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I don't give a job. Am I being antisocial?

2014.03.02. 23:10 zaekyt

I must apologize. Yesterday I posted "This is why I don't give you a job". I was being very rude. It was an outrageously impolite thing to say. If that wasn't enough, I also ranted that "I wouldn't hire a woman". I should have watched my language. I am truly sorry. Sometimes I can be really antisocial. Please give me this chance to explain myself. My antisocial behaviors stem from a huge early childhood trauma that haunted me throughout my adolescence and it can still effect my tempers. But I want to change. In fact I have already changed my mind. I will give you jobs. This is a business proposal, I have even prepared a contract. Don't worry, it is very polite, even politically correct. I am truly yours.

In my previous, inflammatory post I shared my personal, self-centered opinion about why I don't want to sell my apartment, start a new company and give well paying jobs (well, by Hungarian standards) to a dozen people. I was trying to be socially responsible, but as it turns out, I wasn't trying hard enough.

When I originally posted this in Hungary, it struck me how many others were interested in my personal problem. I thought, why all this outrage? I mean there are so many other job offers. Why are they so angry at me for not giving jobs? Now that I have translated it to English, an even more astonishing fact is clear. If I give a job or not matters not only to millions of Hungarians, but people from around planet Earth. It has became a #1 issue on Hacker News for God's sakes.

It provoked a lot of thought in the United States, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia, Croatia, Canada, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Australia, India, Germany, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Finland, Greece, Moldova, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Austria, Spain, Sweden, Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland, Norway, Japan, Brazil, Lithuania, Ireland, Bosnia, Israel, Russia, Denmark, Indonesia, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, China, Estonia, Bulgaria, Latvia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Argentina, South Korea, Mexico and more than 50 other countries. Within a day.

Out of my first 50 000 readers 48 000 did NOT like what I had to say.

I'd better get very social. It's a terrible karma to upset so many people all over the place. First please let me express, how truly sorry I am. I didn't mean to hurt anybody, especially women. I didn't mean to be sexist, I am ultimately fond of females. I do not discriminate against men either, but please don't take this the wrong way. I love all of you guys, including the elderly. You people have changed my mind, I am now a better person, willing to give a dozen jobs. I have already prepared the following simple contract.

Hungary, still known as "Europe" agrees to enter into this contract with Jakab, also known as "Andor" on the 8th of January, 2012. This agreement is based on the following provisions:

  1. The contract establishes a partnership between Europe and Andor.
  2. The partnership will be named "WWW Partnership" for the purpose of Andor employing at least but not limited to 13 - thirteen - people in Europe, that is a WIN for the employee, a WIN for Andor and also a WIN for Europe. The WWW Partnership is beneficial for all parties.

Furthermore, Andor agrees:

  1. Does stay in Hungary and starts a new business.
  2. Employs 13 people 100% legally.
  3. Monthly salary is minimum €760 NET. (Actual amount handed over to the employee)
  4. Pays the €1086 total cost of employment every month without any whining.

Furthermore Europe agrees:

  1. Charges not more than 30% on the salaries.
  2. Charges not more than 10% corporate tax.
  3. Charges not more than 15% VAT.
  4. Punishes corruption instead of Andor.

Invalidity or unenforceability of one or more provisions of this agreement shall not affect any other provision of this agreement. This agreement is subject to the laws and regulations of the healthy state of mind.

 Dear Europe,

This is a good old-fashioned business proposal. Please consider my calculations. Now that I'm not in business, I only bring about €300 to your kitchen. Peanuts. This is not good for you, not enough. As you can see, it's not good for millions of people either, who don't have a job and they are very angry at you, and me too, because I'm not giving them any. If you please to sign the above contract, I will decrease the number of your unhappy voters by 13. And here comes the best part. I will bring €7840 to your kitchen every single month without ever whining. I have sent this polite proposal to the Hungarian State on the 6th of August, 2011, but unfortunately I haven't yet received an answer. That original proposal also includes detailed calculations. So please decide if you want me to stay out of business and pay you a shamefully low €300, or you would rather pick the €7840 monthly. Please choose more, instead of less. The larger sum is real money, you could pay a lot of social aids from that, and you know, whatever you usually like doing with your income. I will not ask. I truly think this agreement would be a win, win, win scenario for all of us. I'm looking forwards to hear from you. You can always find me on my Facebook page, or drop me an email to andorjakab@gmail.com.

 

Ladies and gentlemen,

I know we are not yet even. I have hurt your feelings. You can see that I'm trying hard to compensate you for all the pain I caused with my blogpost. But I think we are all people, money is not the most important issue between us. Please allow me to explain why I was so rude in my previous post. The childhood trauma that I mentioned earlier is that I was born into a communist country, by a woman. I know, communism doesn't sound all that bad to you when it comes to nationalize Hollywood movies using torrent. I know, it's even very cool to be a pirate, claiming property is theft, everything wants to be free, money is evil, corporations enslave people. Yeah, these are hip things to say nowadays, but please believe me, living in a country where communism is actual reality sucks ass.

I know, social can be very cool too. Hey, I use Facebook too. But living in full-blown socialism is very frustrating. It makes you very antisocial. I can tell, because I have spent my entire teenage years in hardcore socialism. If you did, you would really, really hate to hear the word, social. 

It all started by people saying, that they should be equal. The rich should not have more money than the poor. The poor needed more. The idea of equality, that everybody deserves a better life, was a very popular one. Long story short, they moved my grandparents out of their villa, and they moved a lot of poor people in. They thought my grandparents didn't need their land and their car either, it was unfair for them to have that lot, when others have so few. They thought it's unfair that the greedy capitalists enslave the poor, especially, because many of those poor people didn't even have a job, and they were hungry, while others lived in their pompous villas, ate very well and even had jewelry. It really irked a lot of people. Without jobs, people are starving, and it makes them very, very, very angry at those who have more than enough to eat.

New voices became extremely trendy in politics. Long story short, there was WWII, and later I found myself born in Hungary, a very socialist country. Indeed, everybody had jobs! In fact it was a crime not to have a job. Jobless people were called "közveszélyes munkakerülő", meaning dangerous vagrant. But it was extremely rare, a few poets, some intellectuals, most people did really have some job. It was obligatory to be very, very, very social. Everybody had to be your friend, you had to say "elvtárs" to the other, meaning comrade. Being antisocial back then was much less tolerated than now. I mean many people are irritated if I'm so socially irresponsible that I don't give jobs to people I don't want to. But it was outright illegal here twenty years ago to be antisocial. So illegal, that there was only one party, the socialist. The MSZMP. The Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party. A huge party, and everybody had work. They didn't need to beg for a job.

Socialism protected the workers. I didn't have the dilemma of starting a new business or not. Starting your own company and make as much profit as you dare wasn't an option. It was illegal. The MSZMP imprisoned scumbags who wanted to harm the working class by trying to make a profit for themselves. Everybody was equal. Equal in the sense, that everybody had some food. Basically bread, butter and milk. Eggs. These were cheap and available. Pork on Sundays with potatoes. We even had a TV channel, called Hungarian Television. There was television program on it, except on Mondays, when there was no TV. But on other days the TV teached us how good socialism is, and one day will reach communism, when money is not going to be necessary at all, because everybody can have anything he or she needs free of any charge.

