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French protest at youth job plan

Old 03-07-06, 01:46 PM
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French protest at youth job plan

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4781880.stm
At least 100,000 people have protested across France against new youth employment contracts, disrupting airports and public services.
Large crowds took part in peaceful rallies in Paris, Rennes, Marseilles, Grenoble and Nantes.

Air traffic and transport in 35 cities experienced some disturbances.

The government wants to let firms offer job contracts to people under 26 which would make it easier for them to be fired at short notice.

Speaking in parliament, Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin defended the plan, saying that France must be brave and take steps to keep moving forward in a changing world.

"For 20 years now, insecurity has been the daily reality for many young people in our country. I refuse to do nothing," he said.

Critics warn that the new legislation, which currently only applies to small firms, could be misused by larger employers and make it even harder for young people to find a permanent job.

Street marches

Several thousand teachers - between seven and 15% of the country's education workers - took part in the strike, the education ministry said.

National carrier Air France, where six unions called for work stoppages, reported several delays on short- and medium-haul flights.


Dominique de Villepin says greater flexibility will boost job opportunities

Toulouse airport experienced delays and cancellations, while public transport in Dunkerque was paralysed.

National radio stations France Info and RFI were also forced to replace most of their usual news bulletins with music.

Anenne, a protester in Paris, said: "We are students and later we want to have jobs, but we see that the situation is getting worse in France on all fronts.

"We have to come here and make ourselves heard. The vote is not enough; they approve laws without even asking us our opinion. It's not right."

Another protester said he was marching because "the precarious situation of the youth will have an impact on our retirement".

"We defend their cause and our cause at the same time."

'Boost opportunities'

The government's First Employment Contract (CPE) legislation was passed by senators on Monday but must be scrutinised by a cross-party committee before it becomes law.

The prime minister used emergency powers to push the law through the lower house last month.

The government argues the measure will boost opportunities for young workers, many of whom can only find short-term contract work at best.

After the two-year trial period, the contract would revert to a standard full-time contract.

More than 20% of France's 18 to 25-year-olds are unemployed - a figure double the national average of 9.6%.

Among the country's poorest communities youth unemployment stands at 40%, a figure largely blamed for the riots that swept across France last year.
I guess people there expect permanent employment no matter how poor an employee they are. With double the unemployment rate, looks like the 18-25 yr olds also have lots of time on their hands to protest.
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Old 03-07-06, 02:22 PM
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Man, I think a little employment uncertainty is a decent trade-off for 20% unemployment for 18 to 25 year olds. That is wild.
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Old 03-07-06, 04:12 PM
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Street protests is to the French, what baseball is to Americans, a national pastime.
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Old 03-07-06, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by kvrdave
Man, I think a little employment uncertainty is a decent trade-off for 20% unemployment for 18 to 25 year olds. That is wild.
The reason that theres 20% unemployment is that its too risky to hire a yound worker for those restrictive long-term deals...this would make it easier to fire people in thier first 2 years...before they can become a 30 year drain on your company.

So they dont want to be fired, but you cant be fired if no one will hire you in the first place.

This is similar to Equal Opportunity laws in the US...since its easier to NEVER hire a woman or Minority than it is to fire underperforming women and minorities...less job opportunities for women and minorities.
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Old 03-07-06, 05:25 PM
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I love my country.
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Old 03-07-06, 05:29 PM
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Sort of like building manufacturing plants in non-unionized areas so you don't have to pay thousands "workers" for doing nothing like GM does at their Jobs Bank
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Old 03-20-06, 12:16 PM
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I think the current system they have is silly, but I'm not sure this law would help things. It might help employ those under 26, but I doubt it would help those 26 and older.
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Old 03-20-06, 01:07 PM
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Stuff like this makes me believe that France will always be a third world country.
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Old 03-20-06, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by nodeerforamonth
Stuff like this makes me believe that France will always be a third world country.
WTF are you talking about? France has a 99% literacy rate and its GDP per capita is about $30,000/year. How the hell is that "third world"? Just because they have an unemployment rate of around 10% and their economic growth is about 1.5%/year doesn't mean they're comparable to Chad or Cambodia.

