Good morning

The headlines:

  1. Greeks work informally.

    Link: need creates innovation.

    With unemployment at over 25%, and youth unemployment cresting 50%, it’s not really that surprising that there is a sudden surge of entrepreneurship in the informal sector and in the family-run businesses.

    What was interesting (in this article) is the reason for workers getting paid salaries “off the books”. In normal circumstances, I would have said that every employee wants an off-the-books, under-the-counter cash “supplement” to his/her official salary in order to avoid paying tax on it*. And no employer would want to do it – because then he/she/the company can’t claim the full cost as a tax deduction.

    In Greece, however, this is not the case. It’s the employer insisting on a lower official salary and some sideline cash in order to avoid paying high social security contributions.

    The Greek trade unionists are in uproar, and declaring that all this informal stuff is bad for the unemployed. I have never yet seen a trade union that’s on the side of the unemployed – so I’m not sure what they’re going on about. And I’d like to make the observation that trade union subscription fees come from those who earn enough to pay them AND have formal employment. Informal work is terrible for trade unions.

    In related news, the Labour Ministry has now “declared war against informal work”.

    It sounds like the Labour Ministry is fighting for the unemployed to remain unemployed…


    *“Avoid” is a euphemism. This is tax evasion. Small-scale – but still evasion.

  2. Egypt gets a new constitution.

    Link: whether they want it or not…is up for debate.

    Egypt has “approved” its new “islamist” constitution. There was low voter turnout and the secularist opposition are accusing the islamists of “foul play”. Which may well be a blasphemous offence in terms of their new constitution – so those kids should watch themselves.

  3. Yum cooperating.

    Link: a Chinese Government review?!

    Yum Brands is better-known to us as KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. And it’s being investigated by the Shanghai Food and Drug Administration* after eight batches of chicken received from one of its suppliers (Liuhe) had levels of antibiotics that didn’t meet prescribed standards**.

    Yum operates out of 4,900 locations in China.

    Is it not strange that the Shanghai Food and Drug Administration is going after eight batches of China-sourced chicken by targeting the foreign-owned customer?

    I’m just saying.


    **What remains worryingly unclear is whether there was too much or too little antibiotic… The antibiotic could be well-necessary to keep you from dying of a KFC infection – so if there’s not enough, woah. On the other hand – who wants to eat drugged chicken?

That’s all for now.

Have a good day.