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Certainly Europe does not have to abandon its' social model or the welfare state, Thatcher-style, to set things right, as many Anglo-American and/or business commentators would have us believe.

I agree. I've worked with EU firms that export to the US... from what I saw there were very few 'social burdens'... but a number of the firms didn't have all the systems in place they should have (IT being only one and not the most important in my opinion)... to take full advantage of the typically better educated and experienced workforce you have in the western part of the EU... Eastern Europe might be a bit different...

If there is a 'structural flaw' in the European macro-model it might be the distrust between labor & management (probably earned over the years)... From what I saw it was much more adversarial than I see in most US work forces.

Now having said that - I didn't get to tour the European factories... just met a number of folks who came over to the states to work with me... and of course hundreds of conversations on the phone. But I doubt my impressions are that far off base... You could sense it in conversations with the higher ups & the lower downs... there was a lot of tension.

Another thing about the 'propaganda'... managers run the plants & offices, 'workers' do not... if the plants & offices don't 'perform'... managers get their heads whacked... that is unless they can find a suitable scape goat... Now, they can't blame their superiors (the Directors & stockholders)... and they can't blame the customers... they can't even blame the suppliers, though that is often given a try (hard to make that stick since mgmt selects the suppliers)... So who to blame?

Government & labor... the two groups that can't or won't bark back. Fat easy targets...

I think Coleman will find A LOT of evidence that this kind of blame game is going on in Europe... and that there aren't as many problems with labor as there are problems with ineffective & incompetent management just like over here in the NAFTA Zone...

JMHO...

"On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog." - Peter Steiner

by dryfly (jjwhodat at hotmail dot com) on Tue Jun 21st, 2005 at 03:02:09 PM EST
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