Was the US a third world country in the 78-80 period?
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Old 03-20-06, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by nodeerforamonth
Stuff like this makes me believe that France will always be a third world country.
You mean they qualify for "financial aid" from the US.
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Old 03-20-06, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Tommy Ceez
The reason that theres 20% unemployment is that its too risky to hire a yound worker for those restrictive long-term deals...this would make it easier to fire people in thier first 2 years...before they can become a 30 year drain on your company.

So they dont want to be fired, but you cant be fired if no one will hire you in the first place.

This is similar to Equal Opportunity laws in the US...since its easier to NEVER hire a woman or Minority than it is to fire underperforming women and minorities...less job opportunities for women and minorities.

well said
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Old 03-21-06, 02:06 AM
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Originally Posted by nodeerforamonth
Stuff like this makes me believe that France will always be a third world country.
According to Toyota French workers are 20% more productive than the Brits

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/2814507.stm
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Old 03-21-06, 10:58 AM
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Socialism makes people worse

http://www.townhall.com/opinion/colu...21/190622.html

Socialism makes people worse


Throughout much of last week, hundreds of thousands of students in France were angrily protesting.

They have been joined by the major French labor unions, which are threatening a general strike.

And what is this all about?

It is all about a new law in France that allows a company to fire a person under the age of 26, without cause, within two years of being hired.

Wow. Imagine that. You might get fired from your first job.

As it happens, the whole point of the law was to encourage companies to hire young people. The unemployment rate among young people in France is 23 percent. And in many suburbs, it is double that. Meanwhile, French companies are understandably loath to hire 22-year-olds when they cannot fire them except "for cause," which under union rules means something like committing mass murder in the workplace.

What these massive demonstrations reveal is the narcissism, laziness and irresponsibility inculcated by socialist societies.

Enough generations of socialist policies have now passed for us to judge their effects. They are bleak. Socialism undermines the character of a nation and of its citizens. In simpler words, socialism makes people worse.

These young people in France really believe that they should be able to be hired at their tender ages and that a company must not be allowed to fire them from their first day at work (except "for cause," which, as we are learning in America, is increasingly difficult to establish). In America, most of us would call the French young people's attitudes "spoiled."

Socialism teaches its citizens to expect everything, even if they contribute nothing.

Socialism teaches its citizens that they have a plethora of rights and few corresponding obligations -- except to be taxed.

And that is why the citizens of less socialist -- and more religious -- America give more charity per capita and per income than do citizens of socialist countries. That is why Americans volunteer time for the needy so much more than citizens of socialist countries do. That is why citizens of conservative states in America give more charity than citizens of liberal states do. The more Left one identifies oneself on the political spectrum, the more that person is likely to believe that the state, not fellow citizens, should take care of the poor and the needy.

Under socialism, one is not only liberated from having to take care of oneself; one is also liberated from having to take care of others. The state will take care of me and of everybody else.

The same holds true for foreign affairs. Why did the conservative government of Spain support the American war against Saddam Hussein's Iraq and send troops there, while the Spanish socialists withdrew Spanish troops as soon as they were voted into office? Because the idea of risking one's life to bring freedom to others -- or to risk one's life for another nation for just about any reason -- is alien to the socialist mindset.

Similarly, in the great litmus test of moral acuity -- the Middle East -- socialist countries and parties virtually all line up behind the Palestinians. They do so either out of moral confusion or out of cowardice -- it takes a lot more courage to support Israel than to support the Palestinians and the whole Muslim world.

The socialist idea sounded altruistic to those who began it, and it sounds altruistic to the naive who believe in it today. In practice, however, it creates self-centered individuals and a narcissistic society. So while it may have begun as a way to help others, it has come to mean a way of evading responsibility for oneself and for others.

