Ask around Poznan and residents offer all sorts of different explanations for [Poland's] recent [economic] success. Some say history has inured Poles to such drastic turns in their fortune that they enjoy life while they can, spending their hard-earned zlotys. Others say they learned to be resourceful under the hardship of Communism, where a company like Apart once had to buy old gold jewelry and melt it down before it could make a new ring or bracelet.

Mr. Niespodziany attributed it to a positive form of incompetence. “Even the crisis doesn’t work in Poland,” he joked.

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One Response to “Mr UD’s homeland shows Europe how it’s done.”

  1. Polish Peter Says:

    A few things have worked out well for Poland:
    (1) Poland didn’t join the euro, so they could subtly devalue the złoty and remain competitive; a year ago, the złoty was about 2.7/dollar, while now it’s about 3.3;
    (2) the Poles didn’t go crazy and sell each other property at inflated prices for borrowed money, over and over, like in Ireland, or speculate wildly on housing estates or retail developments;
    (3) lots of young Poles went to England and Ireland to work, learned good work practices and English, and when those economies stalled, most returned home;
    (4) as the article notes, the Poles actually make stuff people want, and more importantly they make it from local materials; this is a key difference from other countries, again Ireland as the example, where a lot of what was called “manufacturing” was actually “assembly”. So there’s a local supply chain where lots of people can make a złoty along the way.

    Polish politics is still a mess, but so long as they don’t screw up the economy, there’s hope.

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