Monday, March 20, 2006

The French: C'est Stupide

Here's a story about French youths protesting new laws that would make it easier to hire and fire young workers. "Slave labour by the back door!" they cry, "If you take away our security, you'll pay!" On the Damoclean sword of at-will employment, one student adds, "You can't live with a knife at your throat."

And here's a story about the eevil United States, a country where at-will employment terrorism has run amok, resulting in almost full employment. "We are approaching full employment and some employers are already dreaming up perks to attract the best talent," say tyrants.

It's true I don't like a lot of things about American-style economics. But one of the good things that contribute to the greatness of American life is this iron rule -- if you don't invest yourself in what you're good at, your life and career quickly deteriorate into a series of short, sharp shocks.

So here's a note to the French: Stop being so frightened of the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. There was a time when you guys conquered Europe. There was a time (hell, more than one) when y'all were the intellectual leaders of the world. "If you take away our security, you'll pay," was not the motto of France in those days.

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