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Thread: French Student Riots

  1. #1
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    French Student Riots

    As American coeds engage in the ritualistic debauchery of spring break on sun soaked beaches, French students have other things on their minds- namely rioting and general mayhem. Apparently a controversial new employment law has sent French youth into the streets to form angry street mobs. American media coverage, unsurprisingly, has been either hazy or non-existent. Does anyone know what the fuss is all about? As this is the FAC feel free to comment on any of the sanitation implications of French mobs

  2. #2
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by hilldweller
    As this is the FAC feel free to comment on any of the sanitation implications of French mobs
    Like storm clouds of escargot-scented body odor or potential fire hazards due to excessive friction generated by unshaven female legs marching in lock step down the Champs Elysee?
    Last edited by jmello; 24 Mar 2006 at 5:07 PM.

  3. #3
         
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    The real question is will the Americans and Brits have to step in to save the French again, or is that only necessary when the Germans are involved?

  4. #4
    Cyburbian abrowne's avatar
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    Can't anyone use Google news? The young employees have a real legitimate beef. Go find out for yourself the background. You shouldn't need to be spoonfed.

    PS sorry guys, WAY negative tone that was not intended - I'm nearing 40hrs without sleep... I'm gonna stop posting now

  5. #5
    This is what I wrote on my little blog.

    As a corollary to the Tragedy of the Commons, I propose the Tragedy of Politics. A political intervention inevitably results in protests. When the political intervention is undone, the inevitable result is more protests. Witness the riots that wrecked through Sorbonne over a minor reform of labor laws that says that maybe employers should be allowed to fire young workers with untested curriculums. The victims of this regulation rioted back in the fall blaming everything and everyone for being left to live like children in the suburban fringes of Paris. The reason they can't get work is to them of course racism. They're only partly right.

    Whenever prohibitions are placed on terms of employment between two people, the hiring person will begin to discriminate based on other factors. For example, if a minimum wage regulation creates a large surplus of teenage labor, the employer will hire only the more responsible girls and tell the boys to take a hike. Why wouldn't they? They have all this choice.

    So french employers hire only nice french university graduates from the nice neighborhoods. Since it is an immense risk to hire anyone, they will just refuse to hire anyone whose background they cannot trust. Should they have made a mistake, they would be burdened with immense costs.

    The french government, in a surprising demonstration of good sense which I did not expect from de Villepin, is planning to remove this obstacle to employment. What do the nice french university graduates from the nice neighborhoods do? They riot to prevent this removal of one of their privileges.

    Such is the Tragedy of Politics.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    How come whenever there are "student riots" overseas, the "students" always seems to be way older than what you would expect?

  7. #7
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    The only thing that bothers me is that you would never see kids in America rioting over something like this...

    I mean come on! What are my fellow Americans even thinking about these days? Shopping? X-Box? MTV?

    Good tidings to the French. Seems they are paying attention to something other than their text messages.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
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  8. #8
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Brie-eating, soap-avoiding surrender monkeys.
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  9. #9
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    From what I've read in Le Monde and other sources, there has been very little rioting but there has been sustained protests against the CPE, or contrat première embouche, for many weeks now.

    The CPE is a new law that's being forced through the government that creates a situation in which any young person (under 26, I believe) can be summarily dismissed by their employers without cause, by extending the length of their probation period to TWO years. Thus, if you're under 26, you can be fired for any reason at any time by your employer, unless you manage to hang on after the two years.

    The argument of the increasingly right-wing government of France is that it will decrease unemployment among young people. And it probably will -- by making them second-class workers. It will undoubtedly increase unemployment among people over 26, and because 2 years is a freakishly long probation period, many employers will find it easy to make a policy of only keeping people on until their probation is about to expire.
    Reality does not conform to your ideology.
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    From what I've read in Le Monde and other sources, there has been very little rioting but there has been sustained protests against the CPE, or contrat première embouche, for many weeks now.
    From what I saw on the evening news there were mobs of trouble-makers attacking students and stealing their money and cell phones. The guys had sticks and were built like nightclub bouncers. They fit the profile of union thugs rather well.
    The CPE is a new law that's being forced through the government that creates a situation in which any young person (under 26, I believe) can be summarily dismissed by their employers without cause, by extending the length of their probation period to TWO years. Thus, if you're under 26, you can be fired for any reason at any time by your employer, unless you manage to hang on after the two years.
    This is stupid language. You're making it sound like an employer hires someone because they're required to do so, and will get rid of that employee any chance they get. If after the two years it turns out the employee is a good asset to the company, they will renew his contract.
    The argument of the increasingly right-wing government of France is that it will decrease unemployment among young people. And it probably will -- by making them second-class workers. It will undoubtedly increase unemployment among people over 26, and because 2 years is a freakishly long probation period, many employers will find it easy to make a policy of only keeping people on until their probation is about to expire.
    That is possible but unlikely since the people already on the payroll are by definition the people most trusted and most qualified to do the jobs (they're the only ones who could get through the unemployment waiting list).

    The only solution to this problem would be to completely guarantee the right to set your own terms of employment. This contradicts everything the French labor unions have always tried to accomplish, so obviously the government cannot even dare hint at this kind of reform.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jaws
    This is stupid language. You're making it sound like an employer hires someone because they're required to do so, and will get rid of that employee any chance they get. If after the two years it turns out the employee is a good asset to the company, they will renew his contract.
    I don't believe JordanB was expressing an opinion, he was reporting what was quoted in the news. If it's STUPID, it was the French government.

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