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April 10, 2006

The Entitlement Mindset

The French government throws in the towel.

French President Jacques Chirac has announced that the new youth employment law that sparked weeks of sometimes violent protests will be scrapped.

He said it would be replaced by other measures to tackle youth unemployment.

This is what comes of the entitlement mindset. Some folks get some benefit from the government and soon they believe it is, not simply a benefit, but a right that they are entitled to. Liberal politicians here should take note. (Actually, conservatives should, too.)

What really makes this sad is that in this case, as I've mentioned before, the people are asking to return to a situation that actually works against them in the guise of a worker benefit. As with most liberal ideas (sounds good in theory, fails miserably in practice), it took the French government longer to figure this out that one would have hoped, so now when they try to correct the problem, the rioters think they're losing something. ("It must be bad if my union leader says it is.") The liberal entitlement nanny-government mentality is so ingrained that the Kool-Aid drinkers only see things through the us-vs-them, rich-vs-poor, worker-vs-corporation lenses. Sounds like American liberal class warfare politics, which it is.

UPDATE: An article on Slate notes other bloggers with similar thoughts. (And thanks for the link, Darren!)

And, as I said before, such economic policies have produced a stagnant French economy and rampant unemployment. But now, the rioters have made their point; we want to protect our jobs by continuing policies that cause unemployment. That may sound crazy, but no more crazy than the economic platform of our very own American Democrats.

What will the repealed law be replace by? Free market reforms? Nah, too conservative.

The new package of measures includes offering state support for employers hiring young people who face the most difficulties in gaining access to the labour market.

They're going to pay employers to hire those whom they can no longer fire. That might help a little, if at all, but it's not the root cause of the problem. The problem is the idea that companies shouldn't be allowed to fire workers. The worker/employer relationship is a give and take one, but when you give all the rights in that relationship to the worker, naturally the employer will have to protect himself in other ways. In this case, the employers don't hire as freely. The result is high unemployment. And when employers can't fire people, and thus there is one less big incentive to work hard, you get a stagnant economy.

This isn't a surprise to conservatives, nor apparently to liberals who've watched their finely tuned theories fall apart before them. But it's a lesson lost to those who've grown up in the liberal French mindset.

Posted by Doug at April 10, 2006 01:12 PM

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"It must be bad if my union leader says it is."

imo, you're half-right, and half-wrong.

the main reason for that miserable failure is that the gov tried to pass the bill in force (speeding the lesgislative process, deliberating overnight, then passing the law with the 49-3 hammer).
Whatever the law is about, doing this way is an incredible mistake.

so your sentence should be "It must be bad beacuse they're trying to pass in force"

Posted by: Gentiléen at April 11, 2006 06:39 AM

This is why I can't understand the Marxists and socialists in the USA. The jury is back on the great American Experiment. Freedom works. Capitalism is better. Yet they still believe in the failed policies that continue to destroy countries that embrace them. They can't seem to learn from history or current events, but are determined sway US policy so that we can repeat these failures for ourselves.

Posted by: bruce at April 11, 2006 08:25 AM

Or perhaps they are seeing the failures of the US system that we are failing to see?

Posted by: Dan Trabue at April 11, 2006 12:31 PM

And they have the economy to prove it.

Or not.

Posted by: Doug Payton at April 11, 2006 04:00 PM

Oh, don't get me wrong. Capitalism is a great mechanism for some to get rich. But there are other measures...

Posted by: Dan Trabue at April 11, 2006 05:15 PM