Monday, July 24, 2017

"Morning Papers"

The Rooster


Poland is struggling to maintain it's democracy, too.

July 24, 2017
By Rick Lyman

Warsaw — Poland’s president defied expectations (click here) on Monday and vetoed two proposed laws that would have given the right-wing governing party direct control of the judiciary, in a move that had been widely condemned as a violation of democratic norms.

Poles had taken to the streets by the tens of thousands over the past week to protest the laws and to call on the president, Andrzej Duda, to veto them.

The European Union, which Poland joined in 2004, had warned Warsaw that adoption of the new laws — which the bloc’s officials said threatened the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law — would draw a sharp rebuke, potentially including court action and legal sanctions.

“I feel that the reform in this shape will not increase the sense of security and justice,” Mr. Duda said at a midmorning news conference, just before scheduled meetings with leaders of the Supreme Court and the National Council of the Judiciary, both of which would have been dramatically restructured under the proposed laws.

Later in the morning, Mr. Duda said that he would sign a third bill, which reorganizes Poland’s local courts, giving the justice minister the power to select the heads of each of the regional courts...

A middle class does not thrive under oppression. Poland is a case in point. If I were a Wall Street company and old widgets it would be in my best interest to sell as many widgets as possible. Where then are the consumers of the widgets?

Are consumers at the pinnacle of wealth? No. Why? Because they are ONLY one percent. Is my consumer the poor? No. The poor primarily have subsistence income and can't afford the widgets. The best and strongest consumers is a very healthy middle class with a sufficient income to thrive and buy widgets.

The problem with the wealthy is their need for greed. They want more and more money rather than sufficient wealth. That results in robbing the Middle Class of their disposable income limiting the number of different widgets the Middle Class can afford.

Diversifying an economy (making it local), as Warsaw has done, increasing the exposure to OPPORTUNITY to thrive by employing more people and increasing the average income to a household guarantees a vibrant Middle Class, taxable income for the local government and services to people that increase their quality of life.

Being civilized is having a Middle Class. The Middle Class is where opportunity happens. It is where there is income not necessary to 'just pay the bills.' It is the place where education matters and increases a country's brain trusts. The Middle Class and it's unions are the most important function of a democracy. 

Poland embraced unions and there is no reason to end that enthusiasm. No reason at all. Employers do just fine when there are unions as it increases their consumer base. Warsaw, Poland is now a city of opportunity. A place where much is possible. To oppress the Middle Class now with a dictatorship in the courts is not only a bad idea based in principles and ideology, it is dangerous and will collapse the economy the Polish people have build in the last few decades.

November 4, 2015

Warsaw, Poland: Lamb rogan amritsari (click here) at an authentic Indian restaurant. Bánh mì, one of the world’s great sandwiches, prepared by an elderly Vietnamese woman. Beef goulash and rice-stuffed grape leaves at an authentic Georgian eatery. Weisse beer and bratwurst at a German beer hall. Sushi at a tiny but excellent sushi bar.

During my week of investment research in Poland, the only cuisine I didn’t eat was, well, Polish — though, to be fair, I was treated to a tasting menu built around traditional Polish ingredients at Poland’s only Michelin-starred restaurant.

Still, my point is this: This is Warsaw, formerly of bleak and bleary communist fame. Less than a generation ago, restaurant culture here did not exist. The best you could hope for was a so-called milk bar, a government-subsidized cafeteria offering the most basic soups, fried chops and pierogi (and, of course, milk). They were set up during the communist era as a place for workers to eat dinner away from home every once in a while for a miniscule amount of zloty, the Polish currency....

...It’s an opportunity that will likely see Poland’s middle class emerge as the best investment to make over the coming decade....