Friday, May 31, 2013

Why the Tiny Village Baiersbronn in Germany's Black Forest Has Seven Michelin Stars

Does good food provide the missing key to good national economics?

In this vein, Nicholas Kulish at the New York Times has a fascinating article on One Tiny German Town, Seven Big Michelin Stars.

Why does the United States have just about as many Michelin 3-star restaurants as Germany, even though America has four times the population?

Is there a lesson from the food industry here for the economy in general?

In Germany, not just the food, but almost everything "works", not necessarily so in other places.

Is the system of training an integral part of German success?

We previously posted at LawPundit giving some reasons why Germany may be so successful economically.

One aspect is to examine the advantages of an apprenticeship system.

The glut of Michelin stars at Baiersbronn is a good example.

As Kulish writes:
"In his last State of the Union address, President Obama said America should emulate Germany’s knack for producing skilled workers — “high-school students with the equivalent of a technical degree from one of our community colleges.” He was referring specifically to fields like engineering and computer science, but he could just as easily have been talking about high-end cooking. In the same way that Germany succeeds at making drills and luxury automobiles, the country’s apprenticeship process is successfully creating top restaurants.
. . .
The dual-training system is evidence of the close cooperation between business, the state and workers that helps account for Germany’s success, both in niche industries and big multinational enterprises like Siemens and Mercedes. Vocational schools, usually offering a course of study lasting between two and three and a half years, are financed and run by the states. Would-be apprentices apply not to the schools but to businesses, which decide how many future employees they need to have trained. Some specialties have national academies: aspiring hearing-aid technicians go to Lübeck, for example; piano builders to Ludwigsburg."
The bottom line is competence at all levels of industrial society.

Hat tip to CaryGEE.

Receipts in Your Gmail: Find by Entering a Hidden Smart Label in the Gmail Search Box

For users of Gmail,
Alan Henry at LifeHacker has a valuable tip and detailed discussion
about a smart label search for receipts in your Gmail.

Find Receipts in Gmail with This Hidden Smart Label.

The trick is to enter


in the Google search box at the top of Gmail.

It will not work if you just plug it into normal Google search.

Hat tip to CaryGEE.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Germany Switching from Austerity to Stimulus in Europe: Why the Germans Dominate Among European Economies

Cowboys on the Rhine?

Make sure you read that article to find out why the American employee system of master-servant is inferior to the German system of master-apprentice, at least in Germany.

I am not German, so I feel free to write this as my honest opinion.

Paul Krugman, who has been the loudest and most consistent economic voice of rank against German austerity must be dancing in the street today in view of the report by Sven Böll and Christian Reiermann in today's SPIEGEL ONLINE titled:

Austerity About-Face: German Government to Gamble on Stimulus

Apparently, German Chancellor Angela "Angie" Merkel's government has decided to open some of Germany's vast financial resources to help get Europe's stagnant economy back on track.

Mere money, in our opinion, however, may not be enough long-term to solve some of Europe's most vexing structural economic problems, as many of Europe's "traditionally-oriented" nations ("backward" may be a better term) must start considering modern economic entry into the 21st century, rather than living on the glories of nostalgic histories long past.

Why is the rest of Europe behind Germany economically?

Well, I live here, and I can give you a personal insight as to why it is so.

Consider the following true story:

A number of years ago I worked for a large German conglomerate that had invited a number of young whiz kids from the British Isles to work on liquid crystal displays in the early days of that technology.

A young Englishman from Poole of that group, with whom I became friends in the course of time, confided to me his astonishment at the great number of people who started work at 6:30 a.m. in the German company, an early working start to the day enabled by "flexitime".

"It is really quite astonishing," he said, "at the same hour when Germans are on their way to work here in the morning, in London not even the streetcars are running."

Similar true stories can be related about the United States. I have known German workers in the building professions who have gone to America on vacation and marveled at American inefficiency:

"what they do in 5 days, I do in 3".

Well that is what I have been told.
I can not vouch for its truth. It might be true in some industries.

