.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

John Adams Blog

The blog of The Antient and Honourable John Adams Society, Minnesota's Conservative Debating Society www.johnadamssociety.org

Friday, February 25, 2005

Perpetual Unemployment

According to CBS Marketwatch, the third french minister of finance has quit in the last year.

Gaymard is the third finance minister in less than a year to resign at a time when France, like Germany, is pushing labor market and other structural reforms to spur lagging economic growth.

Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin swept away the controversial 35-hour working week earlier this month and has pledged a decline in unemployment this year to 9 percent. On Friday, the French statistics office, Insee, said unemployment rose to a five-year high of 10 percent in January.

Leave it to France to come up with a plan to force people to work less to alleviate unemployment. It is hard to think of a dumber idea. Perhaps punishing people who work hard would be dumber...(wait isn't that the same concept as the 35 hour work week?)

It gets worse in Germany:

Germany is in a worse situation, economists say - unemployment topped 11 percent in January. The jobless rate in the two countries -- the largest economies in the eurozone -- are well above the average of the eurozone, which economists expect to hold largely steady at 8.5 percent this year.

Growth Rates in both countries are equally distressing:

The German economy remains fragile, so our main scenario envisages only 1.5% growth in 2005 and 1.75% in 2006. French and Italian growth is expected to be only slightly stronger at around 1.75% in 2005 and around 2% in 2006.

I am no economist, but these numbers appear to be absolutely abysmal. French unemployment has hovered around 10% for the last 10 years. It is amazing how they are able to sustain their economy and further to continue borrow at rates larger than their growth rate. No wonder France and Germany are foaming at the mouth to sell arms to third world countries - they need every possible Euro.

Borrwing and Spending statistics are very ugly: The French government currently spends 54% of its GDP. Is freedom possible with such spending? In contrast, Britain, where unemployment hovers around 5% spends only 43% (and this is with a labor government).

The falling dollar is not helping France and Germany with their economic problems either. Perhaps the falling dollar is part of Bush's plan to spread freedom throughout the world - particularly to Europe. A falling dollar may just be eough to tip the balance of old Europe into embracing freedom (and free markets) by electing real conservative reformers.