March 19, 2006


Rallies Across France Protest New Job Law (Molly Moore, March 19, 2006, Washington Post)

Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators marched in anti-government protests Saturday across France, with the largest of the rallies ending in clashes between riot police and protesters at one of the largest plazas in Paris.

Teachers, unionized government employees and retired workers joined students in escalating demonstrations against a new law that would allow companies to fire employees under age 26 at will during their first two years of work. [...]

The demonstrations have grown larger and have spread to more cities in recent days at the urging of France's powerful student and worker unions, creating a crisis for Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin and his Union for a Popular Movement party as France heads toward presidential elections next year.

Villepin pushed the new law as a vehicle to prompt companies to hire more young people at a time when joblessness among that group averages 23 percent and exceeds 40 percent in some poor neighborhoods populated by immigrants and their French-born children. Villepin argued that under existing labor laws, employers were increasingly reluctant to hire young people because of job protections that make it all but impossible to fire workers, even if they are incompetent.

We have nothing in common with the French.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 19, 2006 9:54 AM

From quotes of demonstrators, there seems to be little understanding of what work means. They seem to think a "having job" is merely the means to access money to buy stuff. The actual work they do is meaningless time wasting between vacations and other leisure activities.

Such is socialism. Workers are interchangeable cogs so creating a Rube Goldberg economic machine where more and more unnecessary steps may be added to accommodate more and more cogs to perform a piece of work which can be accomplished in far fewer steps has morphed into a way of life, so students can't be faulted for believing that the world does indeed owe them a living and an easy and comfortable one at that.

Posted by: erp at March 19, 2006 11:06 AM

Now if the French were illegally immigrating to America, then I'd be really concerned.

Posted by: John at March 19, 2006 11:15 AM

They're just upholding a multi century old French tradition of throwing a tantrum when the gov't fails to come through with enough goodies. Is it too much to hope that they really mean it and try to replicate the good ol' days of 1789 and 1871, and not the half-hearted partying of 1968?

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at March 19, 2006 6:19 PM


If any of them actually want to work, we may see them sneaking across the Canadian border. But what will they do - set up l'escargot wholesalers in NYC?

Posted by: ratbert at March 19, 2006 7:35 PM