The End of the Labor Line

One can’t help but see France as an example of the future several steps down a path toward which Rhode Island (and to some degree the United States) seems sometimes to threaten to take. This sentence captures the total absurdity of the mindset:

More than 1 million people marched in France yesterday to demand that the government do more to overcome the economic crisis, but planned strikes failed to fulfill a key goal – to paralyze the country.

Paralyzing the country to spur an overcoming of an economic crisis. Yeah, that’ll work. I’ve an affection for the concept of revolution, but in practice, it often seems to be a manipulated excuse for citizens to enjoy a period of havoc.

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14 years ago

Don’t those Frenchies know the proper way is to let investment bankers grind the economy to a halt? Chacun son goût!
Seriously though, I think the AP has that one wrong. Who says that was a “key goal”?

“The definition of a successful strike is no longer what it was: bringing the country to a standstill,” said Jérôme Fourquet, deputy director of public opinion studies at Ifop, a polling company based in Paris. “It’s now about getting as many people as possible into the street to show their disapproval of the government.”
As many as three million people, or almost 5 percent of the population, marched in 213 demonstrations nationwide.
Fewer workers are willing to forgo a day’s pay, union membership has lost its allure, and shutting down the country isn’t popular. At the same time, polls show that a majority of the French agree that the government isn’t doing enough to soften the effect of France’s first recession in 16 years.
The eight unions didn’t even call Thursday’s stoppage a strike. It was a “national day of mobilization,” to push President Nicolas Sarkozy to do more to ease the effects of the worldwide economic slowdown.
“People don’t want to strike, but they do want to demonstrate,” said Bernard Vivier, director of the Superior Institute of Labor, a research and training institute based in Paris. “This isn’t a movement against employers in general, but an expression of concern about the economic situation.”

Say, you tea party guys are holding a “strike” next month (during business hours on a work day), n’est pas? Enjoy the havoc!

14 years ago

Gee, maybe the Dubya-backed modelizer doesn’t have all the answers after all. Vive la moralite, oui?

Justin Katz
14 years ago

There are reasons to protest, reasons to strike, and even reasons to try to shut down the government. The absurdity is a protest against a bad economy that itself has a deleterious economic effect.

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