SERVICE OR WAR? A golden age of amazing service or civil unrest? How Universal Basic Income can solv
Hotels & Restaurant are a sign of peace.
They can only exist and strive in peaceful times. The cap between rich and poor has widened tremendously over the last decade in Europe and America. A threat for hospitality! Unemployment, crisis and failed politics have worsened the situation. Restaurants and hotels can’t be filled by the small ( 1%) class of rich people. In hospitality we need the middle class and have to pull in the lower classes too. We want to serve them too. In case of war or civil unrest you are lucky to find a canteen or anything to eat at all and restaurants / hotels become targets instead of places of joy. Hotels are replaced by hospitals – if you are lucky! It’s a sad truth and we need to be thankful to live in times of peace especially in Europe. This times might be over.
Golden Age for service?
The yellow vest movement doesn’t let France come to rest. And all that people want is to be able to live with some pride and dignity. The Brexit will be hard for the British working class – not for the rich – not for the banks and insurances. The French Government is answering with buying new water canons and rubber bullets. The British are prepared for civil unrest as well. In Germany 2 Million people are living in poverty. Not Immigrants. Germans that worked all their live. The spiral between rich and poor is so wide now that it reaches the breaking point. EUROGENDFORCE – the EU police force to fight riots – their own citizen as only target - has been established years ago ( information’s are on the net) – so politics is aware of what might happen.
Adlon Hotel Berlin at the end of the war and today
Soup kitchens giving out a warm meal a day are in demand and visible in every German city. Germans are still hard to mobilize – as Lenin said if the Germans have to storm a train station during a revolution – they will buy a ticket first. Politicians and industries as well as banks can’t admit the worsening situation – they caused it. They live in their golden cage. So why a golden age for service? Who can still afford to visit a restaurant? Who is still paying the employees more then breadcrumbs? How can this change?
Because we might defend peace!
Universal Basic Income
The economical and political situation might force the introduction of a Universal Basic Income. Discussed a lot, defended by more and more and tried in some experiments it might be the only peaceful solution to our changing society. It will be a great boost to hospitality.
The idea to pay every citizen – Germany as an example – a flat 1500 Euros a month would benefit us all. Without conditions and no limits to earn in addition.
Is it financially possible?
Without a doubt – with no problems. No more unemployment centres, no more calculation of pensions alone would save billions on administration alone. All state benefit programs would be obsolete. Many Ministries can be closed for good. People will be taken care of without tremendous administration. But then all this hundreds of thousands of people working only in this sectors will be unemployed? Yes. But they will receive 1500 Euro like everybody else in the country. And how many of them would be happy to get rid of boring, monotonous employment? They can work in addition to their 1500 Euro and make 2000 a month or 3000 – they can now decide how many additional hours they want to work. And where.
Hotel and restaurants are suffering , CEO’s and owners complaining but nobody comes up with solutions.
Hotels and restaurants can prosper again
Staff will appear and be motivated. In the hospitality industry we are facing serious problems where restaurants decide to turn to self service to save labour cost. In countries like Greece or Spain – Tourist Hotspots – the staff in restaurants gets paid 2 Euro per hour or nothing as they receive tips ( owners statement). Top hospitality CEO’s discuss the issue and the last discussion I followed turned in circles with nothing new. “We need more immigrants – immigrants always filled the low paying entry jobs”. Really? How low would you like it? These are the solutions of CEO’s?
With the Universal basic income people can decide to work 20 hours extra as a waiter, a cook, a chambermaid. Or only ten hours. But they would have time for family, to go out themselves and be creative. Paint, get a new hobby or just go to a museum. Take some lessons, learn something new. And still you can get the satisfaction to work, meet other people, colleagues and customers but without the pressure that forces you to put in 60 hours in a kitchen when 20 hours overtime are not paid but just done in order not to loose the job. Even they can now afford to go to a coffee shop and to a restaurant. Before they didn’t have the time and the money – now they have both.
That’s not fair!
