~ kusala
[ ku-sa-la: Pali term meaning wholesome, skillful, good, meritorious. ]
[ Action characterized by this quality (kusala-kamma) is bound to result (eventually) in happiness and a favorable outcome. ]


2006-04-14 - 10:09 a.m.

Am I a Leftist or What?

Before I fergitt, and before it becomes yesterday's news (ok, before it becomes last week's news), I need to comment briefly on this whole French labor debacle.

I've always thought that I'm about as pink as they get when it comes to issues concerning The Workers, but this French situation has made me wonder if I'm just another example of The means-of-production-exploiting Man.

This quote from the Los Angeles Times, April 11, sums it up:

The government will try to end the crisis by eliminating the two central changes in the proposal: a two-year probationary period for employees under 26 and the ability to fire the employees without justification during that period.

De Villepin had argued that making regulations more flexible would encourage employers to take a chance on new hires, especially in areas with many immigrants, where unemployment reaches 50%. But critics accused him of wanting to dismantle hard-won job security safeguards.

Hard-won job security safeguards? Uh, that sounds like an understatement. To be honest, I agree with those in this country who say that almost every workers' rights regulation proposal is met by business leaders saying that it will be a death knell for Commerce As We Know It, and that ideas like the 40-hour work week probably still seem extreme to many leaders of industry. But ironclad job security from Day One, including everyone under age 26? I can't imagine wanting to be an employer or supervisor in France under those conditions.

Then again, I guess youth rioting in the streets carry a certain amount of political leverage. Well, if you let them, I guess.

In some sick way, I wish M de Villepin had given les jeunes a big two-fingered salute and said, "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche...". And then watched them march around having tantrums while some truly deprived kids from the 19th Arrondissement came in and bloodied their heads, á la "I'll give you something to cry about."

Geez. I seriously thought of writing an open letter to Le Monde along the lines of the following:

"Chères Bébés,
Although some of us over here in the land of big mean business are truly sympathetic to the plight of the proletariat, y'all are just being têtes-de-merde. Do you think you could just deal with At Will Employment until you're twenty-six years old, for Dieu's sake? After that, I will not begrudge you all the job security and weeks of vacation you want. But for now, Shaddup! and do something altruistic to bolster your economy!"

I'm going to go apply for my membership in the George Will Fanclub now. Toodles.

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