Did Merkel cover up Volkswagen scandal? As car maker’s boss quits, German leader accused of accepting trickery ‘with a wink’ | Daily Mail Online

Volkswagen Wolfsburg industrial plant (Wolfsbu...

Volkswagen Wolfsburg industrial plant (Wolfsburg, Germany). Français : Usine du constructeur automobile Volkswagen AG dans la ville allemande de Wolfsbourg, siège social du groupe. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In this hard-hitting article in the Daily Mail, Germany’s Greens claim Chancellor Mrs Merkel’s government admitted knowing about VW’s emissions test cheating software in an answer to a parliamentary question in July.

Source: Did Merkel cover up Volkswagen scandal? As car maker’s boss quits, German leader accused of accepting trickery ‘with a wink’ | Daily Mail Online

This story raises some deep rooted concerns about abuse of power and privilege. It’s quite amazing.

It raises a number of related issues. Firstly, it questions the integrity of Germany’s government. Secondly, it shows the power of the auto industry lobby. Thirdly, it shows the vulnerability of Germany’s export industry on the back of the VW scandal.

Thoughts?

The economy’s broken record: Lots of jobs, but no raises – The Washington Post

English: The Fall of the Berlin Wall, 1989. Th...

English: The Fall of the Berlin Wall, 1989. The photo shows a part of a public photo documentation wall at Former Check Point Charlie, Berlin. The photo documentation is permanently placed in the public. Türkçe: Berlin Duvarı, 1989 sonbaharı (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is a must-read article by the Washington Post. It’s focused on the US but applies to Europe too. Check it out!

via The economy’s broken record: Lots of jobs, but no raises – The Washington Post.

The Washington Post article highlights how jobs are now increasing in the US but wage rates are still flat-lining – no raises.

This is important for Europe too. Firstly, Europe, especially Southern Europe, is still way behind in creating jobs – record numbers of young people are facing a desperate, uncharted, future on falling benefits. Wage and salary levels are are stagnant or falling in real terms.

In Europe, with the Euro, individual countries cannot devalue their currencies to create growth, so the only solution is to reduce real wages and salaries. This is a particularly painful process for families involved.

When Germany is looking for structural reforms to labor markets, especially in Southern Europe, she is looking for the rest of Europe to follow her lead following the collapse of the Berlin wall. In Germany, it became popular for people to have multiple jobs to keep up their living standards – the Forbes article talks about multiple jobs in the US.

Of course, Germany has a point too. Too many industries in Europe, like the public sector, are protected by restricted practices and powerful trade-unions. In particular, the public sector typically has much more attractive pensions than the private sector these days.

Let me ask an open question:

Is there a place for trade-unions in the world of multiple jobs?

Thoughts?