There’s more cultural creation in tiny French Canadian Quebec, with 6 million people, than there is in the whole of France… with it’s 60 million.
It’s sad, but not inevitable. President Sarkozy is trying to implement change, but there’s a lot of ignorance and inertia to work against.
From the website of a US female shrink – called “neo-neo-con”:
Jan 31 /08 entry:
It’s the law that French sales are limited to two times a year, January and June or July. And all stores must have them at the same time. This makes competition fair, according to French thinking (yes, the French are different from you and me).
But France is not alone. Many European countries—Belgium, Italy, Spain, and Greece—have the same sort of bans. What’s more, even during a sale they usually can’t sell below cost, or advertise in advance.
France and many other countries in Europe aren’t called nanny states for nothing. There’s an attitude that, without government control over even the smallest elements of life, human nature would be so red in tooth and claw that we’d tear each other apart, even in Bon Marche.
Comments from readers:
1. From an old Steven DenBeste article:
“…European rules which strongly impede the ability of companies to lay off workers have the result of lowering overall economic growth. There are two reasons why: it decreases the benefit of new investment, and it prevents new industries from forming…”
[That’s what you call a perverse law – a regulation that is supposed to help workers, but that creates unemployment in the medium-run, cause it dissuades people from hiring. Unfair dismissal in Aus. will have the same effect if it is brought back. - Jules]
Danny Lemieux Says:
By supporting the power of producers, I suppose they believe that they are protecting jobs (although their high joblessness rates certainly question that assumption). Personally, I think that it is more to protect their elites and aristocratic classes (the owners of companies).
Note that in the U.S., the names on the top-100 companies roster are always changing. In Europe, they pretty much stay the same (they are protected).
Because businesses have learned that with such strong government controls, you must either be in government or have the government in your pocket. And that is what many of the largest corporations in Europe does. They have the government in their pockets.
For all that the Europeans tend to accuse Americans of being controlled by Big Business, it was European companies that made the gross majority of profits off UN contracts to Saddam in Oil for Food. Why? Because that is how they usually do business. Find a loophole in the government, like the UN, and then exploit it for advantage. If they try something else, like honest competition, they would be incapable of surviving in Europe’s socialist utopia.
Jules:Note also that starting your business in a garage is forbidden in germany.
Hence, Apple and Hewlett Packard would have never gotten of the ground had the founders lived in Germany ….
Is it any wonder so many thousands of young entrepreneurs and scientists, immigrate from Germany, France, Italy to the USA ?
That “let them eat cake – anybody who can’t afford a proper office shouldn't be allowed to do business” .
Is typical of old Europe, and is hugely stunting of human potential. And a major cause of social and economic poverty and underachievement. It’s tragic and inhuman…. I gave up trying to start a translation business… there was just too much red tape and complicated rules.
Europe’s richest countries have the same standard of living as the USA’s poorest states: Mississippi and Alabama. (source: Timbro – A Scandinavian economic research institute).
And you see it straightaway when you visit the US… A French friend of mine said:
When I return to France, I feel like I’m entering a third world country…
And don’t tell me about the USA’s poor. I’ve seen the poverty in France and in the USA. And in France it’s far,far worse, because the poor have so little hope of ever getting out of it, due to the wonderful Euro laws, regulations and taxes.
60% (of France’s unemployed) have been unemployed for more than a year.
In the US, the figure is 6% (of the USA's unemployed).