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A sub-point to your first item would be job exporting.

In the 90s, German businesses woke up to the fact that they had the equivalent a "little India" at their back door, i.e. countries with a motivated workforce - many of whom spoke German - willing to work for cheap (except that this workforce had a higher proportion of skilled industrial trades).

Consequently, throughout the 90s German industrial companies - both large majors and SMEs - transferred a lot of their manufacturing east.

This has contributed greatly not only to stagnant incomes but to a general atmosphere of insecurity.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Mon Dec 3rd, 2007 at 10:42:58 AM EST
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Yeah. I read a recent report, though, that many of these businesses, especially the SMEs, are now coming back to Germany -- management issues, lower productivity, hidden costs, etc. all played into the fact that the east was far less attractive than it had seemed.

Think it was in the Spiegel but I don't know for sure...

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Mon Dec 3rd, 2007 at 11:59:53 AM EST
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