The French are nuts

OK, let me get this straight. Young people all around France are marching and rioting to protest a new law that will go into effect in April. The law allows employers to fire young workers at any time within their first two years of their employment. The French Government believes, rightly I might add, that this law will encourage firms to hire more young people. Why? It is almost impossible to fire someone right now, so firms are hesitant to hire new people, they do not want to be saddled with excess employees in case of a downturn in the economy. Wow, imagine risking being fired within the first two years of employment, that would suck wouldn’t it? I cannot relate to the anger over this proposal…

Here’s the thing I don’t get about the protesters. The current arrangement has resulted in an unemployment rate of 23% for people under the age of 25. 23%!!! If you look at “impovrished” (AP’s term) people under 25, the unemployment rate is 50%! You can think what you want about American labor markets and how fair they are, but I can tell you that at least people can get jobs! The French system is supposed to be “fair” and it’s supposed to “protect” workers from those greedy capitalists. but in reality, it hurts the people they are trying to help. Workers in France don’t need protections, they need jobs! I am amazed at both the state of denial of the protesters and the gumption of the government to pass such unpopular legislation. That’s the hard part about entitlements, people don’t want to give them up once they have been given to them, so there is a lot of political collateral damage when they get around to fixing problems.

Isaac

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