Home > Uncategorized > Some links, 2 graphs. EZ wage ‘increases’, the rise of the self-employed in the UK and ‘Markets and Morality’ (in Spain)

Some links, 2 graphs. EZ wage ‘increases’, the rise of the self-employed in the UK and ‘Markets and Morality’ (in Spain)

A) Are wage increases in the Eurozone too low? Deflation is especially vicious when debts are high, and low wages contribute to deflation, as the Japanese example shows (check the footnotes and remember that Unit Labour Costs are not a competitivety metric but gauge the contribution of wages to in- or deflation).  Wage increases in the Eurozone are still not low enough to be consistent with a situation of self-perpetuating deflation but the data suggest that the ECB will continue to undershoot its inflation target, people will continue to struggle with their debt load, banks will, as a result, continue to be feeble and unemployment will continue to be high.


B) What the **** happened with the self-employed in the UK?! Carefully reading the ONS spreadsheets it turns out that: Royal Mail plc is included in the private sector from December 2013 but in the public sector for earlier time periods. Need I say more…


C) Two very good short clips about Spain (Spanish, Dutch subtitles)

* In Spain, banks go to great lengths to impose their idea of creditor centered market morality upon the population while under water unemployed home owners which run the risk to be evicted (while there are 60.000 unoccupied dwellings in Barcelona alone, at the moment) advocate a right to sell and lease back.

* Almost all doors produced during the Spanish housing boom were made in the same city – a testimony of the efficiency, dynamism and effectivity of markets. This city has, of course, become a totally desolated place – an example of what’s called ‘backward linkages’ in input-ouptut models. The pension of granny has to sustain entire families.

Great background music.

  1. Nell
    March 23, 2014 at 11:07 am

    I don’t get your inference that the rise in self-employment is down to the move of post office workers from the public to the private sector. This would increase the numbers of people employed in the private sector, yes, but, is it the case that a large proportion of post office workers were made self-employed when the royal mail was sold off?
    I can think of other reasons for this change
    a) harsh benefits regime – people choose self-employment to avoid punishment
    b) uptick in economy – people see potential opportunities to make some money (the job environment is still very poor)
    c) public sector lay offs – I believe last year saw another big round of lay offs so people are using their redundancy money to finance self-employment and again avoid getting entangled in the kafkaesque environment of the benefits regime.

    • merijnknibbe
      March 23, 2014 at 9:15 pm

      The recent increase is totally out of sample, which suggests that a) and b) are wrong (though a combnation might work). There are quite some public sector lay-offs, but there are also public sectors which are increasing (according to the ONS): education and health. Considering the statistics it’s a case of classification. The ONS reclassified the royal mail to the private sector in December. Considering the amount of people etcetera, they must have reclassified at least a large number of royal mail workers to ‘self employed’. I’m indeed not completely sure of this, but nothing else can explain the fast rise of these se in January and February. I also checked little by googling ‘Royal mail’ and ‘self employed’ and found scores of ads i which the mail searches for ‘self employed’, especially for parcel delivery (in my view such people are not really self employed, but that’s another discussion). But the final word about this will have to be spoken by somebody at the ONS doing the classifications.

  2. March 26, 2014 at 7:47 am

    Reblogged this on ..::popular spanish practices::.. and commented:
    markets and morality in Spain?…it’s sad, but it sounds like a joke..

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