That is why France is so frightened of the utterly rational idea that a young person should have a two-year trial period at work before being granted a lifetime job. Such an innovation in France would mean that young people would have to work hard and earn the right to lifetime employment. But if socialism means anything, it means that one shouldn't have to earn anything. One merely has to breathe.

As much as America has been adversely affected by socialist thought, it is still inconceivable that in America hundreds of thousands of students would shut down their schools in order to gain the right not to be fired by the first company that hires them. But every time America's socialists, the Democrats, prevail in an election, we move in that direction. No matter how pure their motives, the Left makes America and its citizens less noble people, just like the spoiled French students.

Dennis Prager is a radio talk show host, author, and contributing columnist for Townhall.com.
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Old 03-21-06, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Butch Coolidge
According to Toyota French workers are 20% more productive than the Brits

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/2814507.stm
Not surprising, the BIT (Bureau International du Travail) stats for 2005 shows French workers are #1 in terms of productivity.
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Old 03-21-06, 11:18 AM
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Socialism makes people worse
Read title, predict a silly rant filled with gross generalizations and hyperbole, save time by not reading article.
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Old 03-21-06, 11:18 AM
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mosquitobite, thanks for posting that. Useful in the regular let's-tax-the-hell-out-of-everyone threads that we have here every so often.
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Old 03-21-06, 05:31 PM
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don't you mean the regular let's-tax-the-hell-out-of-the-rich-and-nevermind-the-consequences threads?
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Old 03-21-06, 06:53 PM
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you are all missing the point

with this law they will get jobs and no welfare. can't have that
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Old 03-21-06, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by eXcentris
Not surprising, the BIT (Bureau International du Travail) stats for 2005 shows French workers are #1 in terms of productivity.
I think when you have 10% of the workforce unemployed it's probably safe to assume the most productive workers will be the ones employed and the least productive workers will be among the 10% unemployed. There are measures other than just productivity that better measure the health of an economy.

A more balanced look...

France, Bastion Of Productivity
Dan Ackman, 03.22.05, 10:05 AM ET

Historically and especially recently, the French have been the butt of jokes portraying them as wine drinking, cheese-eating, cowardly snobs and layabouts. This week, the French parliament is seeking to undermine at least part of the stereotype by ending its 35-hour workweek legislation known as "les heures."

The idea was that by reducing the hours of each worker, there would be more jobs to spread around. But now unemployment in France is at 10% and there is a widespread perception that the law has cut salaries and living standards. France will now allow a 39-hour workweek.

"The intention was to spread work around, but the effect was to spread our salaries around," Thierry Breton, France's new finance minister, said last week, as quoted by the Associated Press.

The new 39-hour workweek legislation is expected to pass, despite the much-to-be-expected public protests earlier this month and denunciations by the Socialists, who passed "les heures" but are now out of power.

Allowing workers to work more, and specifically to clock more overtime, has been said to be especially beneficial to poorer workers who need more hours the most. It is especially helpful for companies in industries where long workweeks are the norm, such as restaurants and trucking. Ending the much-mocked law may also help fix France's negative image in countries like the United States--France's biggest source of international investment.

But just how pathetic are the French? The numbers tell a mixed tale.

According to a 2003 survey of 25 industrialized countries conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the French do work less than most others. They clocked an average 1,431 hours per year. Even allowing six weeks vacation, this works out to just 31 hours per week, less than even "les heures" would dictate. But Norwegian and Dutch employees worked even less. German workers, who traditionally have been viewed as paragons of industrial effort, put in 1,446 hours, barely more than the French. British (1,673 hours), Americans (1,792 hours) and Koreans (2,390 hours) worked substantially more.

Ranked by "competitiveness," France fares poorly, as ranked by a World Economic Forum survey. France places 27th, behind Chile, Spain, Belgium, Portugal and Luxembourg. But the even lazier Norwegians and Dutch rank 6th and 12th respectively. Korea places two rungs below France.

