~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I O 93 93/93 I O ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My Photo
Location: LaGrange, Kentucky, United States

The opinions and interests of a husband, analyst and Iraq war veteran.


Monday, April 03, 2006


"Only the French could come up with the pre-emptive riot."

I could have sworn that not long ago French youths were rioting because, thanks to workplace-protection laws so rigid you could dry your pantalons on them, no one under the age of 65 can break into the job market (unless their grand-père is head of the Union of Permanently Picketing Fonctionnaires, in which case there is always room for one more shop steward).

France's youth unemployment rate is consequently a staggering 23 per cent. The government's solution is this: In order to ease employers' worries about hiring graduates and then being stuck with them, regardless of their competency, for life, a new law will allow them to fire anyone under the age of 26 with fewer than two years on the job.

It is this law, designed to help students find work after university, that has them aux barricades. One minute French students are rioting for jobs, the next they are rioting because they might actually get a job but be required to perform well to keep it. How swiftly indignation adapts to circumstance. Any anthropological textbook will tell you (using longer words) that France is a strange land with weird traditions.

This, while true, strikes me as a bit harsh. So let me lessen the blow to the collective French Cultural Ego with a few words of praise for their pioneering work in the area of cuisine. Because without the baguette and croisant, superior institutions like the Philly cheese-steak and Hardy's breakfast croi-sandwich would never have been possible. That's a fact.

Thank you, France. Riot on.

<< Home |