Ze French Job Security Protests

If you want to see what the American economy would look like if it were completely unionized, you don’t need to look any further than France. The economy in France has long been stagnant and the rampant unemployment there is a huge problem:

“Unemployment is the top political issue in France, where the national average is 9.6 percent and youth joblessness is double that. The rate rises to 40-50 percent in some of the poor suburbs hit by several weeks of youth rioting last autumn.”

All economies go through cycles, but when you have long-term problems that just don’t seem to improve, it’s almost always because the government has heavily interfered with the market. In France’s case, they’ve fouled things up in a number of ways, but one of the big problems they have is that it’s very difficult to fire workers. That has paradoxically led to businesses being very reluctant to hire people in the first place, because they can’t get rid of them.

In order to address that problem, the French government proposed a:

…”First Job Contract” or CPE, which lets firms fire workers under 26 without explanation in their first two years on the job. He launched it to spur wary employers to take on new staff.”

This led to another problem caused by government meddling to kick in: a sense of entitlement and dependency on government largesse.

Hundreds of thousands of students, workers and left-wing politicians took to the streets across France on Saturday to press the conservative government to scrap a new law they fear will erode job security.

…The marches were mostly festive and peaceful, but dozens of youths pelted police with missiles, overturning and setting fire to a car at the end of the main protest in Paris. Police fired many rounds of tear gas to clear them from Nation square.

Scattered violence was also reported in Marseille, Rennes and Lille, where police also charged and teargassed crowds.

…In the western city of Rennes, students wore plastic garbage bags with signs declaring: “I am disposable.”

“I risk working for two years for nothing, just to be fired at any moment,” said Paris student Coralie Huvet, 20, who had “No to the CPE” written on her forehead. Pointing to painted-on tears, she added: “That’s depressing, that’s why I’m crying.”

Don’t you just have the urge to look up Coralie Huvet, offer her a dream job, wait for her to accept, and then fire her on her first day of work just to see the look on her whiney, French mime face? Ok…that was kind of mean, but can you really blame French businesses for not wanting to hire people with Coralie Huvet’s mentality? Why in the world would you want to bring someone into your business who looks at your company essentially as a welfare program that exists to take care of her?

Whether you’re talking about these ridiculous French laws or unions, which produce people with the same sort of mentality, they’re bad news for businesses.

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