Before Christmas MSZMP usually imported bananas and oranges from capitalist countries to make us even happier. Unfortunately we haven't yet reached communism in 40 years, so they couldn't import enough bananas to fulfill every Hungarian's needs. No, there wasn't enough bananas, so in the shops they hid it below the counters. But if you knew a very important person, such as a party official, who was important because of protecting the workers and socialism from capitalist threats, you could ask for some bananas. And then they told the shop assistant to reserve one kilogram of bananas for you. But you had to buy it discreetly, because others could get very angry at you. Why they didn't get any bananas when you got a kilogram? There were rumors, I don't know if it's true or not, that in the socialism, leaders of the socialist party could buy as many bananas as they wanted.

In the high school twenty some years ago I was taught that capitalism is very bad, socialism is very good. They said capitalism is very bad, because greedy capitalist corporations, such as Coca-Cola enslave the working class, and they even put some kind of drugs, cocaine or something into that fishy drink that is black for God's sake. And that those poor young people listen to some horrible music and roll on the floor in their blind addiction to that capitalist filth. They taught me, that in socialism I can have everything I need, there are no jobless, and socialism protects the workers from greedy capitalists who would love to enslave them. And indeed, if you needed, for example a telephone, you could tell the state that you would like a telephone, and then they wrote your name on the waiting list. After 10-15 years, if they agreed that that you need one, a telephone was brought to your home, and it was very cheap unless of course you wanted to telephone outside Hungary, that was impossible.

What else can I say. Bread was really, really cheap. It was so cheap, many Hungarians who are now hungry, have tears in their eyes if they think back, that in socialism how cheap bread was. They could eat one or two kilograms without a problem. Meat was more expensive and sometimes green, but not very often. So socialism did have its good parts too. But on the whole, I was really, really depressed about it, I badly envied western people for their capitalist way of life.

Once I was allowed to go to Vienna, Austria. You see we had Forints, that was not convertible to western currencies. But the socialist party was good and gave us some western money every year if we needed. So I was allowed to buy some Schillings, maybe 20-30 Euros worth, and I even got a passport and they let me sit on a bus to see that corrupt western world with my own eyes. I was literally crying. When I came back I was very, very, very depressed. Especially, because in the high school I had to keep saying to the teacher the lesson as they taught it. Otherwise not only they would have thrown me out of school, but they would have never let me enter a university, or even worse, they could have imprisoned me or harm my family. But again, bread was cheap up until that couldn't be cheap anymore, and the Soviet Union collapsed and we became a part of the European Union.

Socialism evolves by the survival of the most corrupt, instead of the fittest.

Based on the ideology of protection. It protects the weak in a very similar fashion that the mafia "protects" the weak. Socialists create a huge mess, especially when they are national socialists. Like those muscular guys in the gangster movies, usually bald, thick neck and rather rude. They make you feel uncomfortable, needy for protection. And then - for a "fair" share of your money - they offer their protection service. They guarentee your good health. Of course, refusing is not an option. They protect you anyway, it's obligatory. Socialism makes more and more people subject to the need of protection. It's a downward spiral. More and more people need to be protected more and more, so more and more taxes must be enforced, otherwise socialism obviously couldn't fulfill its promise to protect all those in need.

I prefer capitalism.

Please excuse me, but I still do. I think it makes more sense, and I think this "protection" scheme is a scam. A bunko, grift, swindle, flimflam, gaffle, bamboozle. A confidence trick. In fact, there's no need at all to have all these high taxes. Nobody needs them! Not the employer, nor the employee. It's a scam that you should love as much tax as possible, especially when others are taxed, such as banks, multinational companies or whoever else but you. Nobody in fact need to be protected by these socialist extremists. I know I sound harsh again, but I believe this to be true. A lot less taxes would be perfectly enough without the scams that actually harm those, whom they promise to protect. Socialist extremist are like the elephant in the porcelain store. We employers could get along perfectly well with our employee friends unless these trolls didn't turn us into enemies. We could get along very well, if they didn't protect anybody.

But how would needy people be better off without more taxes on the rich?

Very simply. We could agree on that pregnant women, women coming back from maternity leave, or women in general, young people, sick people, the elderly, people with disabilities - whoever needs help - is duty-free to employ.

Let's say I want to hire somebody for €760 NET. In this hypothetical scenario a lot of people would show up, ready to work. If I was lucky, some of them would be duty-free. I would have to make a rather simple business decision. I either pay €1080 or if I could find one of the duty-free persons suitable for the job, I could significantly cut my costs, making my business more competetive slash profitable. Of course, all my employees would receive the same €760, regardless of their status, so they would be treated equally at the workplace. This way the state would help these duty-free people to get jobs without forcing me to pay anything extra. On the contrary, by making me pay less, instead of more. Helping my business too, instead of putting me out of business with absurdly insane regulations. And of course, the state would still get huge amounts of tax money on non-duty-free people, the VAT, the taxes on legal drugs such as alcohol and more. That money they could spend on people who can't work at all. Trust me, such ideas are far more socially responsible, than socialism.

Especially national socialism. More on that later.

Szólj hozzá!

Hungary vs. Europe

2014.03.02. 23:10 zaekyt

Many people ask me to summarize quickly what's happening in Hungary and why is that of any importance to the rest of the world. I'll put you in the picture in 5.

Hungary?

It's a country about the size of Kentucky in Eastern Europe. We are 10 million people, we speak Hungarian. Hungary is one of the 27 members of the EU.

Why is Hungary on the news?

Our Prime Minister Viktor Orban has declared a war against the European Union.

Wait, isn't Hungary a part of the EU?

I know. It's absurd. It's as if Texas declared a war against the USA.

But is Hungary a serious military threat to the EU?

Don't be silly. Hungary doesn't attack the UK, Germany, France and 23 other countries using traditional military force. Orban is using troll tactics to dismantle the enemy community. Orban declared a "war of economic independence" against the European Union, and his plan is that he will turn other members into trolls. So far he's winning the war. He's extremely good at this. He has successfully trolled Hungary into pieces, now it's Europe on his plate.

Why do you need a war of independence? Is Hungary occupied by the EU?

No, we're absolutely not. In fact Hungary was constantly begging the rather reluctant European Union for 15 years before they finally let us join in 2004. They made us sign a lot of papers in which we guarantee that we will play by the EU rules, and we will respect the European values.

I still don't get it. Can't you just quit the EU instead of declaring a war?

Ha-ha. Orban doesn't want to quit. War against the EU is very expensive; he needs all the funds from the EU. He's also asking for a ton of money from the International Monetary Fund to support the war. That's what all the hoopla is about. The IMF says no way. We can have some cash, but they want to make sure we're not spending it on wars against anybody, especially not the EU.

Tell me, what's really behind this conflict?

Okay, there was the financial crisis in 2009.

Orban brainwashed the Hungarian people that it was caused by the financial circles (Jews), but if they vote for him, he will protect the Hungarian people from Jewish things such as the EU, the IMF, and the New-York - Tel Aviv financial circles. These aren't his actual words, but the message behind his doubletalk.

He's very clever; he managed to turn Hungary into a racist country within 10 years. Then he promised that if the nationalist Hungarians vote for him, there will be no cutbacks, the Hungarian people will not pay the price of the financial crisis.

This led to his landslide victory in 2010. Of course his government is totally incompetent about everything that would be required to run a country decently, but in their worldview it's extremely simple to solve such trivial problems as money. They simply take away the money from where the money is :-)

First they "nationalized" the private pension funds. In English, they took the 3000 billion Forints that was on their accounts and spent it. :-) You see, they didn't need any cutbacks, something that would make the nationalist Hungarian people very angry. Economists warned them though, that it's silly, because that money will not last forever, they should consider more traditional methods of running the country, otherwise Hungary can easily "default", meaning the huge mess when a country goes broke.