People in America and elsewhere who envy the Germans their 6 weeks of paid vacation a year, should rather take a look at what the Germans do the REST of the time. I know of no harder-working, more efficient people, as a whole.

Germany's economic dominance in Europe is a product many things, but one of the main factors is simply that they are a very hard-working people, and they often do that work with near exemplary efficiency, and intelligence.

"Hype" does not run an economy. Performance does.

Germany is not the only example for that economic truth.

Look at China or South Korea.

The breathtaking advance forward of these nations should be no surprise to those who have looked more carefully at their peoples.

When I worked in New York City in my early legal days many years ago, I had my shirts and suits cleaned regularly at one of the near Chinese laundries in Manhattan. I brought the clothes early in the morning and picked them up late in the evening, ALWAYS on the same day. Everything was cleaned and ironed perfectly. An entire larger family worked in that Chinese business.

I marveled then at the tremendous work ethic that Chinese laundries demonstrated and wondered way back then what would happen if then Red China decided to join the capitalist world.

Well, today we know.

An America that for several hundred years has touted the benefits of hard work must now face the fact that most of the world's products, including their own, are often made overseas, in places like China, or in South Korea, etc. Others are working HARDER.

But of course, the American way of economic life has not thereby failed.

Quite the contrary, it has been successfully exported and other nations and peoples are IMPROVING upon it.

Just look at the battles between the company Apple in the USA and Samsung in South Korea. Frankly, in my opinion Apple has no sustainable competitive chance of survival in the long-term. They manufacture virtually nothing themselves and most of their product components are made in Asia. A company or nation can not live simply from patent-trolling.

The hard American lesson of hordes of lost industries overseas also applies to the countries of Europe envious of Germany's modern economic successes.

There is no alternative to growth, and, in the long term, there is no substitute for hard work, done efficiently, and intelligently.

The core idea of capitalism is competition. That competition is not only between individuals, and not only between companies. It is a competition also being waged between states, nations and systems.

Who is winning?
Well, what do YOU think?

Our Websites and Blogs

3D Printing and More 99 is not 100 Aabecis AK Photo Blog Ancient Egypt Weblog Ancient Signs (the book) Ancient World Blog Anthropomorphic Design Archaeology Travel Photos (blog) Archaeology Travel Photos (Flickr) Archaeo Pundit Arts Pundit Astrology and Birth Baltic Coachman Bible Pundit Biotechnology Pundit Book Pundit Chronology of the Ancient World Computer Pundit DVD Pundit Easter Island Script Echolat Einstein’s Voice Energy Environment and Climate Blog Etruscan Bronze Liver of Piacenza EU Laws EU Legal EU Pundit FaceBook Pundit Gadget Pundit Garden Pundit Golf Pundit Google Pundit Gourmet Pundit Hand Proof HousePundit Human Migrations Idea Pundit Illyrian Language Indus Valley Script Infinity One : The Secret of the First Disk (the game) Jostandis Journal Pundit Kaulins Genealogy Blog Kaulinsium Kiel & Kieler Latvian Blog Law Pundit Blog LexiLine Group Lexiline Journal Library Pundit Lingwhizt LinkedIn Literary Pundit Magnifichess Make it Music Maps and Cartography Megalithic World Megaliths Blog Minoan Culture Mutatis Mutandis Nanotech Pundit Nostratic Languages Official Pundit Phaistos Disc Pharaonic Hieroglyphs Photo Blog of the World Pinterest Prehistoric Art Pundit Private Wealth Blog PunditMania Quanticalian Quick to Travel Quill Pundit Road Pundit Shelfari Sky Earth Drones Sky Earth Native America SlideShare (akaulins) Sport Pundit Star Pundit Stars Stones and Scholars (blog) Stars Stones and Scholars (book) Stonehenge Pundit The Enchanted Glass Twitter Pundit UbiquitousPundit Vision of Change VoicePundit WatchPundit Wearable Technology Wizard WeTechWi Wine Pundit Word Pundit xistmz YahooPundit zistmz