TV duel and urgent social issues
In the TV duel between Angela Merkel and Martin Schulz urgent social questions did not occur. This is a pity because the issue of unemployment remains a major threat to many people. Because in Germany, there are still around 4,4 million recipients of Hartz IV. Most of them are long-term unemployed. That Hartz IV to refer, to say the least, is precarious, most know.
Even in the course of digitization and automation, it seems like pure irony that the CDU is campaigning with the slogan “full employment by 2025”. However, one should not forget that even though August unemployment has risen a bit due to seasonal factors, it is currently a fact that unemployment as a whole is on one level historically low level which has not existed since reunification.
The 5 dangers of long-term unemployment
At least when it comes to the pure numbers. Unfortunately, the official unemployment statistics do not show how many of the non-unemployed people are working in precarious jobs that barely bring the bare necessities to life. Nevertheless, long-term unemployment is unfortunately associated with great stigmatization. 5 reasons.
1. The pension
Who is referring to ALG-1, for whom is the Still relatively comparatively harmless, since if, in the year before unemployment, he was employed in the short term in a profession which is subject to pension insurance, the employment agency assumes the continuation of pension insurance contributions. Not so for long-term unemployed.
Basically, the payment of Hartz IV is suspended. This means that every single month that ALG-2 receives is a lost one that can still take revenge decades after the end of unemployment, because the pension is lower. But not only that: Who comparatively shortly before the retirement age (and this term can be interpreted by the job centers wide) in Hartz slips, can and will be forcibly relegated, even if this signifies a substantial reduction in its rent sum. Only one practice was defused:
Every single month, when you do not pay into the pension fund, has a reduced pension entitlement.
Since last year no more is forgiven if the pension becomes so small that the concerned basic insurance must apply for.
2. The qualification
You can be accurate the right education graduated. You can have enjoyed further education and are absolutely up to date in his job. But when circumstances are added that you can not control yourself (such as company insolvency), then also such groups of people are threatened by unemployment. And with day one of this state, a merciless clock begins to tick.
Every day that you do not work, you slide back from the high plateau of your professional knowledge that you have reached so far, heading for the valley. The problem with it: Even if one keeps oneself as unemployed in things professional knowledge, that counts hardly with the job search, because HR only look at “real” work knowledge.
How quickly knowledge becomes obsolete naturally depends on the industry. An electronics technician who works in the smart home sector may have lost a considerable part of his knowledge after just one year, but a cook has a flatter “slip angle”. But after a few years in unemployment, every profession has bottomed out. The point at which the qualification is still below a trainee in the middle of the training.
3. The Poor
Hartz IV, in itself, is often criticized for pushing people into poverty. Not only because the rule requirement is already very small. No, but because, in order to be able to apply for Hartz IV at all, the entire assets must be consumed up to a very small residual amount.
360 Euro monthly receives an ALG-2 beneficiary with an adult partner. It is particularly critical if you have to pay for these maturities with minimum amounts; for example in mortgage loans. For those who do not pay attention to a residual debt insurance when signing a contract, which secures him at the onset of unemployment, in which the credit and thus the house is equally in double danger.
On the one hand because of the ablation as well as the value of the house. And the cases in which the job center takes the installments are extremely rare and practically only occur when the credit is almost paid off and the rates are in the range of a local rent.
And even those who live in a paid-off home are, under certain circumstances, when the jobcenter the living space as too large - and this is the case for singles and couples without children, everything that is about 80m² - will be forced to sell the house and live on this sum before Hartz is paid at all.
Whoever can hardly participate in ventures due to lack of money usually loses his social environment.
4. The social environment
If you are unemployed, you have to turn over every cent several times. And this is exactly the big problem for a regulated social life. Those who earned well before could share in the life of their acquaintances, enjoy cinema, concerts and the like. On the other hand, those who are long-term unemployed have to say “no” more and more. Even with academics, it is usually the case that the social environment is eroding piece by piece. Friends turn away, either because you can't keep up financially or because a “Hartzer” in their midst simply scares them themselves.
Often, though not always, families also break apart. Especially children suffer when, to refer to ALG-2, a relocation also throws their lives totally out of line, separates them from their previous environment. Add to that Stigma on the Pausenhof and also the fire-hazardous acceptance. Children of Hartz IV recipients have a significantly increased risk of later becoming themselves part of the educational precinct and ending up in low-skilled professions. And in general, many long-term unemployed people live in a kind of isolation. The bad thing about it: You get used to this condition at some point.
5. The neglect
For the human mind tends to arrange itself in the most adverse circumstances. This can be observed again and again in the history. Even forced laborers eventually reach a point of acceptance and not only fit into their destiny, but learn to make themselves comfortable in it. It will not be so catastrophic in long-term unemployment, but the chances are that one will be able to deal with its situation, usually faster than expected. In this condition the good advice on the arrival of unemployment how shrewd mockery:
Somehow you no longer stand up in the morning with the alarm clock, dresses well, network what keeps the stuff, cleans the house, writes highly motivated applications.
At some point you stay up late into the night. You sleep late in the morning, sit in front of the TV, make irrelevant stuff on the Internet. Yes, at some point you have also resigned yourself to the greatly reduced financial scope. One has learned to leave superfluous in the supermarket shelves. Expensive fashion, electronics, trend products are just a memory - and a rich, varied diet. Because when the can of ravioli to 79 Cent fills your belly just as well as a complete, healthy organic menu for 10 Euro, the economy will eventually win. In fact, many Hartz recipients are overweight - but only because of the forced poor diet.
Now, you do not even have to argue that being overweight reduces the chances of getting a job again, even if that's a fact. It is enough, if you keep in mind that you are in this situation in such a motivational hole, that you can practically muster no more energy to rise from it. At some point, the battery is simply depleted by the hardships, disappointments and maybe dozens or hundreds of cancellations on applications.
Long-term unemployment is not just "having less money available". It is much more. It is a downward spiral that pulls you down in no time. Everything that was taken for granted before unemployment is turned upside down. And with each day that the condition lasts longer, not only the effects become more serious, but the habituation gets more intense.
The own professional knowledge dissolves, the job chances disappear, the disappointment grows and the motivation is lost. And the only way to avoid all that, once the ALG-1 reference period comes to an end, is to consistently savor any form of pride and accept work of any kind. Because no matter how overqualified you might think: Everything is better than doing nothing.
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German edition: ISBN 9783965960787
English version: ISBN 9783965960794 (Translation notice)
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