When government is right and citizens are wrong

Do French youth not understand cause and effect? In the 21st Century, it should be obvious by now since it’s a simple lesson. Apparently not:

French riot police have used tear gas and water cannon after protests against a new labour law turned violent.

More than 160 people were arrested after clashes erupted in eastern Paris following a day of largely peaceful demonstrations across France.

Vehicles were set on fire and stores were damaged as masked youths clashed with police.

It sounds very important. The government’s betrayal, which the unions and its lackeys point out, is the government’s First Employment Contract (CPE), which

… allows employers to end job contracts for under-26s at any time during a two-year trial period without having to offer an explanation or give prior warning.

I know, the horror! No civilized country can have employers firing employees arbitrarily, even if the employee is incompetent or labor needs change, when “more than 20% of 18 to 25-year-olds are unemployed.” What would happen then? It’d be mass chaos. Definitely worse than street rioting, I’m sure.

Why is it so hard for people to understand that when employers are locked into retaining new employees by law, with no chance of dismissal for any reason, that unemployment will be artificially low, not high? People like options. When your option is irrevocable commitment or nothing, nothing seems like a smarter deal for a business than getting by with existing staff. That may hinder growth, but small(er) is better than bankrupt from paying for employees that don’t generate revenue. When employers can dismiss employees at will, they’ll hire more people when opportunity arises. Without ridiculous labor laws, the bar of opportunity is lower.

Uncertainty is a factor in free markets. Trying to hedge it away results only in losing the reward. It’s not particularly complicated. Whether it’s socialist youth in France or socialist unions in America, the result is the same. The happy feelings of security fade quickly in a safe environment.