But is this legal?!

Oh well, there's a lot of talk about this. Orban says that everything is legal in Hungary that the Hungarian Parliament votes to be legal. Folks in the EU are going crazy about it, but Orban lawyers them. Orban calls this "unorthodox" economy.

For example they invented a 98% tax on the past severances of their political opponents. The Constitutional Court said it was unconstitutional. Basically, there's no such thing as 98% tax, and in the EU, you can't just tax income that was made many years ago. You know, people may have already spent all that money, how should they pay 98% tax on it?

That can't be legal. You're joking, right?

No. This is dead serious. Here's a link about it if you don't believe me. Orban has an absolute majority in the Hungarian Parliament; and it means they can pass whatever law they like. When the Constitutional Court refused to pass their bill about the 98% tax, they responded by writing a law that forbids the Constitutional Court to refuse laws that are about money. It's ok if they lawyer them on silly things such as human rights or something, but money is none of their business.

Orban simply takes away the money from where the money is; banks for example. Why tax the Hungarian people, when there's a lot of money in the banks? It makes sense doesn't it? Banks of course pay a lot of taxes anyway, but he chose to make them pay a whole lot more. Banks of course say it's unfair, nobody told them when they came here that the Hungarian government can take away their money if / when they find it appropriate.

They lawyer Orban's government. So he passed another law that says if some international (Jewish) court will punish Hungary for taking away the money from the banks, the money for the fines will be collected from extra taxes. You can sue us fuckers; we'll tax you even more.

So is it really banks vs. Orban?

Not only. He found that there's also a lot of money at the multinational corporations too. So he made them pay extra taxes as well. Telecom companies, food companies, etc. The Hungarian people are very happy, when these companies are taxed, because the Hungarian people hate them too.

Vow. But why do Hungarian people demonstrate on the streets then?

Well, because they are paying the price for Orban's "unorthodox" ideas.  One Euro cost 260 Ft before Orban, now it costs 320 Ft. This makes everything more expensive. Orban of course says it's because of Jewish attacks ("speculators", "financial circles"), but now that the Hungarian people have to pay the price of his doubletalk, they are becoming less happy about it. Some people aren't very enthusiastic about Orban doing whatever he wants either; they say it's not democratic and bla-bla-bla.

You sound racist.

I'm absolutely not racist. I'm just trying to tell you the things as they actually are. And I don't mind if you don't like the blatant truth. It's a very solid fact, that the majority of the Hungarian people don't like Roma people, Jews, the EU (controlled by Jews), the USA (controlled by Jews) and of course Israel. The majority of the Hungarian people don't like banks, multinational corporations, and "financial circles" either because they believe that these Jewish organizations are occupying their country and want to take away their land, their water etc. Sounds crazy, but if you don't believe me, I can show you at least 1 million comments on Hungarian discussion forums full of so racist stuff that you will throw up.

Good Lord, but isn't nationalism a dangerous thing?

Oh well, that was the reason for creating the European Union in the first place. Nationalism resulted in WWI and then soon WWII.  A lot of people died because of nationalism. They thought it should be avoided, that different nations in Europe start wars against each other all the time. It's too messy. And the EU has worked for a long time, but now there's a financial crisis, similar to the one we had in the 1930's. Back then, it created a fertile ground for nationalism, and within a decade the mess was complete. Now Hungary's mess with the EU isn't really about money. Some people in the EU still think that nationalism isn't compatible with the founding principles of the European Union - that is to avoid nationalism.

You mean Viktor Orban is a Nazi dictator?!

No! He's a charming man. He really isn't just a dictator. A simple dictator couldn't have dismantled Hungary. He's much worse. He's a troll. He will deny it of course, but we all recognize a troll when we see one.

But you're demonizing him. It's a political attack against him.

Ok, that's it in 1500 words. You are among the very few who are capable of reading this much. You have an exceptionally long attention span, but even folks like you can't read much more than 300 words per minute. This is how I see Hungary's war against the EU from inside Hungary in 5 minutes. But you're free to continue reading whatever you wish about it, Google is your friend.

Szólj hozzá!

Corruption kills

2014.03.02. 23:10 zaekyt

Hello there, I'm a guy from Hungary who doesn't give you a job, wouldn't hire a woman, and now shares a pretty € 497 743 010 bill with you. And when I say share, I mean that you guys in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom will actually pay the bill. With your money. For those of you whose eyes glazed over, ask yourself if your country is in the EU. If yes, you get to pay.

:-Don't laugh! You will pay € 497 743 010.

I'm not joking, and throughout the rest of this post, I'll explain why. Corruption isn't funny. It's literally killing people. I mean they actually die. Children and women too. Corruption only begins funny, but it evolves. When corruption begins, it's only a little cheating. Come on, everybody does it. Or have you never cheated about anything in your life?

The evolution of corruption

Corruption creates more corruption. It starts with a few corrupted cells. In this phase of the disease it's very easy to get over it. Come on! It's a small thing, it has always been among us, we're all corrupt, just a tiny bit. Look, we're doing fine, there aren't any serious symptoms. We can live with corruption, it won't kill us. But corruption grows. And it grows exponentially. More corrupt cells infect more corrupt cells that will in turn infect even more corrupt cells. By the time society realizes that it has huge masses of corruption in its body, it may have already become impossible to treat.

Corruption has already killed quite a few small businesses

Corrupt companies don't respect regulations. They don't pay their taxes, they employ people illegally. They will be happy to employ women, since they don't pay into social security anyway. They suck out the lifeforce of the decent companies by taking away their customers with their low prices. Which is one of the defenses of corruption. It hides behind price competition.

In a corrupted country, the playing field becomes uneven. Healthy, honest, decent companies have to constantly climb 55% uphill. Corrupt companies can easily pass them by, and the corrupted justice system will not protect the healthy companies.

Let's say I have a small restaurant and I manage to run it 100% legally. The corrupt guy opens the very same restaurant next door. He copies my menu, he copies everything, but his prices are 1/2 of my prices because his overhead is so low. I have two choices. I either close shop, or I start cheating too. There aren't any other options. But I'm not that good and practiced in corruption as the corrupt guy. He will report me to the authorities, which are of course also corrupt, and are good friends with the corrupt guy. I go to jail, or I become even more corrupt myself. No matter what, corruption grows and more and more people become a part of the corrupted masses.

Sometimes the honest owner of the decent restaurant has a bank loan, that he can't pay back because his business has closed due to the corruption. He can say goodbye to his home and his family. He gets his divorce. He either hangs himself, or dies homeless the slow way. These things do happen. People do - literally - die; corruption does kill. It does happen and it doesn't even happen rarely.

There's only 1 real investigative journalist left in Hungary.

His name is Tamás Bodoky. He runs atlatszo.hu, similar to Wikileaks. He teaches (and does) investigative journalism, advocates (and enforces) transparency. He's a brave guy too. But the death of investigative journalism isn't caused by every other journalist being pussy. They are a sort of cowardly sheep, but that's not an important reason. Information wants to be free. So the internet killed a lot of high quality journalism, but that's not an important reason either. There are people like Tamás who do it anyway, and they may even find a way to finance themselves with crowdsourcing. No matter how hard corrupt politicians, corporations and organizations try to blackmail the mainstream media, with bribes (nonsense, fake advertising), legal notices and other types of threats; information will find its way out. This is the true meaning of "information wants to be free". No matter how hard they try to block it, the UD Zrt. materials, MVM's stuff is all out there, and there's no delete option on torrents. So, none of these are the important reasons in the death of investigative journalism.