Still, French workers remain among the most productive in the world, ahead of Britain, Germany, the United States and Japan, according to the European statistics agency Eurostat, the AP reports.

In terms of gross national income per capita (GNI) as measured by the World Bank, France ranks 23rd with a GNI of $24,770. The U.S. is well-ahead in 5th place at $37,610. But again, Norway, which works less, makes more, more even than the U.S. Germany is about $500 ahead of France.

Another interesting fact is that between 1995 and 2003, France actually increased its work hours, albeit slightly, despite the 35-hour law, according to the OECD. In the last two years of that span, however, its work hours declined. In recent years, France's GDP growth rate has slowed. The same is true of Germany. But growth in Korea and the U.S., which each work more hours, has increased.

As a nation, France boasts 33 entries in the Forbes 2000 list of the world's largest companies, including Total (nyse: TOT - news - people ), BNP (otc: BNPQY - news - people ), AXA Group (nyse: AXA - news - people ), Societe Generale Group (otc: SCGLY - news - people ), and Renault in the top 100.

All told, the French worker is a fairly productive sort, even with all that cheese. But there is some evidence of slippage, and adding a few hours, or at least letting those so inclined work a bit more, is likely to help.

http://www.forbes.com/2005/03/22/cx_...ews_print.html
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Old 03-21-06, 08:35 PM
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I think GNI is a bad measure of productivity

you can have a tiny island somewhere with 1000 people set up a casino, make bank and they will be paid $100,000 each in profit sharing. France is a developed country and it's normal for everyone to make a lot of money compared to other countries.
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Old 03-22-06, 06:17 AM
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Still, French workers remain among the most productive in the world, ahead of Britain, Germany, the United States and Japan, according to the European statistics agency Eurostat
My understanding is this is due first to the 35 hours law that almost outlaw overtime and second to the fact that the unemployement is at 10%.

In fact a French worker has to do in 35 hours what a Brit worker does in 40 to 45 hours.

And if you do not do the job you get fired and replaced by more motivated people.

What Frenchs do not get is that jobs are created by companies. No employer no job.
Now regarding so called "French" top companies listed above how many of them have more than 50% of their staff abroad ?

Only solution for France is to get its Mrs Thatcher.

Last edited by Butch Coolidge; 03-22-06 at 06:29 AM.
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Old 03-30-06, 06:14 PM
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http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060330/wl_nm/france_dc_37
Chirac to address French after youth job protests By Anna Willard
2 hours, 12 minutes ago



PARIS (Reuters) - French President Jacques Chirac will address the nation on Friday to explain his next move on a controversial youth jobs law that has brought millions to the streets in protest.

ADVERTISEMENT

A top court, the Constitutional Council, backed the law on Thursday, handing the baton to Chirac to decide what to do.

He can sign the measure into law and risk more street protests or risk losing his prime minister if he withdraws it....
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Old 03-30-06, 06:18 PM
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That pic is priceless. It's never too old or out of date for captioning or photoshop.
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Old 03-30-06, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Butch Coolidge
My understanding is this is due first to the 35 hours law that almost outlaw overtime and second to the fact that the unemployement is at 10%.

In fact a French worker has to do in 35 hours what a Brit worker does in 40 to 45 hours.

And if you do not do the job you get fired and replaced by more motivated people.
Only hours worked are used in productivity stats. I don't see how overtime or unemployment are relevant. Plus French workers are under no pressure "to do in 35 hours what Brits do in 40 or 45 hours". Quite the contrary. The problem is ithat unions are so strong in France that it's almost impossible for someone to get fired. Furthermore it's no secret that productivity (per hour) drops as the number of hours worked increases. Now whether that threshold is at 30, 35, 40, 45, or 50 hours I don't know.
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Old 04-05-06, 05:21 PM
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http://www.macleans.ca/culture/books..._124576_124576
Wake up, Europe. It may already be too late.

