A Sinking Ship Takes on More Ballast

In this post I discussed a new French labor law. The law in question was supposed to reduce unemployment by allowing employers to fire anyone who was under 26 years of age, and as long as they had the job for less than two years.

(And in this post I wondered if all of the cars that protesters set ablaze affected the price of gas and automobiles in France. I didn’t get an answer, so I suppose that means we don’t have any French readers.)

This seemed to me to be the only sensible thing to do. While the new law couldnít very well be seen as turning the French around so that they had a sound fiscal policy, at least it made the governmentís stance a little less insane.

The news today is reporting that such a measure simply isnít going to pass. Instead the government is going to offer incentives to companies if they will only hire more young people.

I seem to remember that they already tried to combat unemployment by passing a law which mandated a 35 hour work week. That was such a disaster that they had to rescind the legislation after only five years.

Iím certainly not an economist by any stretch of the imagination, but it seems to me that the French government is pretty much going to partially subsidize jobs offered to young people. This just boggles my mind. Where is all this money that the government is using to bolster the economy coming from? And how long can they keep this up before something snaps?

4 thoughts on “A Sinking Ship Takes on More Ballast”

  1. Its a little disturbing to see what appears to be a breakdown in democracy in France. IIRC, the new law passed with broad support of elected officials only to be overturned by a violent minority.

    This means that either there is a disconnect between the electorate and the elected or that the non-violent majority can be cowered by a violent minority.

    Either choice bodes ill for French democracy.

  2. This is really the same old crap in France. They have this weird idea that street demos and even riots are somehow the genuine voice of the people. It goes back to 1789 for them. Mobs throwing rocks seem to them to be very authentic, etc. It is almost part of the process for them.

    The real problem is the substance of the demands. Their inability to introduce the eentsy-weentsiest amount of rationality into their employment laws shows that they are incapable of fixing their most basic problems. They are fighting over the shuffleboard puck on the deck of the Titanic.

  3. Hasn’t this kind of stuff has been going on for years (cf. the truckers, farmers et al)? I think the bigger question is whether something is going to give soon or whether the system will remain bogged down.

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