Monday, April 10, 2006

The French, The Gift That Keeps On Giving

I swear, France has now become a parody of itself. Like an Ayn Rand or George Orwell novel come to life. Chirac has now withdrawn attempts (one could say, surrendered) to reform French job laws. The opposition has this brilliant comment.

Chirac and Villepin were careful to say that the CPE, part of a wider law on equal opportunities, was being "replaced" rather than repealed. Unions who opposed the measure, arguing it would create insecurity for young workers, declared victory.

"Perhaps we will drink a drop of champagne. This is an undeniable victory for a social movement," said Gerard Aschieri, secretary of the FSU union.

At the risk of appearing cynical, exactly how much economic security is there to begin with in a country with 9.6% unemployment and 1% growth?

Meanwhile, an editorial in the Wall Street Journal has this amazing tidbit:

A recent study published by French history professor Barbara Lefebvre and journalist Eve Bonnivard concludes that French college textbooks are generally biased against globalization, deeply anti-American and somewhat complacent towards terrorism. French students are taught to approach the future with foreboding and skepticism of market forces. Not surprisingly 76% of French between the ages of 15 and 30 hope to become government employees.

So twenty years from now, the French economy will consist entirely of overpaid government workers handing forms to other overpaid government workers. And I am sure they will all blame the Americans.