Why the fall and spring riot seasons in France are signs of the coming apocalypse

MARK STEYN

I've had a recurring experience in the last few months. I'll be reading some geopolitical tract like Sands Of Empire: Missionary Zeal, American Foreign Policy, and the Hazards Of Global Ambition by Robert W. Merry, and two-thirds of the way in I'll stumble across:

"With the onset of the Iraq War and European opposition, many Americans embraced a severe anti-European attitude. 'To the list of polities destined to slip down the Eurinal of history,' wrote Mark Steyn in the Jewish World Review, 'we must add the European Union and France's Fifth Republic.' "

Or I'll be slogging through Beyond Paradise and Power: Europe, America and the Future of a Troubled Partnership, edited by Tod Lindberg, and find that Timothy Garton Ash's essay on "The New Anti-Europeanism In America" begins thus:

"In the year the United States went to war against Iraq, readers saw numerous articles in the American press on anti-Americanism in Europe. But what about anti-Europeanism in the United States? Consider the following:


"'To the list of polities destined to slip down the Eurinal of history, we must add the European Union and France's Fifth Republic. The only question is how messy their disintegration will be.' (Mark Steyn, Jewish World Review, May 1, 2002)"

If the best evidence of the pandemic of "anti-Europeanism in the United States" is a Canadian columnist writing for a Canadian newspaper (Jewish World Review is a plucky New York website that happened to reprint a piece of mine from the National Post), that would seem to be self-refuting. A European who wanders along to his local bookstore to sate his anti-Americanism will find a groaning smorgasbord of tracts catering to every taste, including the French bestseller that claims the plane that hit the Pentagon on 9/11 never existed. An American who strolls into Barnes and Noble to sate his anti-Europeanism will have to make do with a two-sentence quote by an obscure Canadian on page 243 of some book sternly warning of the rampant anti-Europeanism all around.

Until now. Two books have just hit the shelves -- While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within by Bruce Bawer, and Menace In Europe: Why The Continent's Crisis is America's, Too by Claire Berlinski. In media-speak, two of anything makes a trend, and Clive Davis doesn't care for this one. Davis is a perceptive commentator for the Times of London and, in reviewing Bawer and Berlinski for the Washington Times, he sniffed: "What worries me about books like this is that they risk reducing Europe to a caricature in much the same way as Stupid White Men turns America into one big Wal-Mart with drive-by shootings."

That's unfair, and does a disservice to both authors. For many Europeans -- and Canadians -- the Stupid White Men school of anti-Americanism is a form of consolation: the Great Moron may be economically, militarily and culturally dominant but we can still jeer at what a bozo he is. Bawer and Berlinski, both genuine American Europhiles, have a serious purpose: in his titular evocation of the young JFK's book on pre-war European appeasement, While England Slept, Bruce Bawer makes plain that he wants to wake Europe up -- and, if it's too late for that, then at least to wake up America. Neither is a xenophobic yahoo: Berlinski "divides her time" -- as the book jackets say -- between Paris and Istanbul; she has a doctorate in international relations from Oxford. Bawer is a homosexual who moved to the Continent because he was weary of the theocratic oppressiveness of redneck America and wanted to live his life in the gay utopia of the Netherlands. Alas, when he got there he found the gay scene had gone belly up and, theocratic oppressor-wise, Pat Robertson has nothing on some of the livelier Amsterdam madrasas. Both books are somewhat overwrought -- Berlinski dwells on her own relationship with some Muslim lad who later figured in Zadie Smith's hit novel White Teeth, and Bruce Bawer is reluctant to give up on the idea that a bisexual pothead hedonist utopia is a viable concept rather than, as it's proving in the Netherlands, a mere novelty interlude; his book might have been better called While Europe Slept Around.

