Friday, April 14, 2006

A Tale of Two Cities - Washington D.C. and Paris

The images in the press the past few weeks have been quite striking. Anything from continued speculation and revelations about Scooter Libby and the Valerie Plame leak, to 'Florida-Like' election results in Italy. It has been quite a fascinating few weeks for me to just sit back and observe.

In particular what has sparked my interest has been the marching and demonstrations within the United States protesting the Immigration Bill that was passed by the House in the United States and the protests/riots in France over the proposed labor-law reform. In the United States the Immigration Bill is set to redefine the 'legal status' of those working in the United States, but came here illegally. Allowing most workers to stay under a guest worker program as well as to provide a 'path' for these same individuals to gain citizenship. In France the law would simply allow employers to lay off employees in their first two years.

Some thoughts and observations:

At the heart of the French resistance are those anarchist thugs and anti-globalist foes who insist it cheats the developing world's poor. While Globalization isn't without its victims the net results are positive. A win/win. The great exception though isn't Asia or Africa though, it is Europe.

In the D.C., America's own immigrants (legal or otherwise) demonstrated for the right to work. In Paris, French students and radical posers marched/rioted to prevent the creation of jobs for the less privileged.

Unemployment averages around 10 percent in France. In the United States the figure is less than 5 percent unemployment. Youth unemployment is far higher in France sitting at 23 percent, and the figure for youth unemployment among France's immigrant youth is almost at 50 percent.

Europe's cradle-to-grave welfare systems wroked as long as Europeans engaged in protectionism at home at the same time exploiting captive, neo-colonial markets abroad. With the IT revolution, the rise of globalism and the internatinal triumph of entrepreneurship, what Thomas Friedman would call the "flattening of the world" Europe is faced with insolvency.

Ralph Peters of the New York Post correctly states that the "winners" of the globalizing world will be:

"those willing to adapt, innovate and work hard. Wich means, above all, North Americans and East Asians, the English-speaking world and talented inidividuals who welcome risk."

Further the losers will be:

"those who cling to the past, who demand privileges without paying them, who cherish stultifying security above opportunity."

So how are each of our two cities dealing with the matter:

In Washington, while the focus remains defining the 'legal' status hiring of non-citizen workers who are already in our country illegally and providing a citizenship path for these productive folks willing to work while emphasizing the importance of enforcing immigration laws this day forward.

Paris has taken a different path. Rather than reasoned debate and revision to its proposed labor-law, it has all but been completely abandoned. Bowing to nothing more than spoiled adolescents and unions, the very small step needed to address the economic concerns of the French economy has been removed. What is to become of the non-university-educated oung adults who have no jobs to riot over, let alone the prospects of landing any?

In Washington there is a worrisome deficit. But as long as Ameircas workforce continues to be employed and produce its problems, worst case, lie well into the future.

In Paris, with growing unemployed masses, unassimilated and unemployed immigrant blocks, suffocating taxes and legal codes that discourage innovation and entrepreneurship combined with the expectation of a credle-to-grave welfare system the problem is here and now.

While America maybe saying Adios one day in the future, is France really that far from saying Au Revoir?

Karl Marx said that the global revolution would be led by the workers of the world. He was right to some extent, but rather by social radicals of the 'workers parties' it is being led by the workers of the capitalist economies of the world.
Posted by mightymerk, 4:33 AM


By Blogger Angelika Jane

just bloghopping.
Nice skin :)

@ 6:31 AM  

By Blogger mightymerk

Appreciate the feedback.
Or should I say Tek or is it Tak? My Norwegian is not up to par these days ;)

@ 6:40 AM  

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