“I worked all my life and now everybody is entitled for the same basic money? Without doing anything? That’s not fair!” A constantly appearing statement. Before electricity people lived hundreds of years without and suddenly everybody had it. Even the youngsters who didn’t do anything for society. Was that fair? It is fair – it is what we actually worked for. At the end it’s not about fairness. Its about envy if we’re are honest. Put the envy to the side. The money is there!
We will even save the fat cats!
We will save the owners that are supported today in introducing low paying jobs that are almost slavery. We will save them as they will have to pay less per staff as they will have their basic income and are just adding. But now – the staff can decide how much they work and – here the fat cats start sweating – for whom, where and when they want to work. The fat cats will have to change fast – and many will disappear! People won’t want to work for them – and now won’t need to do so. I think that’s fair! Ethics might prevail.
We will have the nerd who will play computer games all day and get 1500 Euros. He will be the looser as will be the drunk and the chronically lazy one. We all feed them now already. People will see them as the looser because now you could do something for yourself, your family, society, for nature, for others well being instead of seating on the couch. But let them sit and drink. They wouldn’t be in the way anymore than they are now.
Nurses, hospital staff and care takers – today neglected – tomorrow taken care of!
They are the ones that keep society up and get treated in a way that should embarrass us all. Nurses and people who take care of handicapped people, the elderly and accident victims – we all rely on them and take them for granted. With a Universal Basic Income - they will have the choice to work less but well rested and motivated and financially secure. They will have time for family and they will have time to come to our hotels and restaurants – they deserve it! In this jobs you need to be qualified and need more rest time then most others. Lets give it to them. I am amazed that they still work under the current conditions and we all should bow our heads and be thankful. If nothing changes even this dedicated loyal staff will have to go the streets one day. We need them and not the Hedge fond Manager or CEO.
Learn from the Chinese
The Shenzhen riots when factory owners left the country during the financial crisis in 2009 without paying their workers forced the Chinese government to set up offices to pay the rioting work force with tax payers money. All outstanding salaries. Not much reported in the west ( also here the information can be found on the net) – but a good example when the government will have to pay the peoples money back to the people and not only to the super rich like in Europe today. In China the riots ended with the pay cheque. In Europe we could stop them starting with a well deserved – affordable paycheque.
Hotels and restaurant and great service for all!
A Universal basic Income will be the only solution. New customers, staff that will be the ones that decided to work where they are, rested motivated and trusted. The Oxford study on the future of employment listed waiter as one of the jobs that can be replaced by robots. I don’t think once we have the freedom of choice and security of income that this will be the case. Guest that can afford, enjoy and finally can get the benefits of service too will decide. That is the future. And they will want human interaction. I want to see the nurses , care takers and underpaid doctors sitting on our tables. I want to see the cooks and waiters and chambermaids enjoying an evening off. That will be a golden age. We will enjoy serving and being served.
Blood on the streets
If the spiral between rich and poor will be allowed to widen further and continue rotating downwards the way it does now it will force even the most reserved citizen on the street. Restaurants, hotels, tour operators , cruise ships and all recreational operations will loose first. Everybody will loose. Instead of preparing for riots politicians should return to focus on peace. If we change now – envy to the sides – be creative – we can defend peace and win. Win for us and future generations.
Time is up - its time for service
Believe in service.
I believe in service. Serving others is one of the most humble and beneficial actions. Ask only all the nurses in the world. But don’t use the ones that serve! Starving people – even the most dedicated – have to stop thinking of service at one point – they need to fulfil basic needs first. In Germany we were drilled on the sentence “ War – never again.” I thought that was good thought and slogan! And now all our politicians and leaders, and Billionaires have forgotten this by receiving pay checks from industries and benefiting on inequality. We will have to remember. Time is up.
Its time for service!
Author: Stephan Busch earned his Master Certificate in Hospitality Management from Cornell University, USA and is Academic Director at the State University for the Humanities Moscow RGGU, Faculty of Tourism & Hospitality.
Stephan Busch has an invaluable and diverse experience in launching operations, business development and service training- for hotel and cruise companies in Asia, Europe, Canada and Russia.