The Root Problems
with the French Economy and Rioting
France in Crisis
Paris has been the scene of continued violence and rioting. Many
immigrants live in this section of Paris, but the violence has
spread throughout the country including Normandy and along the
At least 607
vehicles have been burned according to Canada’s CTV. Patrick Hamon
of the French national police said the figure will likely rise.
has a problem with simmering anger in the suburbs by African and
Arab immigrants. Many immigrants are complaining about unemployment
and poor housing along with being discriminated against. This is
according to CTV.
Let me ask you
a question. Why is it the government’s fault that unemployment is
so high? It appears to me that the socialized and highly regulated
French system is to blame. Also it is not the government’s
responsibility to ensure that everyone is employed.
French should rethink the burdens they place on their economy. In
1996 the French government began to offer incentives to companies to
reduce the work week to 35 hours from 39.
out for the worker the French government has neglected smart
business practices. Also according to the National Center for
Policy Analysis (NCPA) “hourly workers now have
less control over when they can take vacations than their
white-collar counterparts.” And worse yet many workers complain
that they have to work much harder now than they did.
In a book by
Timothy B. Smith call France in Crisis he claims that among the rich
Western European and North American nations France has had the
poorest record of job creation and most drastic increase in
unemployment during the last quarter of the twentieth century.
It is speculated that one of the reasons for the poor economy is the
dramatic increase in social spending. Government spending in France
went from 46% of the GDP in 1980 to over 54% in 1998. Even with all
the spending poverty increased and income equality remained high.
The unemployment rate reached 12.6% in 1995. Worse yet the youth
unemployment rate reached 30%. These are the official numbers
according to Smith. According to Smith the French system is not
necessarily a socialist “state” as it was in 1980, but has now
become a welfare state.
Whatever you want
to call the French system it is pretty obvious it is not working.
Hopefully Americans watch the news casts with an understanding of
their history. If so the conclusion should be that excessive
regulation and collectivism does not work.
By Tom Madison
Tom is freelance writer
Keywords and misspellings: sosialism french