Monday, April 03, 2006

Let 'em eat gâteau

So the French are protesting again (big surprise) and it looks like the government might be about to surrender (another big surprise) to demands by lazy students to mandate low productivity in the French economy.

As you might have heard, French President Jacques Chirac signed a law that makes it easier for French business to fire slackers if they don't shape up.

France has one of Europe's highest youth unemployment rates. More than 20% of French 18 to 25-year-olds are unemployed - double the national average of 9.6%.

Obviously, a business (particularly a small business) isn't too keen to hire someone if there's no way to fire them when they just sit around all day not bathing and writing blog entries.

This is a good object lesson for those stateside who have put European Socialism up on a pedestal. The kind of Nanny State (or should I say Au Pair State) that France has become has bred a bunch of spoiled brats who see job security as an entitlement, a one way street where their employer owes them a job regardless of their (lack of) work performance and personal hygiene.

Ironically, if the French youth burning cars in protest of the employment measures would put the same energy into their jobs, they probably wouldn't have to worry about being fired in the first place.

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  1. Thanks for your comments over on my blog. If the kids are slacking then I say get rid of them but the reports I'm reading say the law just allows them to fire people for the hell of it. That's not cool if you're a kid with some drive. I also don't think they are all lazy but I really don't think trashing cars in protest helps them either.
    France is in a big hole right now and it's going to get worse before it gets better.

  2. I'm not sure that you understand the truth of what is happening in France. First of all, the new contract does not apply to small businesses with less than 20 employees.

    Second, this provision allows employers to fire people, WITHOUT cause; they can already fire people with cause such as being a bad worker, being a slacker, and sabotage, etc. There is a big difference between fired with cause and fired without cause.

    Third, you call this an example of the nanny state. I personally don't believe in the existence or rights of states, and I think that they should be abolished. That said, the worse power in the world right now is private power, and it's need to be regulated is the only reason that the state should be preserved.

    The state has a flaw - it can be influenced by the will of the people. Maybe not easily, but it can be. Private power, however, is only accountable to money, the kind of money that normal people do not have.

    As long as private power exists and is powerful, the state will be neccessary to mitigate the power of the private industry over people's lives.

    Becuase of this regulation, regular people in France's lives are better than the lives of people who live in a place that has no regulation, like the United States.

    I don't think anyone would argue that lazy people and bad workers should not be disciplined or fired. But when good workers can be fired for no reason, the quality of life decreases, and that is what this new contract seeks to do.


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