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Sunday, February 06, 2005

Poetic Justice for French Social Justice

Demand “entitlements” from the state and eventually you get what you deserve: less and less.

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In Tocqueville’s Clear Perception I wrote:

?Assessing conditions in the United States from his vantage point of forty years of French experience under socialism, Tocqueville saw Christianity as a crucial bulwark preserving American democratic institutions. In France, which was officially secular, people became entirely selfish and self-centered, prepared to endure any form of political despotism in the name of equality. The French, he said, cared nothing for national concerns. They were indifferent toward their neighbors and wanted only their personal entitlements.”

The Jurist website has a link to an expatica.com article titled Mass demos in France for shorter working week:

“PARIS, Feb 5 (AFP) - Hundreds of thousands of French people took part in demonstrations across the country Saturday to protest against government plans to reform the 35-hour work week.??

“Organised by an alliance of trade-unions and backed by the opposition Socialist party (PS), more than half a million people took part in marches in 100 towns and cities - with 90,000 joining the largest demonstration in Paris. Police put the overall figure at slightly more than 250,000.??

“The protests came as a bill to enable private sector employees to opt for longer hours makes its way through parliament…...

“Workers are very attached to their free time,” said Murial Roque, 35, who works for the Pages Jaune (Yellow Pages) business information directory…... ??

“In the long term, France can only pay for its social and economic ambitions by increasing the number of hours worked. At the moment working times here are lower than in all other members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD),” the government said.??

“France suffers from an unemployment rate of around 10 percent - almost double that of Britain - “