PJ Media

Does Rioting Create Jobs?

In a recent a href=”http://drhelen.blogspot.com/2006/02/menace-in-europe-podcast.html”podcast with Claire Berlinski/a, I recall her saying that the French like to riot–a href=”http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12045529/”apparently they do:/abr /br /”At least 1 million people marched in French cities and unions staged a one-day national strike on Tuesday, urging the government to scrap a youth jobs law in one of France’s biggest protests in decades.” br /br /The French may think that rioting is the answer to getting what they want (which should be more jobs) but unfortunately, if their protests work, the result could be fewer jobs, not more, for youth–particularly for the poor immigrant youths who are currently unemployed.br /br /a href=”http://www.businessweek.com/investor/content/mar2006/pi20060329_964752.htm”Buisiness Week Online /a takes a look at the problem:br /blockquotebr /The Mar. 28 general strike in France over a controversial new labor law has once again focused attention on the nation’s rigid employment laws and their effect on the French economy. The new law, known as the First Job Contract (the Contrat Premiere Embauche, or CPE), is much loathed by the many students and labor unions that have noisily demonstrated against it. br /br /The CPE would essentially give employers powers currently unheard of in France — the ability to fire, at will and with no financial consideration, new hires under the age of 26 during their first two years on the job. br /br /”This contract could have a role in making it easier to adjust the labor force as needed,” says Standard Poor’s economist Jean-Michel Six. “It might especially prove helpful for small and midsize businesses, where many owners are extremely reluctant to hire new workers.” ….br /br /Yet French Prime Minister Dominique De Villepin, who circumvented traditional political processes to bring the law into effect, maintains that it will induce small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) to take a chance on hiring more young people — especially from among the thousands of alienated young immigrants and first-generation French who rioted for weeks last fall in the suburbs of Paris and elsewhere. /blockquotebr /br /It seems to me that giving employers more incentives to hire young people, not fewer, would be a start in helping the French economy. And certainly rioting for cradle to grave job security is not the answer to the job crisis in France.