Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Arrogant? The French? No!

Here’s Jim Hoagland in the WashPost with “French Lessons”:

The French -- and the angry, nihilistic Arab and African youths in their midst -- are also "victims" of that country's immigration and assimilation policies and, indirectly, its paternalistic social welfare system. Mark them as casualties of a particular brand of politically correct arrogance that French politicians have practiced for 30 years, and you begin to get something like a whole story.
Although cultural differences surely play a part in the violence, there’s no denying that economic stagnation is stirring resentment. Here’s an absolutely stunning statistic from an Opinion Journal article yesterday:

Since the '70s, America has created 57 million new jobs, compared with just four million in Europe (with most of those jobs in government). In France and much of Western Europe, the economic system is weighted toward the already employed(the overwhelming majority native-born whites) and the growing mass of retirees.
Europe has more than twice the population of the United States and yet created less than 1/14th the number of jobs even as government spending on retirees has skyrocketed. So, you’re a young worker in France and either you can’t find work or, if you can, a massive tax is imposed on your paycheck to pay for retirees and other social programs.

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