Secure, senescent France

French students protested “Against Precariousness”, forcing the government to give up on a law that would have let employers take a chance on new hires under 26 and fire them without fuss in the first two years if they didn’t work out. Charles Krauthammer writes in Time:

The unemployment rate in France is 10%. For young people under 26 it is 23%, and almost 1 in 10 kids who leave high school don’t have a job five years after taking the baccalaureate. Much of that unemployment encompasses those of the alienated immigrant underclass, who are less educated, less acculturated and less likely ever to be hired than the mostly native student rioters. And these young rioters want to keep things just that way–to rely not just on their advantages of class, education and ethnicity but also on an absolute guarantee from the state that their very first job will be for life, with no one to challenge them for it.

Some “76 percent of (French) 15-to-30-year-olds say they aspire to civil service jobs from which it’s almost impossible to be fired,” writes Krauthammer. “This flight from risk is not just a sign of civilizational senescence. It is a parody of the welfare state.” The immigrants just get welfare.

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  1. Wayne Martin says:

    Obviously content with the performance of the first Maginot Line, this generation has created its own version of “protection”. Wonder if this one will work any better than its predecessor?

  2. Jack Tanner says:

    That 76% of 15 – 30 would want to work for the gov’t for any reason is bad enough. Can you say no ambition?

  3. Jack, if the government is expected to do everything, then the ambitious want to work for it. After all, businessmen don’t get to shoot people that won’t buy their products.

  4. The French managed to survive the failure of the first Maginot Line although it took a lot of American blood to overcome that failure. I don’t think the French can depend on American help this time around and the current situation may be more dire.

    The French (and the Germans as well) can’t get rid of their “guest workers” for a number of reasons: political, economic, practical, humanitarian. But, they can’t let them stay either. Since they know from the day they set foot in France or the day they’re old enough to realize it, they’re second-class citizens. France rolled up the welcome mat and hasn’t ever shown any inclination to change their policy.

    Now it’s not a very well known fact but the French had the terms of the guest worker program set, in part, by the nations the guest workers came from. Turns out those countries didn’t want their citizens to become French citizens any more then the French wanted the guest workers to become French citizens.

    Regardless of the source of the policy, France now has about six million guest workers, ten percent of the population, with little stake in the future of France and not much to lose. That’s a resource no demagogue could possibly resist and I think it’s too late to start integrating the guest workers into French society.