Finland is (or was until recently) a Social Democracy. That meant that the government held things such as education, employment, healthcare, housing, and the welfare of the aged, infirm, handicapped and unemployed to be human rights and there were safety nets set up by the government to ensure that all people, regardless, were able to live in safety and dignity. Over the years this system has been degrading. All over the world the social welfare systems set up by past liberal minded governments have been falling apart. The same exists and has been happening in Canada and Sweden and numerous other countries. The reasons given for this have been things like debt, paying off the deficit, and diverting money from services to stimulate business and create jobs. But the efforts to stimulate business have not created jobs. I believe these “reasons” are only excuses for more conservative/capitalist policies so that social moneys can be diverted to big business.
For the past twenty or so years I have been living and working in various countries teaching English. I have also gained 3 university degrees. It has all been fun and I have done and seen some things that most people can only dream or have nightmares about. But it has left me with a rather ragtag looking resume.
Since I have come to Finland I have done whatever I could to survive and support my family. I have made videos, DVDs, taught and edited English. This has led to an even more ragtag looking resume. And being in my late forties, and counting, the chances of me finding full time work begins to look even more unlikely. I have also been involved in what is known euphemistically as “training programs”. These are, in my opinion, nothing less then government sponsored slavery.
The “employment office” – an institution which theoretically exists to help people find employment – channels people who are on social assistance into short term “training programs”. These people are sent out to businesses and they are made to work full time while they receive no more than their social assistance allowance from the government while the businesses gets these people’s labour for free. The rationalization behind this is that the individual receives training and experience and when they leave the training program they will be able to enter the job market and receive proper compensation for full time work.
The reality is the person ends up doing full time work at an illegally low wage received from the government, while the business receives the individuals labour for free. The dignity of receiving proper pay for proper work is removed and the individual is devalued. The business does not value the worker because the business receives their work for free.
And at the end of these work training programs the individual has no training or useful experience, because involvement with the “work training program” tags these people as “unemployable”. So these people are channelled into new “work training programs”. Thus, effectively, the government through the “employment office” maintains a slave class for businesses. The people who participate in the “training programs” remain unemployable, while the jobs they do mean that there will be less jobs on the market, meaning that the unemployment problem rises, and there are more people available to channel into the slavery program, thus increasing the problem.
Yet, in a degrading system, I must continue and do my best. And if you are thinking I am just complaining about my own situation, it ain’t just me, Babydoll. There are thousands here trapped in the same system.