The important reason is this:

That's right. This is a viaduct, on the Hungarian lowland. Tamás Bodoky is out of his job. This viaduct cost € 126 911 314. This is all public data, no investigative journalism was neccessary to find this out. We can simply see with our eyes; this wasn't a very smart way of spending that money.

This picture shows tunnels on the Hungarian motorway M6. I think any kindergarten child can spot what's wrong with this. Or do you really need Tamás to investigate?

That's right. There are no mountains on the picture. We're digging tunnels into the flat land. Of course, there were some "investigations" and "reports" and all that stuff. The result: these tunnels were the cheapest way to build the road. Any other solution would have been a lot more expensive. Good Lord.

This charming man on the cover of "Free Railroad" union newsletter is Viktor Orbán, the Prime Minister of Hungary. He promised that he would punish his political opponents who let those funny construction projects happen; those you have just seen in the photos. He promised to reduce taxes and he sent this "Letter of Guarantee" to every pensioner that he would protect their pensions from the Socialist party - if they voted for him. They did.

His promises lead to a landslide victory for Viktor Orbán. Then he increased taxes, nationalized all the private pension funds, declared a war against the EU, basically saying Hungarians are free to do whatever the hell we Hungarians want to do in Hungary. He calls this a war for our freedom. But also, he's asking for a lot of money from the IMF. War against the EU isn't cheap you know.

 

But I guess I'm boring you to death. Told ya', corruption kills.

Ok, here's the € 497 743 010 bill I mentioned earlier. This is the one that you guys from all over Europe will actually have to pay. In fact this is only one of the zillion other bills that you're going to pay, I'm just using this one as an example.

You see, this is official. Signed by Viktor Orbán himself. This bill was published in Magyar Közlöny on the 18th of May 2011. It is about the reconstruction of the railway between two Hungarian towns: Szajol and Püspökladány. The bill increases the cost by 15%.

The increased cost is € 497 743 010.

85% of this will be covered by the EU. The remaining 15% will be payed by Hungary. Maybe the reason for this bill really is that at the end of the game the EU ends up paying the whole sum. :-) Or maybe, because it wasn't high enough for the most expensive bidder, who later won the tender. Well, not that much later, since it happened only 2 days after this bill was published. The companies who won the tender were recently fined for participating in what's called a hardcore cartel in previous railroad reconstruction works. In English, they talked to each other and decided upfront, who's going to win which tenders, how they split the cash between themselves and the other details. I don't know much about such things, maybe everything is perfectly legal and fine.

But isn't that a little too much money?

Well, it's certainly a lot more than my usual pocket money. It's in fact so much money, that most of us usual guys can't even perceive it. Too many digits. Half a billion euros. 500 million. But is it too much for a railway?

Let's see. It's a 67 km long thing. That means €7,3M/km. One meter costs €7,300. I know, it's not only two pair of rails made of iron. It's a big project. When they're finished, trains will do 160 km/h on this line. Wow, but for €10M/km they can build brand new TGV lines in France. That stuff is like in a sci-fi movie, it does 320 km/h. It just looks fishy to me, knowing exactly, that the Szajol - Püspökladány line will be ok I guess, but surely nothing close to TGV.

The issue was raised by a blog called Vastagbőr. They received this answer.

Basically it says it's absurd to compare this to other railroad projects, because every project is very different. Then they give a list of what's included in the price. Looks good, there are a lot of things included indeed.

The goverment agency ends their answer with this:

"... If somone would ask why the Hungarian state in the present economic conditions has to finance an investment expanded with significantly higher engineering content, than those in Croatia, then our answer is, that when we joined the EU, the Hungarian goverment has agreed to renew all of our transeuropan railroad corridors --- however it's important to mention, that such wide spectrum investment is financed 85% by the EU."

Bla-bla-bla, - but don't worry, it's mostly payed by the EU.


Most commenters got confused by all the engineering stuff, and / or didn't worry about it any more; the EU pays the bill anyway. But it still bugs me. It still sounds like a little too much money to me, even if it's not Hungary who picks up the bill.

These are real-estate prices in Hungary in forints/sqm:

 Some facts:

  • Real-estate prices on the map range from €600/sqm (dark-blue) -- €2140/sqm (dark red).
  • At €1200/sqm you can buy brand new, nice homes in Budapest.
  • The Szajol - Püspökladány area is in the middle of the country. It isn't very urbanised, there are no mountains.
  • Szajol has 1554 homes.
  • Püspökladány has 5694 homes.
  • From €30,000 you can buy a nice house over 100 sqm in this area.

 

Based on the above facts, you can follow my calculations.

€ 497 743 010 / €1200 = 414 785 sqm.

In other words, we could build a 400 000 sqm brand new house (with the expensive Budapest new home real-estate prices). This would be a 67km long x 6m wide new house that starts in Szajol and ends in Püspökladány.

The train could run in a brand new house. :-D

Or: € 497 743 010 / (1554+5694) = €68 673

We could buy a 100 sqm house for every family in both towns, and we would still have 56% of the cash left; to do something with the railway, or whatever.

Who killed investigative journalism?

Nothing. The true answer to this question: nothing. The murderer is nothing. That whole Hollywood genre is fake. When the alcoholic, stubborn, tough journalist digs up the shit, fights to get it published, and in the end something happens. In reality what happens is nothing. It will continue as if nothing happened. There is no happy end to this story. Even when they jail somebody for corruption, even then the only reason is to cover up a zillion other, 1000x more corrupt cases. This is how corruption kills. You have to do something! If we want to cure ourselves, you have to cure yourself!

YOU must change!

You have to change how you think about corruption.

Szólj hozzá!

The Hungarian Sillywalk

2014.03.02. 23:10 zaekyt

The weirdest thing I have ever seen (including everything Monty Python) has just happened on the streets of Budapest. With all due respect to Louis CK, I must say this was HILARIOUS. "The Hungarian people" were ... er ... impossible to say.

About ten thousand or one-hunded-thousand or four-hundred-thousand (or one million) perfectly absurd "Hungarian people" participated in the biggest black comedy performance in human history in Budapest, Hungary, the capital of "the Hungarian people". I'm sorry to confuse you, but I'm still in awe. And I can't wait until tommorow, because I know I will stay in awe for the rest of my life.

What was it?

It's very hard to explain. Basically it was one of those huge street demonstrations that happen in many unimportant countries such as Greece. But don't be fooled by the news coverage. It wasn't a simple "Occupy Budapest" style protest against almost everybody in the world except maybe China and Russia. News coverage can't picture this absurdity.

The official description of the event is: Peace Walk.

The number of participants:

News coverage: 10 000
Other news coverage: 100 000
Hungarian Ministry of Home Affairs: 400 000
Organisers of the Peace Walk: 1 000 000

(Population of Hungary: 10 000 000)

I told you that news reports about Hungary can be very confusing, but I will stick to the official facts. What we know so far is that 400 000 "Hungarian people" (a whopping 5% of the adult population) demonstrated on the streets protesting against ... er ... to show their support for their leader, PM Viktor Orban.

This is a photograph of the event:

You can see more pictures on Index, one huge Hungarian news portal. The text on the Hungarian flag reads: "WE WILL NOT BE A COLONY".

 

Some other signs from the Peace Walk:

"We love you Viktor!!"

