Left Behinds

The anti-andrewsullivan.com. Or, the Robin Hood (Maid Marian?) of bright pink Blogger blogs.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

A French Economist's Take on the Protests

Since the MSM isn't providing this perspective, check out a French economist's take on the protests:
In the banlieues, it was not “unintegrated immigrants” who rioted, but young people born French, in France. The unrest erupted because their rate of employment was too low: 40 percent unemployment! They were right to protest.

Their condition is unacceptable. And now there are efforts to change that condition. These young people are very creative and want to work. In fact, I’d say, they are the chance of the nation, as newcomers always are. It would be a terrible mistake here, just as it would be in the U.S. now, to try to stop immigration, which, in America, in particular, is the main source of its stamina.

The mainstream students are right in protesting against a law which would not make the labor market more flexible but would allow any boss to fire someone without any explanation, and therefore give the employee no legal protection for two years! This is not flexibility; this is tyranny.
France is not going down the tubes. It is still a very strong nation. It is number one in the world for foreign direct investment and tourism as well as in specific hi-tech sectors; it is number two in agribusiness. Life expectancy has been growing three months per year for 20 years now. Demographically, France has one of the best fertility rates in the developed world — 1.9 per woman.


  • At 10:51 PM, Blogger Antid Oto said…

    Yeah, you really have to be drinking the neoliberal Kool-Aid to look at riots due to low employment among one segment of the young population and decide the solution is to make it easier to fire all young people, rather than, say, some kind of broad-based affirmative action.

  • At 11:10 PM, Blogger Solomon Grundy said…

    Where does that Kool Aid expression come from? The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test? I just heard it today from another writer our age, and it sounded slightly old fashioned to my ear, but I don't know its origin.

  • At 11:21 PM, Blogger Antid Oto said…

    It comes from the Jonestown massacre, and it means to follow authority blindly into disaster.

  • At 12:23 AM, Blogger Solomon Grundy said…

    Ah, thanks.

    Some pedant at Wikipedia points out that it was actually Flav-R-Aid.

    Pretty gruesome that they have the photos and audio recordings.


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