The inequity at the heart of France’s labour market - FT.com
. . . not competition, and labor.
"It is a bruising setback for Mr Hollande, who has repeatedly said he will run for re-election in 2017 only if he has made significant progress in cutting France’s double-digit unemployment. This is still hampered by the high cost of labour, the confrontational nature of labour relations and the inequity of a two-tier system in which employees with permanent contracts enjoy too much protection. Meanwhile young people spend years hopping between precarious temporary positions. The lesson Mr Hollande should draw from the debacle, however, is to be bolder rather than more cautious in framing his ambitions for a second term."
Worldwide, the Boomers are the worst generation in history. They want security, and sinecure here in France, and do not care if it destroys the country, and bankrupts their children, and grandchildren. They want the good life, and will have it regardless of the sacrifice their children will need to make.
"The main problem is that the president, elected on a manifesto that played to traditional socialist values, has failed to make the case for reform to a sceptical public. Instead, he spent his first year in office delivering crowd-pleasing promises made on the campaign trail. Now, voters on the left feel betrayed; those on the right doubt his motives; and he is heavily constrained by the need to unite the leftwing of his party in order to combat the populist appeal of the National Front. More-over, a backdrop of sluggish growth is not conducive to structural reforms that rarely pay off in the short term.
In Italy, Mr Renzi has been able to take more decisive action because he came to power with a clear commitment to reform — and because the Italian economy was far closer to crisis. In France, economic growth has been disappointing, but stable; public debt manageable; and productivity comparable with that of most major economies. Many people do not see the urgency of more disruptive changes.
Nonetheless, the current system is failing young people, whose future Mr Hollande pledged to improve at the outset of his presidency. If he wants to win their support for a second term, he should address the inequity at the heart of France’s labour market, changing the terms of employment for all and not perpetuating the divide between insiders and new entrants. He must make the case now, if he is to win a mandate to be bolder next time round."
The system in both countries, and Spain, Portugal, and Greece is failing the young people. In all of these countries, it is uncommon for the young to be able to find paying jobs, and if they do, the jobs are for short periods of time, perhaps up to a year, and are seldom career oriented. So it is common to find trained lawyers spending their years 25- 35 working retail shoe sales, and occasionally for a few months "working" for free as a legal clerk, with a limited room/board stipend. It is impossible to understand how these people will be able to work from age 35 until retirement at age 65, and fund a reasonable retirement.
Young, qualified and jobless: plight of Europe's best-educated generation
"'All your life," says Argyro Paraskeva, "you've been told you're a golden prince. The future awaits: it's bright, it's yours. You have a degree! You'll have a good job, a fine life. And then suddenly you find it's not true."
Or not so suddenly. Paraskeva left Thessaloniki University five years ago with an MSc in molecular biology. Beyond some private tutoring, paid essay writing ("I'm not proud. But a 50-page essay is €150") and a short unhappy spell in a medical laboratory, she hasn't worked since.
Over cold tea in a sunlit cafe in Greece's second city, Paraskeva says she has written "literally hundreds of letters". Every few months, a new round: schools, labs, hospitals, clinics, companies. She delivers them by hand, around the region. She's had three interviews. "I will go anywhere, really anywhere," she says. "I no longer have the luxury of believing I have a choice. If someone wants a teacher, I will go. If they want a secretary, I will go. If they want a lab assistant, I will go.'"
Why in the world are we not willing to take any and all of these highly qualified professionals, whether in molecular biology, or any other STEM degree? We have positions which need to be filled, and they have workers which need work. Mr. Obama what is the problem?
" According to data out on Monday more than 5.5 million under-25s are without work, and the number rises inexorably every month. It's been called the "lost generation", a legion of young, often highly qualified people, entering a so-called job market that offers very few any hope of a job – let alone the kind they have been educated for.
European leaders are rarely without a new initiative. Last week, they pledged to spend €6bn (£5bn) over two years to fund job creation, training and apprenticeships for young people in an attempt to counter a scourge that has attained historic proportions. This week, Angela Merkel is convening a jobs summit to address the issue. Yet still the numbers mount up. In Greece, 59.2% of under-25s are out of work. In Spain, youth unemployment stands at 56.5%; in Italy, it hovers around 40%."
We need the competition for jobs, which will allow the best to reinvigorate our businesses, and these young people need jobs. We know these people will integrate into US society. Offer green cards to any of these highly trained professionals who will come, apply for citizenship, and work.
"But others point out Europe's "economically inactive" now include millions of young people (14 million, according to the French president, François Hollande) not in work, education or training but who, while technically not unemployed, are nonetheless jobless – and have all but given up looking, at least in their own country. Millions more are on low-paying, temporary contracts. By most measures, the situation is dire.
In the words of Enrico Giovannini, Italy's employment minister, this is a disaster all the more shocking because it is hitting Europe's best-educated generation: in Spain, nearly 40% of people in their 20s and early 30s have degrees; in Greece it's 30%; in Italy, more than 20%.
The crisis is even more acute because of its knock-on impact: these are often young people with no pensions, no social security contributions, diminishing networks, limited opportunities for independence. High youth unemployment doesn't just mean social problems and productivity wasted; it means falling birthrates and intergenerational tension between parents and their thirtysomethings still living at home. "A wholesale destruction," a Bologna University professor says, "of human capital"."
This has been going on for nearly a decade now, and many of these young people will never be able to utilize their skills, they will have been out of the market so long, their skills will have rotted. This is the ultimate wages of socialism, and the economic stagnation which accompanies it.
We have the power to do what we did in the 19th century, and provide Europe with a way out, emigration to the US. Only this will be emigration of the educated, the professional, the skilled, which will mean we will need even more immigrants to cross our Southern border to provide services for these new workers. We will also need to slash regulations on businesses, and do a Reaganesque turn to tax sanity. The best course of action would be to impose a national consumption/sales tax to completely replace the individual, corporate income tax systems, and the Estate/Death, and gift tax system. This change would make the tax system simple, and need no IRS. Since all but a few states have sales taxes, the federal government could pay the state sales tax collectors to collect the federal tax, and remit to the federal government. The result would be a federal system which needed only a small legal collections arm, and this could be performed by existing private collection services, and the Department of Justice for legal issues. The cost savings alone would be a multibillion dollar boost to the economy.
In this environment, American business would be able to grow the economy, which would allow us to utilize more of the European skilled workers and more of the unskilled labor we obtain from Mexico and Central America. This would allow revitalization of much of middle America which is currently fearful of immigration taking their jobs, the Trump voters. This would be a win/win/win/win approach.
But Obama has had 7 years to figure this out, and he has not done so. Perhaps the next President will, but not if it is Hillary, she is the status quo, war/hawk President. Sanders is a fool, too stupid to know which side the bread the butter is on, and Cruz is an enigma in this regard. Trump could likely be persuaded, but that would require someone from the Republican party addressing this issue, that seems a bridge too far in the current climate.
Economic growth is the only solution, and will provide the funds necessary to solve our gargantuan debt problem, along with our stagnating economy, and its consequences.
Not holding my breath, we are blessed with the worst political class in human history.