"Gays are sick - they should be treated."

"Go for it Viktor Orbán!"

"GO HOME USA - EU!"

"Europe, don't hurt the Hungarians!!! You owe us a lot, don't forget that! We love our homeland and we will PROTECT its independence"

"THANK YOU VIKTOR!"

"IMF: 67 years old. USA: 236 years old. HUNGARY: 1116 years old."
 

 

Nothing interesting so far!

You already knew that Orban is a populist nationalist, who is celebrated like every decent dictator in any unimportant country. In fact it's even boring, you've seen a lot wilder stuff from Greece, North Korea, etc.

But can you believe these idiots who protest FOR Viktor Orban who is:

ASKING MONEY FROM THE EU?

I mean Greece isn't absurd at all. That's completely normal. They don't want cutbacks, so they will protest against their government to PREVENT an IMF loan. That's fair enough. Extremely dumb, but not absurd. But how can you describe these "Hungarian people" who are celebrating their PM who is BEGGING THE IMF for a loan?

I mean sure, you CAN protest against the IMF, EU, USA, capitalism, etc. :-D And of course, it's perfectly OK to support a nationalist leader. But how can they support Orban, who's bringing in the IMF?! :-D I mean if you're AGAINST the IMF, you should NOT support a  guy, who's working on exactly that. :-D

I mean can you believe that this many people simply DO NOT KNOW that it's Orban who's asking for money? Seriously! This huge crowd - 400 000 people - is trying to protect Orban from the EU money attack! :-D :-D :-D They don't :-D even realize, :-D that :-) it's Orban who's asking for it :-D They :-D think ... OMG ... that you :-D want to FORCE your ... :-D money on Orban! :-D :D :D ROTFLMAO.

I mean NOSE MILK:

 

Dear IMF, dear EU,

Please force Viktor Orban to:

  1. personally,
  2. publicly

answer the following questions with YES / NO:

  • Are we forcing our money on you?
  • Are you asking for IMF money?
  • Do you want the USA to go away from Hungary?
  • Do you want Hungary to be independent from the EU?
  • Do you like gay people?

Please don't give him a penny unless he gives YES / NO answers to these questions! This must be among the conditions of an IMF loan. Because I really, really, really want to see the face of these 400 000 Peace Walkers when they hear Orban's answers. Then I would be soooooooooooo happy.

Szólj hozzá!

Hungary not funny anymore

2014.03.02. 23:10 zaekyt

I am a blogger. I wrote a post about why I don't give a job. Don't bother clicking, it's in Hungarian, an extremely difficult language to understand. That blogpost made me kind of like a celeb, a blog hero or something. Fact is, that single blogpost generated half a million pageviews and 91141 Facebook likes in a matter of days. It was covered on national television, I was "the blogger of the week" at the biggest local blog provider (blog.hu), and a whole bunch of responses were written by big names in the trade.

Newsmedia analysts were trying to figure out what made it such a big meme, out of the blue, from totally nothing, without any mainstream media promotion. People shared it like hell, on Facebook. Likes were rising by the hundreds every second. Like this: 30145, F5, 30359 ... These numbers are considered exceptionally high here, since it's a small country. I still don't understand why it grew so big either. It's a post about why I don't give a job in very simple terms. Basically, because of unbearable taxes, extremely bad work ethics and an extreme level of corruption that makes business impossible. I guess by accident I happened to articulate how terrible and hopeless millions of us good Hungarians feel about all this, in a way that my readers just couldn't express themselves.

Then I thought I would also want to blog in Hunglish, my bad English. Seriously, I was trying to mock all those nationalist, populist, corrupt, asshole, self-centered pricks who run this country. I was trying to keep my cool, blog it easy, you know.

But I can't go on like that.

Not anymore, because Hungary ain't no fun no more. So I deleted all my previous Hunglish posts, and now I'm starting over from scratch. Now I will cover what's happening here, in my strange style that stems from me being Hungarian and not being able to speak decent English. But I'll be dead serious. I'll try to make it interesting and relevant to you guys all over Europe and the whole world, really.

Because there's an important lesson here. And I'm going to try and express it.

Szólj hozzá!

Whose business is my business?

2014.03.02. 23:10 zaekyt

This is another follow-up to the blogpost "This is why I don't give you a job". If you haven't read it, you should probably do so before reading this one. But - of course - you're free to do whatever you wish. I think you're a free person.

But is my apartment your business?

I told you, that I will not sell my apartment, and I will not invest the money. I told you honestly, simply, without the doubletalk. I told you the reason. I explained it in very simple terms. Yet, most of you folks didn't care enough to understand.

The State - and commenters - can make my business decisions if they want to. But not from my money. If they want me to follow their orders, give me the money to invest. Because if it's my business, then it's my business.

"But I would still give you a job despite everything stated previously."

This is one sentence from the blogpost I'm refering to. A very important one, yet most commenters didn't care to understand. I would create jobs, no matter how fucked up the environment is in Hungary for business. It's the corruption that's killing me. And most importantly as I stated as #4 on the list of my final reasons:

"Complaining about all this wouldn't help, no one would give a flying fuck."

No matter what I say, nothing happens. People write their comments about what I should change in my "business plan", what an asshole I am for not creating jobs for society, and everything continues to be what it was.

This is a recent comment on my Facebook page:

"Some companies lay off people just so they can keep their profits. We're not even talking about losses, only a reduction in profits. In most cases, it's worse for the owner/shareholders to simply dissolve the company, so they cut their  profit margin, keeping their workers (unless they're willing to pay the severance cost). And that's what's best for the people, which is whom the State serves, not business owners."

I only use this one as an example, there are tens of thousands of comments on my blogpost world-wide. Everybody keeps telling me, what I should do, how I should do it, who I should employ, why I should employ them, how I'm all wrong. This guy sums it up pretty well.

The State serves the people, not me. I see. The State doesn't serve business owners. I'm not "people". I'm not important; people are. Employees are important, I'm not. Now guess what. Then I won't play. The State can go and fuck itself.

And I'm not saying this to the State.

I'm saying this to the people. To the employees the State is "protecting". I'm skilled to recognize conmen. Folks, this State guy is acting like a vampire. The State is a conman. It's the State sucking out the blood from both of us. The employers and the employees too. Of course the vampire wants you employee folks to believe that the vampire is the employer. But it's a con.

It's a confidence trick.

When I don't pay you enough, it's not me who's sucking out your blood. It's in fact the conman. It's the vampire. It's the State. Look at me! I'm not sucking on your blood. I'm not corporation. I'm not big business. I'm just a regular guy. I'm people too. And if I don't employ you, I'm just acting like an employee. Employees don't employ people either. They shouldn't be so angry with me!

Don't you realize this is sick?

Aren't these things supposed to be my business? Am I really not the one to decide things about my own business? I warned you. I told you where all this leads. This leads to socialism. I know what I'm talking about, I was grown up in socialsm. I am perfectly skilled to recognize conmen. Those self-important, ignorant, incompetent guys who wouldn't survive a month in business competition. Those lazy bastards who don't know anything about risking everything you've got and work very hard and very efficiently every single day for the slight chance of making that American dream come true. Those people who think that my business is their business. Those pussies who would never dare risking any of their own money. Those who think it's their right to decide stuff about my business.

All I wanna say is that, they don't really care about us.

With all due respect to Michael Jackson, it's also possible to interpret his message as "we don't really care about them." We don't care about business people. We don't really care about corporations. We hate them. We hate banks. We hate brokers. We hate loans. We hate business. We think they're evil, enslaving people. This is bad...

