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Saturday 17.03.2018 | Name days: Ģertrūde, Gerda, Gertrūde

Opinion: Estonians are selling their work too cheaply

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Public relations expert Janek Mäggi writes in Äripäev that Estonians need to ask a better price for their work because this is the only way to increase people’s wealth.

Author: PantherMedia/SCANPIXMäggi says that he remembers back in 2007 that when a waste management company was looking for hire waste truck drivers and offered them the equivalent of 2,000 euros a month, it still could not find anyone interested. Today, waste truck drivers in Estonia only dream about such salaries.

The simple truth is that if you are paid very good wages, even unpleasant jobs including that of transporting waste become tolerable. If you are paid peanuts, even the most pleasant jobs become unpleasant.

Average wages in Estonia are too low, keep purchasing power down and are causing social tension. Salaries are so low because the work is too cheap. Wages and prices are directly linked. Once a hairdresser’s saloon doubles the price, it can pay twice higher salaries. However, the problem is that the owners know that if they increase prices, but keep wages unchanged, they will double their profit.

I hope that the next general elections will be won by the party who can create jobs so that wealth of Estonians continues to grow. Wage growth itself will not be sufficient, because often it comes at the expense of some other sector. The trick is to take money away from foreigners.

We need higher prices to increase our wealth. It’s unfair that price of hairdresser’s services in Tallinn and Helsinki differs twice because Finns are saving money by taking advantage of the fact that skilled and hardworking Estonian hairdressers are selling their services so cheaply.

At present the Estonian state is paying the Opera and Ballet Theatre Estonia 52 euros per every theatre visitor. While most of the audience is Finnish, Estonian actors and artists who only receive a meager salary are miserable, stressed and unhappy.

Our average wealth is 21,000 euros, while the average for Finns is 113,000 euros. To say nothing of Luxembourg, where the average is 215,000 euros, or ten times the Estonian level.

My suggestion is to increase prices as much as possible. If we talk about services, there is plenty of room to grow. After all, we are in the Scandinavian economic zone.

So, demand as much money for your skills and input as possible. If the prices go up, so do wages. Export as much as you can – export markets are much more stable markets than Estonia. Invest your money wisely and don’t consume too much – be greedy and make your wealth grow. Appreciate money and profit: a profit of 1,001 euros is much more than just 1,000 euros.

This is the way to become rich. We all deserve to have at least 50% of the wealth of average Finns.


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  1. Olaf says:

    What a bunch of stupidities.2000 euros for a truck driver we are not in Denmark.Estonia is not in the scandinavian economic zone but in a group of european countries made up others baltics Romania and Bulgaria and then for decades to come .So stop dreaming.

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