France’s socialist president sees a struggling auto company, and shoots it dead
An Indian living in the West writes:
Here is an interesting story. France’s biggest auto-maker (and Europe’s second biggest), Peugot, is struggling very badly and losing money. The markets are predicting a 50 percent chance of bankruptcy in two years. What does Marshmellow Man, the new President of the Fifth Republic, do? He says that Peugeot will not be allowed to lay off workers. Not only that, he is in the process of passing a law that will make it impossible to fire employees in France. Isn’t that a wonderful solution?
I’m sorry to keep referring to Atlas Shrugged, but it’s impossible not to. This is exactly what happens in that novel. In order to “stabilize” the failing economy and give it time to recover, the government passes Directive 10-289 which prohibits all business enterprises from firing, or hiring, anyone, without special permission from a government board.
Yes, Atlas Shrugged has the same theme running through it. I have never read Ayn Rand but have heard a lot about it, obviously.Danny B. writes:
This French law on layoffs reminds me of something.Thor Christopher writes:
I pictured the character in Atlas Shrugged, Wesley Mouch, Senior Coordinator of the Bureau of Economic Planning and National Resources, to be a man very much like Holland. A clean, fastidious little man, but one that leaves people with the feeling of having been in the room with an unclean rodent carefully surveying the area for food. The comparison between their political positions is not exact (Hollande is “Head of State” and Mouch was an appointee until the very end of the story, but one with enormous power), but their action here is very similar.A reader writes:
The situation in France is complicated. The difficulty that companies have firing people has existed for a while (at least since 2005). De Villepin, Sarkozy’s nemesis, supported a law that would allow companies to fire after two years of employment. The reason was to help integrate the millions of Muslims and blacks that companies were hesitant to hire because of existing law. Students at the Sorbonne began protesting and actually rioting. This spread throughout France and even into the high schools, effectively shutting down the entire school system. Villepin had to back down. To my knowledge, this system in France, of preferential hiring of people with French and European names, is still extant.LA replies:
I remember that big controversy in France at the time, and posted on it. It was so striking that in France, once people are hired, they have the job for life, and any move away from that system set off these nation-paralyzing protests. I assume that the issue in 2005 dealt with different kinds of employer from auto manufacturing companies.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at July 18, 2012 04:12 PM | Send