Friday, May 31, 2013

The Economics of Training (or) Why a Tiny Village 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 L├╝beck, for example; piano builders to Ludwigsburg."
The bottom line is competence at all levels of industrial society.

Hat tip to CaryGEE.



Receipts in Gmail Can be Found 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.

See
Find Receipts in Gmail with This Hidden Smart Label.

The trick is to enter

label:^smartlabel_receipt

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.

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