Wage Minimum

A wage at a minimum level is frequently lower than the minimum wage. Most EU countries have a legal minimum wage that should protect against poverty risks at low levels of wages. Over decades it has not yet been possible to raise all low wages to this level. Le Monde (Béatrice Madeline et Aline Leclerc) has published on April 3rd a comprehensive analysis of sectors and people concerned with this difficulty to make a decent living while earning the minimum wage. In France (La désmicardisation), as in many other countries, it is difficult to earn just a bit more as the minimum wage because both employers and employees may lose social benefits if they just earn some hundred € more than the legal minimum wage. For all those persons who do receive only a wage even below the minimum wage getting stuck in a poverty trap is very likely. The number of working hours is then often is the only option to make ends meet your needs. Put bluntly, you work additional hours and/or take a second job to complement the lack of earning a wage at the minimum level. Public procurement that makes the application of the minimum wage compulsory and controls this application effectively benefits society as a whole. Lots of infrastructure projects, urban and rural development receive public support. The conditionality to pay the minimum wage + X should be a „conditio sine qua non“. The millions of workers at the lower end of the wage distribution have a power at the ballot box, which continues to be underestimated in many European countries. The EP elections on June 9th will probably alert us about the lack of faith in a bettering of living and working conditions of those persons coping with wage minima.

Home Delivery of everything ! Working Conditions

Family Music Days

Kids are queens, kings and princesses as well as princes at the family music days in Berlin at the FEZ. Kids can enjoy the full spectrum of musical experiences from just listening to playing themselves, if they feel like it or dare to risk a sound. Just making noise is okay, too. Building your very own version of a musical instrument is a great learning experience for the young. To make music it doesn’t always have to be an expensive instrument. Your own imagination assisted by persons with patience and passion creates marvelous sound experiences. Initiating kids to the endless worlds of sound is having lasting effects on them. Great to see a concert hall full of young enthusiasts. Learning is so much fun, if taught in accessible and inclusive ways. Professional instructors joined by many volunteers make the world go round for kids. Wish you we here. Let’s spread the message.

Berlin FEZ 2024-3-16

Wage indexation

Currently inflation increases rapidly in many countries. Yes, Argentine. The Euro-zone and EEA have mastered the peak of inflation due to shifting away from Russian dependency and cheap prices for energy and dealt with carry-on effects related to high energy inputs. The annual rate of inflation calculated for January 2024 has returned in the Euro-area to 2.8 % close to the European Central Bank target of 2% (compare figure below).  Inflation puts wages under pressure, because household with little savings have a very hard time to cope with sudden price increases. For society as a whole, inflation raises many questions of differential impact of inflation on different parts of society. Savings become devalued, but debt might become easier to be repaid in so-called real terms.
Wage earners suffer in terms of lower purchasing power unless in subsequent wage negotiations pay rises can be achieved. This then depends of negotiation power of groups or sectors of the economy. Trade unions have to enter into tough negotiations and conflicts to even regain the same status quo previously achieved in wage negotiations. A series of conflicts and economic readjustments by more or less powerful sectors or representation comes into play.
All this is happening in a year of a series of national and regional elections as well as the European Parliament election in June. Political turbulance and the rise of extremists might be a result of a lack of taking into account the needs of lower wage groups who are likely to feel the full blast of the high inflation previously still today. Wage indexation as in Belgium, which fixes wages to the rise in inflation previously takes out most of the explosive power of a sudden rise in inflation at the risk of an upward wage-price spiral. The recent inflation figures for Belgium, however, show that this is not the case. An overshooting has been followed by an undershooting of the Euro-zone inflation. The political disturbance and risk of redistribution to more powerful groups in society can be limited through general wage indexation or indexation of for example just minimum wages.
The Russian caused spike in inflation has been successfully mastered in the EU. The political economy of redistribution through inflation will remain an important element unless wage indexation is used in more countries to escape populists’ and extremists’ voices. (Image Eurostat data and ESTATEC app)


Viele Kunstsammlungen in der westlich dominierten Kunstwelt haben nicht nur ein Übermaß an Beständen von Männern gegenüber von Frauen, sondern ein noch größeres Gefälle zwischen westlichen Kunstschaffenden und Kunstschaffende globaleren Ursprungs. Die Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen versucht in 2023, diesem Bias zu begegnen. Die Preisträgein des K21 Global Art Award an die Südafrikanerin Senzeni Mthwakazi Marasela (Image unten aus der Ausstellung K21) steht für starke Frauen, die mittels der Kunst, Geschichte und Geschichten erzählen und damit dokumentieren. Wir brauchen viele dieser Stimmen.
Der Kunstkalender 2023 bringt zudem über den Jahreswechsel hinaus „Isaac Julien“ in die Kunsthallen in Düsseldorf mit seinen beeindruckenden Filminstallationen. Immer unter dem Thema der Gleichberechtigung sind seine Werke eine unablässige Hinterfragung der von uns, der Gesellschaft, produzierten und sich ständig reproduzierenden feinen Unterschiede. „What freedom is for me”, so der Untertitel der Ausstellung, erlaubt den Perspektivenwechsel und, sich die Bedeutung des Freiheitsstrebens der „People of Colour“ zu vergegenwärtigen. Jenseits der Freiheit, als Abwesenheit von Unterdrückung, Angst und Ausbeutung ist Freiheit etwas zu tun, zu denken, sich auszudrücken die Nagelprobe auch der Gleichberechtigung. Unsere großen Ausstellungshäuser und Sammlungen sind sich ihrer Verantwortung bewusst geworden. Manche Museen erwachen gerade erst aus den Schrecken, die sie in ihren Sammlungen vorfinden. Im Interesse der Freiheit und Gleichberechtigung erwächst den öffentlichen Institutionen dabei eine Verantwortung, die immer schon da war, aber erst in den letzten Jahren intensiver angegangen wird.
Jede Sammlung ist selektiv, sonst wäre es wohl keine Sammlung. Den Waffen- und Trophäensammlungen der letzten Jahrhunderte müssen wir heutzutage Sammlungen hinzufügen, die neue Möglichkeitsräume erschließen und Empowerment befördern. Los, sammeln wir. Senzeni Mthwakazi Marasela 2023 K21clipvideo