America’s Service Industry is responsible for Low Wages

It is vacation season here in Europe. The workers have walked off the job across the road. They were replacing the roof of a 17th-century cottage. But when August came, they put a piece of plastic over the unfinished section and left.

The roads are crowded with people on vacation. Driving can be annoying this time of year. Typically, a car with two bicycles strapped on the back is followed by two cars towing small holiday trailers, followed by a slow-moving delivery truck.

And don’t bother to try to get anything done. Call an office; nobody answers the phone. Look for a plumber…a pastry-maker? Wait until September.

But it is a myth that Europeans don’t work hard. We noticed in our office in Paris that people seem to get about as much done – or maybe even more – than they do in the United States. And even though Europeans don’t put in as much time on the job, they actually work about the same number of hours, says a report in Fortune Magazine.

Germans and Americans work about the same amount of time, says Fortune. The difference is that America has a huge service industry – hamburger flippers, baby-sitters, pet groomers, retailers – doing things that Germans do for themselves – at home. America’s service industry is also largely responsible for the nation’s low wages. In Europe, there are few low wage jobs, higher rates of unemployment, higher earnings for those who do work, and much longer vacations.

Bill Bonner
for Markets and Money

Bill Bonner

Bill Bonner

Since founding Agora Inc. in 1979, Bill Bonner has found success and garnered camaraderie in numerous communities and industries. A man of many talents, his entrepreneurial savvy, unique writings, philanthropic undertakings, and preservationist activities have all been recognized and awarded by some of America’s most respected authorities. Along with Addison Wiggin, his friend and colleague, Bill has written two New York Times best-selling books, Financial Reckoning Day and Empire of Debt. Both works have been critically acclaimed internationally. With political journalist Lila Rajiva, he wrote his third New York Times best-selling book, Mobs, Messiahs and Markets, which offers concrete advice on how to avoid the public spectacle of modern finance. Since 1999, Bill has been a daily contributor and the driving force behind Markets and Money.
Bill Bonner

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