Sunday, March 26, 2006

Would you hire him?

Or prefer to give an ex-con a chance?

It needs to be understood that Economics is not a bogeyman, not a political movement, not something whose mere discussion can be dwelt upon as an evil. Economics is a social science. Were it not for the ignorance of the anti-CPE protesters with whom 91% of those under 26 seem to agree, there appears to be a gross disconnect between what they think is in their interest, and their interest.

The idea that maintaining a low labor supply through socialist forms of intervention without suppress wages is impenetrable to most of the world – a thought that every laborer in America (who is assumed to be a sheepish victim of “the man,”) would find strikingly stupid. That this is not a beneficial way for a society to operate, goes without question regardless of ideology because it doesn’t add up. The case tête-arati, as “educated” as they are seems to detach from the fact that their parents and grandparents, and well as their children need a thoroughly employed population to keep the socialist-social-model Ponzi scheme afloat.

Economist Thomas Sowell writing on the very subject of just what it is that people think is economics in all of this knows well enough as a resident of the San Francisco area, what for this ignorance can take:
«Why are students at the Sorbonne and other distinguished institutions out trashing the streets and attacking the police? Because they want privileges in the name of rights, and are too ignorant of economics to realize that those privileges cost them jobs.

Like some other European Union countries, France has laws making it hard to fire anybody. The political left has long believed that such laws are a way of reducing unemployment.»
It also raises questions and opportunities from another point of view – that of the employer. Now that the trimester is shot, and the initiation of pre-employment riots has already happened, anyone who takes the risk of hiring can make use of it. If one can winnow out of an employee that they were among those protesters, much of the un-implemented law has already accomplished something. The last person to be hired would be the most reflexively anti-employer of the lot. The expectations one can make of the potential hire can immediately be narrowed to whether or not they will actually be working with you, or against you as their imaginary political opponent. After all, all you need is an 35-36 hours of clock-watching.

Sowell again:
« To try to deal with this high unemployment rate among young workers, the job security laws have recently been modified to make it easier for employers to fire those workers who are on their first job.

That is what has French students outraged and rampaging through the streets of Paris. They don't want employers to be able to fire them after they graduate and go to work.

Students and their political supporters, including labor unions, depict them as victims. Among the slogans chanted by the rioters is "We're not young flesh for the boss." The fact that many bosses don't seem to want to hire their young flesh seems to be lost on them.»
The ignorance of how economy works goes much farther. What should be tangible to any taxpayer, regardless of whether or not you think your taxes are going to a good use. All of these economic interventionist measures make growth, the very potential to make life better for those with the least, harder.

Lawrence Kudlow talks to this point. As a writer and commentator on economics, markets, and personal finance, he comes right out with the aggregating effect of just one of the components of the western European economic model:
«Indeed, at the heart of the French problem is a statist-run socialist economy that is massively overtaxed and overregulated. France’s public government sector, for instance, accounts for more than 50 percent of GDP. In other words, private business in France is in the minority.

Added to this, France’s top personal tax rate is 48 percent, with a VAT tax of nearly 20 percent. So that means French laborers face a combined 68 percent tax rate on consumption and investment. No wonder France has created less than 3 million jobs over the past twenty years, compared to 31 million in the United States. Economic growth in “cowboy capitalist” America has exceeded that of France’s worker paradise by nearly 50 percent.

In a dramatic speech to the European Parliament last summer, British Prime Minister Tony Blair hit the mark when he criticized all Western European economies for their inability to compete on an acceptable global level. Asked Blair, “What type of social model is it that has 20 million unemployed in Europe? Productivity rates falling behind those of the USA? That, on any relative index of a modern economy — skills, R&D, patents, information technology — is going down, not up?”»
Sadder still is that of all the Europeans I work with, the ones I’m impressed by the most are the ambitious “escapees” of the French model and world view that it engenders. They are small in number, highly motivated, and excel at their efforts – and they suffer from a sadness that they have for their countrymen, for who they always seem to hope for more. Sooner or later explaining is away with “that’s just the way some people are” doesn’t work any more when you see what people could, but aren’t doing for the society at large by succeeding at something.

In the arts and literature this is well understood. In any endeavor to which a monetary figure seems attached, there are many for whom cheering this on is a taboo. As bad a life without a rich literary and artistic landscape is rarely worth living, not being able to be genuinely and personally generous is even worse. Mush worse still when fewer and fewer people have anything to be generous with.

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