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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

World's Largest Temper Tantrum!

So I'm watching News Hour (why? I don't have cable.) and Jim Lehrer, just like every other anchor I've seen lately, in reporting on rioting in France, said that they were protesting a new French law that would make it "easier" to fire young workers.  Now, I don't think this is liberal bias in reporting, and I know Lehrer doesn't write the lines, but seriously, how hard would it be to call it what it is:

The new policy would make it POSSIBLE for employers to fire workers under 26 who are in the first two years of their employment.  After that, life tenure (essentially), over 26, same deal.  

And people are rioting over this?  Maybe they can't report it that way because it would blow too many Americans' minds, especially since here we have a lot of people who work at will (without a contract) and can be fired for any (with some limitations, like race) or no reason at any time.  Any our unemployment rate is? Less than 5%.  Theirs?  For people under 26, about 23%, close to 50% in some areas.  Why?  Employers are afraid to hire people because they're pretty much stuck with them until they leave or die.  Now, the numbers that I used are a little misleading, since our 4.8% (Feb 2006) is for all ages, while their 23% is for a specific age group.  I'm guessing that their overall rate is lower, since it probably goes close to 0 as age increases.  On the other hand, our 4.8% probably isn't the same individuals all of the time; Americans move in and out of jobs fairly fluidly, at least as compared to the French, who flow in, but not out.  I'm not an economist, so I'm really just speculating, I can admit that, but it doesn't take much to figure out that these people are just completely unreasonable, rioting over the prospect that they might get fired.  Are they forgetting that even if they’re unemployed they still live in France, where the unemployed have been known to go on strike?  

All of this reminds me of this Mark Steyn piece.     


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