Do you really want to hurt me?

Because I'm absolutely fine with this. I will alway be able to take care of myself. I will always be able to support myself and my family. In fact, I have a much better life without creating jobs. It's easy. I have time. If I was in business, I didn't have this jolly good time blogging away. I would be working now. For the people, and yes, for profit. It isn't supposed to be sin, or antisocial in any way. Profit is good. Profit is the blood of business. Without the profit, business dies. If you suck out the profit from business, what's left is a zombie called communism. I've seen its face and it's ugly.

I had a dream.

We business people talked to each other, and realized that the State serves the people, not us. We are not seen as people any more. We are perceived by people as their enemies. So we agreed, that we leave the country like in a flashmob. We don't wish to be enemies with the people any more. We decided that we leave them alone, and we all suddenly leave together, next Monday.

Only "the people" stayed in the country. State people, union people, political party people, civil rights people, journalist people, blogger people, media people. Banks, corporations, businesses are gone with the flashmob.

People suddenly realized, they are now free. They're not enslaved. They don't have to pay loans. Nobody can fire them. They don't need to campaign for regulations that tell businesses who they hire and who they don't. Business owners gave up the battle, and left with the flashmob. Business is now everybody's business.

Good luck people, enjoy your State.

My dream didn't continue with the story of the country we left. It's pretty obvious, I grew up in a country without the business people. We business people went to a deserted island to continue with our lives. We started with writing our own constitution. We defined things such as "we business people are also people", "it's our right not to employ people", "it's not an obligation to society to start a business", "profit is not a sin" and stuff like that. We established a new country we named it Business Island.

A few years later we had to protect our borders.

People wanted to move in to Business Island. They badly wanted to live their lives among us, business people. We had to finance a powerful army to protect us from the people. We didn't want them to move in and destroy our lives again. We didn't want to be dehumanized and hated yet again. So we thought, we were better off without the people. We thought, the whole world is theirs. They should stay protected in all those States where the State serves them. We don't want to serve them. We're not their slaves. We don't exist to serve people. We're business people. So we continued to protect our borders instead of protecting those people.

Then I woke up.

 

---

Cobb: What do you want?
Saito: Inception. Is it possible?
Arthur: Of course not.
Saito: If you can steal an idea, why can't you plant one there instead?
Arthur: Okay, this is me, planting an idea in your mind. I say: don't think about elephants. What are you thinking about?
Saito: Elephants?
Arthur: Right, but it's not your idea. The dreamer can always remember the genesis of the idea. True inspiration is impossible to fake.
Cobb: No, it's not.

---

Szólj hozzá!

Cybercrime in realityspace

2014.03.02. 23:10 zaekyt

I do not want to talk about piracy, trolls, viruses, worms, spam and scams on the internet. That would be boring. We are all fed up with all the discussion about it. But how do you deal with real trolls standing at the reception counter of your company? How do you handle a DDoS attack that isn't targated against your web server but against your whole personal life? What do you think about piracy when people 'download' your restaurant? What do you think about the methods of cybercrime when it happens in the real world? And no, you don't have to be a geek to understand any of this. I'm going to talk about my offline reality as it happens in a physical domain — Hungary.

Hungarians have learned to use methods of cybercrime in the real world. I'll only show you a couple of examples to illustrate my point.

1.) Piracy

Online piracy is when people download movies, software, music, books without paying for it. Yeah, it's illegal, but who cares. They say downloading isn't stealing. It's like stealing your car, but you look out of the window and your 'stolen' car is still there in front of your house. They say they didn't steal anything. Most people agree, some people don't. Nevertheless, online piracy is there and we couldn't yet do anything effective about it.

Online piracy - of course - is very advanced in Hungary. The absolute majority of people don't even consider buying stuff. But I don't want to bore you with stats, I'll just show you one recent example from my life.

You know what copyright is about. It means it's not okay to steal my writing from my blog without my permission. I wrote a post that become a huge hit. It was reblogged all over the world more than 100 times, it got translated to more than a dozen languages and reposted in many different countries.

People who asked for my permission:

In Hungary: 0 out of 10
Other countries: 9 out of 10

In fact I got so many requests from all around the world, that I decided to put out a creative commons license - that means it's free to copy with some limitations. But people from around the world still feel the need to ask for my permission. It didn't happen in 1 case in Hungary. No Hungarian has asked for a permission. They aren't even aware of the fact, that it's not okay. They think it's normal. If I would whine about it, people would say I'm an asshole. Come on, it's in your interest, it's free promotion for you, bla-bla-bla.

Let me show you just one screenshot:

 

This is my blogpost reblogged by a mainstream political party called Jobbik. It's a party in the Parliament. They are far-right extremists, the opposite of my political preference. They didn't ask for my permission to use my text for their purposes. I'm just showing this to illustrate the concept of how much they don't care about it. I'm sure that they didn't even want to hurt me with this in any way. On the contrary, I guess they wanted to 'help' me spreading the word. But you see, even a political party in the Hungarian Parliament doesn't care about my rights as an author. Maybe you think I should sue them. But that's because you don't know how these things work out in Hungary. And also, I do not want to sue anybody because of a silly blog.

But restaurants are also stolen the very same way:

This is a Subway restaurant operated the Hungarian way. The Hungarian franchise operators think they have learned everything they need from Subway, now they are better off without the owner of the brand. So they changed the logo to Myway and that's it. They continue without them. I have nothing to do with Subway, but it also happened with EVERY business I used to own. They were all stolen from me until the point I couldn't compete any more with the competition who used my know-how but didn't respect any of the quality guidelines, nor any laws and regulations or just generic decency is business. I went to court and lost ALL cases. I didn't win a single case, although I spent a fortune on legal proceedings that took 5 years. It's annoying, because my cases weren't as 'questionable' as the "Myway" thing you see on the photo.

2.) Troll tactics

The interesting part of the above detailed 'piracy' case is that in Hungary we have EU conform law. It isn't China where the law is different. It is a criminal case in Hungary too as much as in the USA. I had all the physical evidence of people stealing my 1) logo without any change 2) software 3) know-how 4) advertising materials. It's a clean-cut legal case, but I still didn't win any of the numerous cases at the courts. Not a single case, not even partially.

How is it possible?

It wasn't just clever legal defence from their side. In fact law doesn't have anything to do with it. They used troll tactics. In case you didn't know what it is:

In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

I experience the very same tactics that internet trolls use in online discussion forums, comment threads to dismantle any kind of online community in legal proceedings, and in everyday life too. People have mastered how to do it online, but it did not stop there.

Now I see it every day in restaurants, in real-world customer relations, and yes, even at legal proceedings. They are very clever! It's not at all easy to protect yourself from troll tactics. I'm not sure if its possible at all. I couldn't so far.

Show me 1 online community that is now free of trolls. I don't know any. And it's relatively easy to handle internet trolls. You can't just ban, downvote a real life troll. When they are using the same tactics in the real world, you are just screwed and that's basically it. They will never really do anything illegal. They know the law better than anybody. But that's the whole point. No matter what the rules are, they will always find a way to abuse them.

