees, then? 6%? 7%?Report

            • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
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              says:

              Back when you were championing US immigration policy taking in immigrants the unemployment rate was 6%, 7%. That didn’t seem to disincline you from advocating for more immigration. (I mean, it’d take some time to look up the comments but I hope we both can agree – out of honesty – that you’ve been a champion of immigrants coming to the US because they’ll work and thereby add to “society”.)Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                I wasn’t asking “What’s the unemployment rate in Germany?”

                I was asking a very, very different question. Here, let me copy and paste it again:

                What’s the unemployment rate of the refugees, then? 6%? 7%?

                It’s the answer to this very, very different question that colors this statement that I will also cut and paste again:

                I’d imagine their thinking was more along the lines that you’ve championed wrt US immigration policy for … well, ever since I’ve been here: if they want to come and work then we’ll take ’em.

                Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                If unemployment rate of refugees isn’t any higher than unemployment of the ethno-congenial then what’s the problem? Are those folks more likely to ….???

                Here’s my point, to put it bluntly: you (in particular) have been an advocate of taking “whoever wants to work for a wage” in this country, and that specific belief (right or wrong!) has led to the reactionary backlash those of us in the US are going thru, but what lots of other countries are going thru as well. So don’t pretend that it’s a small thing, one that’s way over there, see it behind those other things!, that’s led to where we’re at.

                Neoliberalism and open borders is a wonderful idea, except when it isn’t.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                If unemployment rate of refugees isn’t any higher than unemployment of the ethno-congenial then what’s the problem?

                You know what, I agree with that.

                If the unemployment rate of the refugees isn’t any higher than the unemployment of the ethno-congenital, then we do not have a problem. At all. Heck, I’m even willing to exclude women from that, given the various norms that I presume exist in the wretched countries these refuges come from. Additionally, it’d be wrong to include children and the elderly in that.

                Those that are left, do we know what their unemployment rate is?

                Here’s my point, to put it bluntly: you (in particular) have been an advocate of taking “whoever wants to work for a wage” in this country, and that specific belief (right or wrong!) has led to the reactionary backlash those of us in the US are going thru, but what lots of other countries are going thru as well. So don’t pretend that it’s a small thing, one that’s way over there, see it behind those other things!, that’s led to where we’re at.

                Hoo, boy. Yeah, I had that coming. And still yet deserve worse. There’s a lot of very, very bad things that are going to happen because of this belief. Even if it was closer to “right” in the “right or wrong”, the fact that it’s going to lead to… well, a lot of very bad things… makes its rightness kind of moot.

                But, even pretending that its rightness is more important than what follows, the unemployment rate of the refugees is *HIGH*. Like, higher than that of Germany.

                And there are narratives out there that argue that the employment rate of the refugees is, effectively, a rounding error.

                Here’s one story out there that I remember from September. Here’s the lede:

                The German chancellor’s controversial open-door migrant policy has been dealt another catastrophic blow after it emerged only 1 in every 10,000 migrants who arrived since last year has a job

                Take 10,000 and cut it in half because we’re already excluding women. That’s 1 in 5,000. Let’s cut it by 80% because we want to exclude children. That’s 1 in 1,000.

                We engaged in some serious shenanigans there and that’s still an incredibly daunting number of unemployed refugees.

                What’s the current unemployment in Germany, though?

                6.2%. The google tells me that this is a “record low“.

                Neoliberalism and open borders is a wonderful idea, except when it isn’t.

                We’re going to learn that lesson good and hard and one of the by-products that I see attending is that the word “racism” will become toxic. Not to be called “racist”, mind. But toxic on the part of the accuser. And, by god, there are going to be a ton of consequences on the other side of that.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Pondering the case of Germany i think their recent history makes them a poor case study. In the 90’s West G absorbed East G which meant taking in lots of folks with different/poorer education and a whole of load of different mores and attitudes and survival skills. As i remember hearing about that was a bit of culture shock for both sides and that is with sharing a language and history and culture. The GDP of WG took a hit for a while as i remember. Of course the unified Germany has gone on to be a power.

                Also Germany has a long history of Turkish immigration and relations although they haven’t allowed the Turkish immigrants to truly assimilate i believe. So a lot of their history makes them a peculiar case. I wish we had blog corespondents in Germany to flesh out/correct all this. I do slightly know a couple from Germany ( Frankfurt), they are friends of my in laws but i don’t have any way to get in touch with them.Report

    • Avatar notme in reply to Jaybird
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      says:

      I think it was Merkel’s plan that the refugees would stay, assuming she even thought that far ahead.Report

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