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business | John Feffer
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From Solidarity to Business

When I met with Mariusz Ambroziak in 1993, he was secretary for the Solidarity trade union in the Mazowsze area around Warsaw. He’d been a Solidarity activist for most of his life, starting out as a young worker involved in the famous Solidarity chapter at the Ursus tractor factory in Warsaw. But by 1993, he was having difficulties getting up in the morning and going to work. It took two alarm...
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The Risks of Doing Business in Poland

Doing business entails certain risks. You make a big investment of money and time, and you hope that your gamble pays off. Maybe people will come to your restaurant. Maybe they will buy your product. Maybe they will contract for your services. But you can’t be sure. You’ve taken out loans on the expectation that if you build it, they will come. Polish businessman Lech Jeziorny was willing to...
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The Leap into Business

After the fall of Communism, East-Central Europe made the leap into the market. For that to happen, however, millions of people had to make the individual decision to leave their old jobs and take positions in this new market economy. In many cases, they didn’t have much of a choice since the economic reforms threw many people out of their jobs. Perhaps they had run a small grey market business...
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Roma as Consumers

As the history of segregation in the United State demonstrates, the business community can be just as racist as anyone else – even if it undercuts their profits to refuse to serve minorities. Gradually, however, the business community began to see minorities as consumers and thus vital to their bottom line. Hollywood, for instance, realized the potential of African American audiences in the...
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Managing the Economic Transition

For most countries in East-Central Europe, capitalism didn’t arrive overnight in 1989 or 1990. Even in the more controlled environments like Romania, people could get a taste of capitalism by buying or trading on the black market. Hungary, on the other hand, was far ahead of its neighbors in this respect. It had been experimenting with a mixed economy since 1968 and the New Economic Mechanism....
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