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more on French protests
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Sat, 8 Apr 2006 08:11:03 -0400

Begin forwarded message:

From: Russ Nelson <nelson () crynwr com>
Date: April 8, 2006 12:30:48 AM EDT
To: dave () farber net
Cc: Steven Hertzberg <stevenstevensteven () gmail com>
Subject: Re: [IP] French protests

David Farber writes:
From: Steven Hertzberg <stevenstevensteven () gmail com>

I'm carefully watching international news as French protests
escalate and turn violent, involving 1 to 3 million, with Sunday
being the worst so far.  Below is a summary cross sectional view of
some of what I'm seeing in the media.  I'd appreciate the thoughts
of other IPers who are closer and perhaps better versed in this

You're seeing an economist failure.  Economists have failed to
adequately explain how basic economics works.  When a few students
fail a teacher's class, it's their fault.  When all the students fail
the class, it's the teacher's fault.

The trouble is that the basic issue is being explained in the negative
of what is actually happening.  "This law makes it easier to fire
young workers."  When you put it like that, well, then of course it's
obviously an evil law.  Remember, though, that most laws have a
long-term effect opposite to their short-term effect -- and bills are
named for their short-term effect.  From that alone you would expect
this bill to increase young worker employment.

The effect of the bill will be to make it easier for young workers to
be fired.  But consider the current state of affairs.  Right now it is
not as easy to fire a young worker.  Since nobody is forced to hire
them, they don't get hired as much.  Nobody wants to hire a worker and
then when business goes bad, have to continue to pay them with money
you aren't getting.  Not being able to dismiss a worker you can't
afford is a very powerful incentive towards not firing them.

Thus, the current state of affairs that the French students are
working to protect should be called "Guaranteed Unemployment".

-- --my blog is at http://blog.russnelson.com | A computer without Python is Crynwr sells support for free software | PGPok | like a CPU without memory: 521 Pleasant Valley Rd. | +1 315-323-1241 | it runs, but you can't do Potsdam, NY 13676-3213 | Sheepdog | anything useful with it.

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