Monday, April 10, 2006

Economic Logic: Casualty of Political Calculation

Here is the latest from WSJ, "French President Jacques Chirac, bowing to intense pressure from students and unions, announced plans Monday to replace a contested employment law that triggered massive protests and strikes across France."

Read the whole story here.

Here is what A. De Jasay has to say about Chirac and the recent riots:

"Many observers, including President Chirac, are convinced that the French are ferocious by temperament and must be treated with kid gloves, for if their violence is met by violence, mayhem and civil war will break out and blood will flow in the gutters.

France has one of the world's largest, and very efficient, riot police, the CRS that, however, is hardly ever used in politically sensitive conflicts for fear that worse might ensue. In his 11 years as president, Mr. Chirac has never faced down street crowds and has been especially quick to capitulate when all too necessary school and university reforms were met, as they always were, with protests by students and their teachers."

Read it here.

1 comment:

Sea Bottom Coconut said...

...and the point you want to make is what? That the French are hopeless? That by putting off the inevitable, the French are building a bigger disaster? That by caving in to the rioters will accelerate the day of reckoning?

My take is this will hasten rather than delay the inevitable collapse, thus bringing about a more fundamental change to the French economy. Post Cultural Revolution China, pre-Thatcher Britian and the USSR all taught us that.

In other words, I am optimistic that rationality will reign. If I have money, I will invest in France now. In fact, the last I checked, the Paris stockmarket has out-performed Wall Street, and for that matter, most other stockmarkets.