French Workers Shut Down Eiffel Tower: A Preview Of Socialism by Rachel Marsden

The article of the day comes from

A Rasmussen poll here in America has just found that only 53% Americans prefer capitalism to socialism. Care to see what the alternative looks like?

“Strike closes Eiffel Tower; worker’s demands not known,” read the headline of a Canadian Press story this week. Apparently 500 people who work in the city’s largest tourist attraction all just walked off the job. No one even needs an excuse not to work in France anymore. Coming up with things like “demands” takes work and effort. And why bother going through the rigmarole of requesting time off, jockeying for prime vacation days with your colleagues, or even notifying your boss of your absence when they could have it so much worse and really should be so lucky that you just decided not to show up.

For those French bosses who audaciously impose things like “schedules” and “work days” on their underlings, the French will be willing to foist work upon themselves as prison guards, holding their boss hostage in the workplace. That’s what happened recently to the executives at France’s 3M, Caterpillar and Sony plants. With 45% of French approving of this tactic, according to a poll this week, things aren’t likely to be changing anytime soon.

Having spent some considerable time recently in Paris, France, I just happened to be there during one of the country’s national strikes. From where I was that day in the upper-scale 16th arrondissement, it wasn’t too noticeable. The subway operated normally, and students whose teachers were on strike appeared to have some studying to do. Mainly because they’re told that unless they qualify for certain universities and programs, they can pretty much kiss their entire lives goodbye. Attending the right schools in France determines whether you will, in the future, be locking up a superior in a private industry job…or, alternatively, being wrapped up in duct tape by an underling.

But just south of where I was, at the Place de la Nation, the police spent the national strike day fighting off rioters, who apparently had nothing better to do after a long day of being paid not to work. (more…)

Published in: on April 13, 2009 at 6:28 pm  Comments (2)  
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Smithian Market: Pay A Website to do your Kids Math!

Smithian Market means that this is a time when the invisible hand guides market behavior in unexpected ways.

This story comes from France via Reuters:

“You can’t do it? We’re here to help,” says the homepage of a new French website where children can pay for older students to do homework for them.

On (, children will be able to buy answers to simple maths problems for 5 euros ($6), while a full end-of-year presentation complete with slides and speaking notes will cost 80 euros ($100).

“I realized there was a gap in the market. Add to that a dose of insolence, a zest of arrogance and the internet, and you have,” he said.”

Of course, the French teachers are outraged because it defeats the purpose of education. Now do not get me wrong, I completely agree that it is useless. At the same time, it is the kid that truly loses  here, so it should not be banned. Parents should just make wise decisions for their kids.

The rest is here.


Published in: on March 10, 2009 at 1:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Goodbye Unions, Hello Socialism?

As with every market swing, everyone turns their back on Capitalism without ever believing that it was the government that messed up the market. This is somewhat like an Atheist blaming god for his misfortunes. The reason why I use the title Atheist because there are very few people who believe in Capitalism and even fewer who understand it. Anyone who blames Capitalism, calls on things like greed for the reason for this downturn. The problem with that line of thinking is that there is no greed button and someone didn’t just turn it on. So even though people will continue to turn their backs upon Capitalism there are some positives to a downturn for us Capitalists. This one in particular is coming from France via  International Herald Tribune:

“Today, with the global economy once again in a tailspin, European workers have remained conspicuously quiet. Germany’s most powerful union, IG Metall, reached a modest wage deal with employers in record time last month, avoiding crippling strikes and reflecting, perhaps, a national predilection for caution. Yet even in France, where there have been scattered protests over factory closings and job cuts, there is little evidence of a unified labor reaction. Tellingly, efforts by the CGT to organize a nationwide protest before Christmas have fizzled, prompting union leaders to postpone the initiative until next year.”

This is likely because they are learning from their Detroit counterparts. It makes no different how much you demand and how much you strike, if there is no company able to afford you. You end up being much worse off than you were. There is more and more global competition which makes it easier for a factory in France to move somewhere else. So raise hell unions because your days are numbered.

Socialism cannot live without Capitalism and the richer people get the more Socialist they become. But Socialism is not cheap and as social programs grow so do taxes and inflation. We can only hope our new President Barack Obama will refrain from all of his Socialism rhetoric and shrink the size of government. If he chooses the opposite our days as a wealthy nation are numbered.


