Friday, June 1, 2012

American Hutterites followup

I wrote an entry about a national geographic series on hutterites yesterday and thought that folks interested in the subject might want to read some commentary by people who are facing hutterites as business competitors. 

Personally, I think that they're fearsome competitors.  Apparently so do many Canadian firms who have them compete for projects and contracts. 

You'll find an article about it here, but the real meat-and-potatoes information is in the comment section. 

Selected excerpts: 

"...if you seem to be so concerned about improving your profits why would you go and tell everybody that your competitor sells better products for less money than you can. and also why don't you try the hutterite model in your company. Everybody works for a common good, the wealth is shared among all the employees, not just for personal gain of the owner, and everybody will be well taken care of. People will be provided with a home, transportation and food, what more do you need "

"...Every year they gain a bit more market share and they gain a bigger customer base,"

"...Yes, they are perfectly "free" to leave with absolutely no strings attached! Except that they haven't paid in to EI or CPP all their lives so they aren't entitled to Canada pension or EI if they are out of a job. And I'm pretty sure (correct me if I'm wrong) they can't liquidate their share of the property when they leave so they're broke too."



becky3086 said...

These shows always seem to show the children who want to get out of the way of living that they are in. It isn't exactly like that is not common no matter how you live but when the kids grow up some, I am sure a lot of them don't still think that way.
As for being competitive in business. I don't see why they wouldn't be since they are apparently well organized and know what they are doing.

Joanne said...

Boy howdy about the comments on that article. But it's the typical grousing about competition between different business models competing for the same market. There are all sorts of different business models. The Hutterites appear to use a model based on a partnership. If everyone works together you can do a lot with way lower overhead than a business with employees and you can really kick some butt as far as your competition goes. Same with multiple businesses joining up in a joint venture. I've gone in on a joint venture in the past with another business. We made pretty good money on a job that neither of us could have done by ourselves. I'm sure that the contractors we bid against weren't happy about that, but that's the way it goes.

Also interesting the comments that the Hutterites should have to pay the Canadian equivelent of social security and unemployment comp. I don't know how they do things up north, but if it's similar to how those programs are run in the USA, at least where I am in Oregon, when you're self employed, unless you're an employee of the corporation you own, you don't pay into the unemployment system because you don't qualify for it. You do pay into FICA (social security) but you get to pay both the employee part and the employer match, so the self employed actually pay twice as much as the employee on your take home wage. But not on the gross receipts for the business. If the colony is holding most of the net profit, then I'd think it would be paying what ever business taxes it owes on that profit and any disbursment to the colony members would be paid on according to that income level. That's perfectly reasonable.