Nonetheless, if Clive Davis thinks this is anti-Euro rotten fruit-pelting, that's more of a reflection on the complacency of the Continent's own commentariat. The difference between "anti-Americanism" and "anti-Europeanism" is obvious. In, say, 2025, America will be much as it is today -- big, powerful, albeit (to sophisticated Continentals) absurdly vulgar and provincial. But in 20 years' time Europe will be an economically moribund demographic basket case: 17 Continental nations have what's known as "lowest-low" fertility -- below 1.3 live births per woman -- from which no population has ever recovered.

All those heavyweight scholars who immortalized between hard covers my cheap Eurinal-of-history aside did so because it was so self-evidently risible. Well, it looks a lot less so in 2006 than it did in 2002. The trap the French political class are caught in is summed up by the twin pincers of the fall and spring riot seasons. The fall 2005 rioters were "youths" (i.e. Muslims from the suburbs), supposedly alienated by lack of economic opportunity. The spring 2006 rioters are "youths" (i.e. pampered Sorbonne deadbeats), protesting a new law that would enable employers to terminate the contracts of employees under the age of 26 in their first jobs, after two years.

To which the response of most North Americans is: you mean, you can't right now? No, you can't. If you hire a 20-year-old and take a dislike to his work three months in, tough: chances are you're stuck with him till mid-century. In France's immobilized economy, it's all but impossible to get fired. Which is why it's all but impossible to get hired. Especially if you belong to that first category of "youths" from the Muslim ghettos, where unemployment is around 40 to 50 per cent. The second group of "youths" -- the Sorbonne set -- protesting the proposed new, more flexible labour law ought to be able to understand that it's both necessary to the nation and, indeed, in their own self-interest: they are after all their nation's elite. Yet they're like lemmings striking over the right to a steeper cliff.

When most of us on this side of the Atlantic think of "welfare queens," our mind's eye conjures some teenage crack whore with three kids by different men in a housing project. But France illustrates how absolute welfare corrupts absolutely. These Sorbonne welfare queens are Marie Antoinettes: unemployment rates for immigrants? Let 'em eat cake, as long as our pampered existence is undisturbed.

The only question about Europe is whether it's going to be (a) catastrophically bad or (b) apocalyptically bad, as in head for the hills, here come the Four Horsemen: Death (the self-extinction of European races too self-absorbed to breed), Famine (the withering of unaffordable social programs), War (civil strife as the disaffected decide to move beyond mere CitroŽn-torching), and Conquest (the inevitable victory of the Muslim successor population already in place). I'd say option (b) looks the better bet, for a few if not all Continental nations: united they'll fall, but divided, a handful might stand a chance.

However, if, like Clive Davis, you find Bawer and Berlinski too shrill, try Charles Murray's new book, In Our Hands. This is a fairly technical economic plan to replace the U.S. welfare system, but, in the course of it, he observes that in the rush to the waterfall the European canoe is well ahead of America's. Murray stops crunching the numbers and makes the point that, even if it were affordable, the European social democratic state would still be fatal. "Give people plenty and security, and they will fall into spiritual torpor," he writes. "When life becomes an extended picnic, with nothing of importance to do, ideas of greatness become an irritant." If Bawer's book is a wake-up call, Murray reminds us that western Europe long ago threw away the alarm clock and decided to sleep in.

And, if even Murray's too much, go back to the granddaddy of them all -- Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Recounting the Muslim march on France 1,300 years ago, Gibbon writes:

"The decline of the French monarchy invited the attack of these insatiate fanatics. The descendants of Clovis had lost the inheritance of his martial and ferocious spirit; and their misfortune or demerit has affixed the epithet of lazy to the last kings of the Merovingian race. They ascended the throne without power, and sunk into the grave without a name. . . . The vineyards of Gascony and the city of Bordeaux were possessed by the sovereign of Damascus and Samarcand; and the south of France, from the mouth of the Garonne to that of the Rhone, assumed the manners and religion of Arabia."

Hmm.
We always kid each other and have French bashing threads but I really feel bad for them if this is their future(and it seems more likely).
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