3.) DoS attacks

A DoS (Denial of Service) attack on the internet means that a website gets a huge amount of 'fake' readers from the attacker. The attacker uses a program that will read your webpage a million times a second. You get the idea. The webserver will get so much traffic that it will slow down, or stop working. It will be out of service, people will not be able to access it. It's very difficult to protect a webserver from this kind of brute-force attack. It's difficult to filter out the attacking traffic without making the whole site available to the 'normal' public too. Especially when the attack is distributed among hundreds or thousands of computers around the world. This is called a distributed denial of service attack or DDoS. The attacking computers are often part of a 'botnet', machines infected with malicious software. Owners of these computers aren't even aware of the fact that they are part of such an attack.

In reality I experienced attacks in similar fashion. It has always been a national sport in Hungary. It's in our blood to call the police on our neighbours, and report the companies we don't like to all sorts of authorities. And of course, fighting legal battles with our competition. And there are legal battles between competitors everywhere else. There are so called 'patent trolls' in the international arena too. But those attacks are legal attacks. They want to win the legal case against you. And you get no more than 3-4 cases at a time. But I recently see a lot of attacks, that are very different in nature.

The real world DDoS attack:

  • 50-500 different legal, bureaucratic cases, reports to authorities.
  • These do NOT have any legal ground.
  • The attacker does NOT aim to win the cases.
  • The real aim is to OVERLOAD you and your company.

It goes like this:

  • 5-10 different lawsuits are filed against you - without any legal base.
  • You can't just 'filter' these out, you are legally obliged to handle them. If you would fail to do so, the attacker immediately has a real case too.
  • Next week you find 20 different print and online news about the lawsuits.
  • 100 customers and business partners are asking what's going on.
  • Your tax authority starts an investigation on you based on anonymous claims.
  • 3 other authorities will ask you to send them documents and reports.
  • Your story is discussed on 200 different online forums. You can recognize 5-10 frequent commenters from their nickname choice and writing style.
  • You are also charged with criminal defamation because you said that a false claim against you is 'lie'. Now you have another case to deal with.
  • By this time you had to hire a whole team of lawyers and spend money you don't have on legal proceedings. You spend your time at the police, authoritites, and courtrooms, and when you get back to your office, 10 new laswuits wait for you.
  • Your company isn't strong enough to maintain 100% quality of service during the attack. It wouldn't be a problem, your normal clients wouldn't even recognize it. But your attackers are monitoring it closely. Next day 50 different claims are reported to authorities, that your service is awful and they want their money back (of course there's no legal base for it).
  • A DDoS attack is very frustrating when it's overloading your IT infrastructure. But people have nerves too. The attacker counts on this and expects you to make a mistake out of frustration, so that new attacks can be initated upon those mistakes. 
  • The generic public doesn't have a clue about what's happening. Nobody wants to hear your story that is too difficult and long to explain. People assume that something must be wrong with you, otherwise you wouldn't be attacked for no reason. People assume that it must be your fault.
  • Dealing with so many issues is also very expensive. If you can't afford to pay anything in time, it's 100% sure you will immediately have new cases.
  • You don't neccessarily go out of business. But you don't have any energy left for doing your normal work. Legal proceedings in Hungary take 3-5 years. During this time you can't concentrate on the development of your company.
  • In the meantime the attackers can do whatever they want, steal whatever you have, because they know you don't have any resources left for another 20 legal cases. Unless you are very good at this, you just give up the fight.

It didn't only happen to me. I saw this happening in large scales to at least 50 other businesses in Hungary. What makes it unique is the obvious effort to overload the target. The attackers know their stuff very well. They know exactly how court proceedings, authorities work, and they are very skilled in abusing the system. If you haven't experienced this, if you aren't prepared for it, you have no chance. It's just a question of time when, and how strong the attack will be, but it will come.

You can't just put out a webserver on the internet without any security. Now if you do business in Hungary, you must protect yourself from very similar attacks, otherwise there's zero chance to survive on the long run. It's especially tough for small business owners. Large corporations with professional customer support, and a huge legal department are much better prepared to handle it.

What's the moral of the fable?

I don't know. I just wanted to describe the situation. Maybe it's just me who thinks this is insane. Maybe it's just how business is nowadays. I don't know. But I think there are two things to consider about it.

  1. Offline business could learn some important lessons from cyber security folks. Who have already figured out the logic of how to protect online assets in a hostile environment built on distrust.
  2. Online folks could think about if it's really okay to do this kind of stuff. Because I think we in Hungary have evidence, that this mentality doesn't stay online forever. Once people get used to it, they start doing it in realityspace too.

Care to comment?

On my blog there are no comments. Part of the reason is that by new Hungarian law I am legally responsible for the comments you make. It would be a huge security hole on the incognito firewall. You can comment on my Facebook page though. That's probably safe enough for now.

Szólj hozzá!

King Jakab

2014.03.02. 23:10 zaekyt

My political agenda is simple and good enough for everybody:

  1. There is 1 tax called tax. It's 10%.
  2. Other than that, I let everybody be.

Szólj hozzá!

Re: Unconstitutional constitution

2014.03.02. 23:09 zaekyt

Kim Lane Scheppele wrote a sensational piece in New York Times about the new Hungarian, the unconstitutional constitution. Sounds absurd, doesn't it. Weird, right? Facepalm. But it is actually very true. It is unconstitutional, because it does not guarantee checks on political power and does not ensure the rights of citizens.

She goes on and on about it, it's a terribly long story about very boring stuff, such as law. Don't worry about it, just click the link anyway, TLDR immediately and scroll to the photo. Now you see how it was possible. Those are the ladies and gentlemen. It was them. But you still have no idea, why. And you should care. You should care a lot, because it can happen to you. It can happen to your country as well, if you don't care enough. I mean Hungary - whatever you may think - also used to be an almost proper country, at least for the last 20 years or so. Shit happens. So please, follow me to find out the why.

Szólj hozzá!

This is why i don't give you a job

2014.03.02. 23:01 zaekyt

I could hire 12 people with €760 net salary, but I don't. I'll tell you why. You could work for my service provider company in a nice office. It's not telemarketing, it's not a scam. You would do serious work that requires high skills, 8 hours a day, weekdays only. I would employ you legally, I would pay your taxes and social security. I could give such a job to a dozen people, but I will not, and here I'll explain why.

 

I wouldn't hire a woman.

The reason is very simple: women give birth to children. I don't have the right to ask if she wanted to. If I had the right, and she answered, she could deliberately deceive me or she could change her mind.

Don't get me wrong, I don't have any problem with women giving birth to children. That's how I was born and that's how my child was born. I wouldn't hire a woman because when she gets pregnant, she goes for 3 years maternity leave, during which I can't fire her. If she wants two children, the vacation is 6 years long.

Of course, work has to be done, so I would have to hire somebody who works instead of her while she is whiling away her long holiday years. But not only couldn't I fire her while she's away, I couldn't fire her when she comes back either. So I would have to fire the one who's been working instead of her the whole time. When a woman comes back from maternity leave, I would be legally forced to increase her salary to the present level in her position. Also, I would be required to give out her normal vacation days, that she accumulated during her maternity leave. When she finally comes back to work, she would start with 2-4 months of fully paid vacation.

I wouldn't hire people over 50 either.

Not that I have any problem with the most experienced professionals. I wouldn't hire them, because they are soon in the protected age. And then I would be trapped with them, similar to the trap with employing women. You can't fire people in the protected age, so I would have to pay the salary and its total cost even if he or she doesn't work well, or at least up to acceptable standards. I couldn't fire the protected employee, but someone would have to do the  job right; so I would have to hire another person. It's all right with me if they're protected, but then I won't hire them.

I would only hire 25-50 years old men.

