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Thread: Mittelstand

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    Politics.ie Member Sisyphus's Avatar
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    Default Mittelstand

    Germany is right

    This article is from The Guardian.

    Why is the German economy so strong and resistant to recession?

    Perhaps it is due in part at least to the medium sized enterprises which thrive so well in that country. This sector is called Mittelstand.

    Some of the things that resonate with me from reading this article are the importance of ethical behaviour in business and the collaborative approach in dealing with employees, suppliers and customers.

    Some of the benefits I see are happiness at work driven by ongoing training and development, better productivity, recognition of the value of R&D, and a long term outlook.

    The approach of the Mittelstand contrasts with the "get-rich-quick" approach of companies elsewhere which sometimes up and leave after the prospects of big profits fade away. According to the article, in Germany, while there is no right to profit, the right to work is essential.

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    Politics.ie Member gerhard dengler's Avatar
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    Mittelstand is the backbone of industrial policy throughout Germany.

    And we could do worse than adapt the same approach with companies having worker councils who participate in the management and setting of targets in terms of turnover and profitability.
    Politics.ie moderators should moderate instead.
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    Ze Germans have only grown rich by sneakily stealing wealth from smaller nations!


    Am I doing this right?

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    Arbeit macht frei after all...
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    Politics.ie Member Belodedici's Avatar
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    We probably have the exact opposite to the German Mittelstand model operating here in Ireland, motto seems to be bleed the suckers dry for every last cent and screw the consequences and future generations, the cute whore principle at work.

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    Another feature of the German economy is the relative unimportance of the stock market for economic activity and the unreasonable pressures that quarterly profit reporting places on companies. In Germany a greater proportion of business financing is done by banks who invest in companies directly in the hope that they'll pay off in the longer term.

    And yet another interesting feature of the German economy is that they have retained their industrial base for all kinds of products. Which helps keep blue collar workers active. Contrast that with the US and the UK which have allowed their industrial bases to be whittled away through outsourcing and a misplaced belief that it's better to have a heavy emphasis on a services-based economy - including financial services.

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    Politics.ie Member southwestkerry's Avatar
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    One has to say fair play to the Germans for running things right. Making things things proper. Building things that last and teaching their subjects in school right and proper.
    Here in Ireland all we want is for Johnny to be a Dr and Sara to be a solicitor, result!
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    Politics.ie Member Quebecoise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Belodedici View Post
    We probably have the exact opposite to the German Mittelstand model operating here in Ireland, motto seems to be bleed the suckers dry for every last cent and screw the consequences and future generations, the cute whore principle at work.
    Nothing wrong with good looking prostitutes. It's the cute feckin' hoooo-ers we have to look out for.

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    It's true that small and medium sized businesses that create sustainable local jobs are the keys to a strong economy. Recovery can only be lead by government enabling entrepreneurs to start or re-start their businesses and keep money in the local and domestc economy as a whole, also a little bit of national pride goes a long way.

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    Politics.ie Member Boy M5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sisyphus View Post
    Germany is right

    This article is from The Guardian.

    Why is the German economy so strong and resistant to recession?

    Perhaps it is due in part at least to the medium sized enterprises which thrive so well in that country. This sector is called Mittelstand.

    Some of the things that resonate with me from reading this article are the importance of ethical behaviour in business and the collaborative approach in dealing with employees, suppliers and customers.

    Some of the benefits I see are happiness at work driven by ongoing training and development, better productivity, recognition of the value of R&D, and a long term outlook.

    The approach of the Mittelstand contrasts with the "get-rich-quick" approach of companies elsewhere which sometimes up and leave after the prospects of big profits fade away. According to the article, in Germany, while there is no right to profit, the right to work is essential.
    Thanks for the thread.
    These Mittelstand companies are to some extent household names like

    Birkenstock Chronicle

    Often occupying defendable niches and with a longterm vision for the business but clearly market leaders and keep focused on their markets, often they lead them - as a longterm vision means focus on R & D and innovation.

    The only thing against them is they rely on cheap credit from Germany's public sector banks (of which there are too many) and can have balance sheets with higher levels of debt than is ideal.
    Of course our bankers (at least in the supposed pillar banks) seem to only lend for property speculation and to publicans and care home owners (just look at databases of syndicated loans).
    "Keep firing & don't stop until I tell you" General Tom Barry

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