Published in: on December 18, 2008 at 1:40 am  Leave a Comment  
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Separation of Church and State: France

This is from my dear friend who is spending some time in France studying the language:

“This came up in class the other day and it stirred up a lot of different thoughts, so here goes—-

“La France est une République indivisible, laïque, démocratique et sociale.”
TRANSLATION: France is an indivisible, secular, democratic and social republic.
Article 1 of the French constitution, and the French pride themselves on guarding those traits.
Secularism?  The concept of laïcité was OFFICIALLY instated in 1905 when separation of church and state became viable by law.  Since then, the French have been doing their part on “strictly” upholding this secularism.  But, I think they’re just kidding themselves.
Per Constantine I, the French have adopted the Roman doctrine of refraining from work on Sundays.  But, they’ve taken it one step further than Ole’ Const’ by making it AGAINST THE LAW for businesses to open on Sundays.  The law.  Why?  Why because Sunday is the “Lord’s Day.”  It is holy and it must be respected (you are evil and you must be destroyed).  Apart from markets, Sunday is best identified in my mind by the constant chiming of the church and cathedral bells.  Everything is closed, grocery stores, government buildings, public libraries…school libraries…
Museums stay open, as do SOME cafés around touristic hubs… which is interesting, but it’s probably because they would face so many losses if they shut down.  What would the tourists do?
Case numero dos: Same sex couples do not have the right to get married.  Wait…it’s not that they don’t have the right… it’s that there’s a LAW stating that it is illegal for them to get married.  There is no such thing as domestic partnership either (ie, civil unions).  The reasoning:  the church does not support same-sex unions; ergo, no ceremony for two people of the same sex.  ergo.  OK.  Then go through this “secular” state.  No can do.  The state will not perform unions for homosexual couples.  Why?  Although secular, France still has Christian roots and healthy ties with its religious commissaries.  They don’t want no trouble with the big guy upstairs… (more…)

Published in: on November 30, 2008 at 7:04 pm  Comments (1)  
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France, Literally a Nanny State

France is banning all television aimed at 3 year olds. This from the USA Today:

“France’s broadcast authority has banned French channels from airing TV shows aimed at children under 3 years old, to shield them from developmental risks it says television viewing poses at that age.

The High Audiovisual Council, in a ruling published Wednesday, said it wanted to “protect children under 3 from the effects of television.”

France’s minister for culture and communication, Christine Albanel, issued a “cry of alarm” to parents in June about channels dedicated 24 hours a day to baby-targeted programming. In a newspaper interview, she called them “a danger” and urged parents not to use them to help their children get to sleep.”

Obviously, the French government thinks that parents are not good enough at deciding what their kids should watch. Watch out, I am sure this will head towards our shores.

The rest is here.


Published in: on August 20, 2008 at 10:31 pm  Leave a Comment  
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My Dream Job

In France, people get paid to watch 50,000 hours of French T.V. to make sure there are no add placements.

But in the great U.S. it is not illegal to have product placements. This is one of many reasons why our movies and television is more successful. These are revenues that are coming in giving American film and T.V. a huge advantage.

Makes me think of Wayne’s World when they go way out of their way to advertise products. (Update: Picture Added)

The Economist reports that the EU is now removing those restrictions, which is great for us free-market capitalists. The article also mentions how important this is because of things like Tivo.

I guess I never thought about that before. The demand for commercials are decreasing and the demand of product placement is going up. If done right, I believe that product placement could be more effective. I would also say that I personally would rather have no commercials with lots of product placement but maybe we aren’t there yet.

The EU though still makes it illegal to have product placement on kids programs along with placement of alcohol and cigarettes.

Wow, the Economist reports further that governments are looking in to “placing” behavior. This would be used to encourage “environmentally friendly living, safer sex or staying in school.”

This is pretty stupid. I hope the people of Europe (I doubt it) uprise (I doubt it) and demand lower taxes (I doubt it) because it is their money that is paying for this.

Leave it to the government to take something free-market and mess it up.


Published in: on November 30, 2007 at 1:43 am  Leave a Comment  
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