Thousands of French, mostly young, demonstrated in Paris on Tuesday demanding the government withdraw a law that would allow French companies to fire workers under the age of 26 who have less than two years on the job. The demonstrators apparently believe that an employer should not have the right to dismiss anyone. That's a common attitude in France today.
Now, as you may know, "The Factor" is boycotting France because I believe President Chirac is anti-American and helped Saddam Hussein stay in power. All the hard evidence says I'm right. Chirac's attitude and the anti-Americanism that is rife in the French press stems from the fact that France and the USA have drastically different worldviews. France is an entitlement state with guaranteed wages, jobs, retirement, health benefits, five-weeks vacation, retirement, on and on and on.
With life guarantee for the French, there is little incentive for individuals to work hard or push creative boundaries. Thus the French economy is stagnant. Which is why the government wants to allow companies to fire folks. Right now, employers don't hire many people because they can't get rid of them, no matter how horrendous their work is. Unemployment among French young people stands at whopping 22 percent.
Now, to be totally honest, I don't give a hoot about the French economy -- obviously, I'm leading the boycott. I like France. A fascinating place to visit, but as long as Chirac is in charge, I'm not going.
The intriguing question is will the USA become like France? The far left here loves the entitlement culture, loves what France has become. When you hear far-left Americans use the terms "economic justice" or "income inequality," you should know these are code words for socialism, a giant government that would guarantee each American a house, health care, nice wage, retirement benefits, the usual entitlement list. Europe has embraced that system. The USA has not. And that angers radical-left Americans.
The French demonstrations have sent a signal to the world that a once free marketplace country has gone over to the entitlement side. They want no uncertainty. They want security. Of course, somebody has to pay for that security, and France can't. The government will soon run out of money as the population ages. The French system will collapse, just wait and see. That should be a lesson for us all.
That's "The Memo."
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Sharon Stone is publicizing her new movie "Basic Instinct 2" and where the Stone goes, politics seem to follow.
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SHARON STONE, ACTRESS: We're coming from a period in America right now which has been leaning to a strong conservative right. So I think that maybe our country is not looking for a woman in the presidential post who is still strongly in her sexual presence. Hillary is a hot babe, and I want her to win. So I thought, maybe she would succeed more as a vice president at this time and later as a dignitary, as a leading woman, as an elder stateswoman.
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No idea. Ridiculous? Your call.
As for the movie, it's supposed to be, well, let's put it this way, there is no Oscar buzz. No idea what she's saying.
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