They're also risky to hire. Since I don't have the right to fire them, if for any reason (I don't have enough income, or I don't like how they work) I want to. There's a high risk that they will go to court, and there's a high chance they will win. But this risk I would be prepared to handle.

You would cost me €1572.

 

Your Net Salary:  Your Gross Salary:  My Total Cost:  State markup:
 € 185  € 238  € 306  165%
 € 227  € 306  € 393  173%
 € 322  € 458  € 589  183%
 € 408  € 612  € 786  193%
 € 479  € 765  € 982  205%
 € 570  € 917  € 1178  207%
 € 760
 € 1223  € 1572  207%
 € 950  € 1529  € 1965  207%

 

This is actual 2011 data from the www.nettober.com  salary calculator. As you can see, your €760 salary would cost my company €1572. The only way this 2x state multiplier could be lower, is if I pay a lower salary. But I wouldn't hire you for less money, because I think you couldn't make a decent living for less then €760. You would become depressed, destroy your own life, my company and even me. So, I am not willing to hire anybody for less than this sum.

It's only Hungary that is so fucked up:

This chart is from a Deloitte study. As you can see, the state takes away less than half of your salary everywhere else. It's annoying that I pay you more than €1500, but you only receive a little less than half of it. Especially since you will not get any better medical care than anybody registered with a minimum wage income.

I would also have to take into consideration that a 35 years old person is entitled 25 days of vacation per year. This means 1 extra month where someone else has to do step in. If I needed 12 peoples' labor, I would have to employ 13 to account for the one who's on vacation at any given time.

But I would still give you a job despite everything stated previously.

I am a braveheart entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs take risks, so I would sell my apartment and move to a rented flat. I would hope that the €90,000 from the sale will be enough. I would launch my business bravely, and if I didn't succeed (quite likely with startups) I wouldn't be a crybaby.

My company would provide an excellent service, and that's impossible to provide without decent working conditions. I would employ 13 people. I would constantly need 12 peoples' work, plus the one who works instead of the one on vacation. 14 people, including me, would work in the 158 sqm nicely furbished, and comfortable office. This would cost 10 €/sqm/month for rent, and 3,5 €/sqm/month for utility fees, with a total cost of 2133 €/month.

These would be my monthly expenses:

Office: € 2,133
Wages: 13 x €1572 = € 20,436
Other expenses (accounting, marketing, etc.): € 3,058
Total: € 25,627

Pretty scary for monthly bills isn't it? This is how much I would have to pay out every month, regardless of my income. In the good months, and the bad months too. In the summer low season, and before Christmas when we would do far less work.

The company couldn't possibly sell more than 1000 hours / month of billable service in the average month. So to break even, making enough income to cover my costs, I would need to set my pricing at €25,627 / 1000 = €25 / hour. But breaking even isn't enough, I would also need some profit.

I am not greedy, the market is tough too, I would markup my prices with 20% profit. This would increase my hourly rate to €30, that is pronounced as thirty Euros plus VAT, €37,5. I would round this sum (down), so our customers would pay €37 / hour for our service.

I am not greedy, and the market is tough too. I would markup my prices with 20% profit. This would increase my hourly rate to €30, that is pronounced as thirty Euros plus VAT, €37,5. I would round this sum (down), so our customers would pay €37 / hour for our service.

Out of this €37, 7 would go directly to the state, 30 would be company income. I am an optimistic person. Our marketing would kick ass, my plans would work perfectly, we would succeed at selling an average of 1000 hours of service monthly. Business would fly, I would be lucky with all my employees, everybody would work like a charm.

This would generate 1000 x €30 = €30,000 company income.

€4,373 would be profit. I could pay €2,446 gross salary to myself, that would cost my company €3,144. Out of that, €1,521 would be my net salary, almost the double of what my employees make, and the company would make €1,229 profit before taxation. Out of the company profit, I would pay €122 corporate tax, and the local business tax, 2% of company income, which is €600. At the end, the company would have €507 per month left in its bank account to keep.

So I would make €1,521 per month, but don't forget, that I sold my €90,000 apartment, and I invested it in the company. So I would have to rent a flat for at least €300, otherwise I would become homeless. I would live a modest life, wouldn't spend a lot, and my wife would also make money. I wouldn't even have the time to spend much, because unlike my employees, I would work 12 hours every day, even on the weekends.

This way I could save €900 per month, so my €90,000 investment would return in 100 months. It would take 9 years to recover the money that I invested in the company, so I could buy myself an apartment again. From then on I wouldn't have to live on a tight budget, I wouldn't have to pay rents, and wouldn't have to save either. I would live like a European.

Under these circumstances - I hope it's understandable - I don't feel a strong urge to sell my apartment and invest the money into a new company.

But for 4 reasons I will definitely not do it.

The competition sells the same service, illegally, under really crappy circumstances, charging only €9 per hour. They simply pocket the money, without even issuing an invoice; it doesn't even include the VAT. They don't have to take any responsibility, there are no warranties, they officially don't do anything, there's not even an official, legal trace of their existence. They don't have to rent an office, hire an accountant. By doing this 5 hours a day, they can easily make €1,000. They would point their middle fingers to my €760 job offer, where they wouldn't be allowed to do crappy work, but show up on time every day and meet very high professional standards in their work. They wouldn't be allowed to defraud the customers, and if they did, they would be fired.

  • The competition would do smear campaigns against my company. I would    have to face anti-capitalist propaganda, I would be seen as a greedy asshole who charges €37 for what others charge €9, I would be an enemy of the nice Hungarian people, while others work honestly for a fraction of my price...
  • Many of my employees would only come to work for me to learn my business secrets and to steal my clients. They would lure them away by lying that they will get the same value and quality of service, but at a fraction of the price. After they stole enough clients, they would deliberately cause a great deal of harm to my company to get themselves fired. Then they would then go to court, stating that I fired them illegally, and they would win the case. In the meantime, they would happily work for the stolen clientele, that has cost me a fortune to build up. And, of course, they would be offended. They would trumpet on all kind of forums, telling everyone they have worked for my company, they know what they're talking about. Not only is my service very expensive, but the quality is a piece of crap too.
  • Complaining about all this wouldn't help, no one would give a flying fuck.

So this is basically why I don't give anyone a job. And I think a lot of other entrepreneurs who have experienced starting a business, will also not give jobs because of these issues. And this is why more and more people are jobless, who buy fewer and fewer things, which means they pay less VAT. And this is why there are fewer and fewer decent companies, who hire less employees, who pay less taxes, so there's less state money for social aids, and this is why social aid is about to come in the form of concentration camps.

I will only give you a job if:

  1. I can fire you, when and if I want to.
  2. If VAT goes down to at most 20%, but better yet 15%.
  3. If the state takes away "only" 30% of your money.
  4. If higher income is not exponentially punished.
  5. If the state punishes corruption instead of decent companies.

Until these things change, I won't give a job. Until the state ferrets out corruption in every possible aspect, I won't start a business, and I won't create jobs.

 

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This is a translation of the original Hungarian post, "Tőlem ezért nem kapsz munkát" posted on the 27th of July, 2011.  Although it rocked the Hungarian blogosphere - generated more than 90,000 Facebook likes - nothing has changed for the better. On the contrary. It's a whole lot worse now. To all of you international readers, here €760 net sounds like a dream salary for most people. Even medical doctors make less than half of this, at the beginning of their career. Prices on the other hand are the same as everywhere else.

>HUGE< thanks go to Spencer Rathbun for helping me out with the English txt.

 

Szólj hozzá!