Every time I look at our country and think how badly things are going for us in terms of our morals and values, I can always look elsewhere to see how bad things really could be. The most recent riots in France (as opposed to the only somewhat recent riots) are over proposed labor laws that would give employers more power to decide who they have working for them. This is intended to help out the younger workers between the ages of 18 and 25, who, by the way, have an unemployment rate of about 25%. (The national unemployment average is about 10%.) But who do we see protesting the passage of such a law? The answer of course is the young French population. Are they aware of what has lead to their unemployment in the first place? Would it be too much to ask the protesters to thank the French government for taking an interest in their future and wanting to promote economic prosperity?
How did the French get themselves into this problem, anyway? The answer is simple: socialism. Socialism has given the French youth a sense of entitlement and the expectation of money and security given them by the French government. This will inevitably make the French economy obsolete. The youth of France expect eight weeks of paid vacation and to only work thirty hours a week. While this sounds great to all of us, we know that it is not a practical idea. When all the people of a country work less, the Gross Domestic Product of that country will fall. Simple concept, right? To us in the free market you would say so, but in a country dominated by Government controlled industry and services, it isn’t so simple. In fact, the French economy has only grown 1.5 % per year over the last five years. The US grew faster than that during its recession. Even their growth does not keep up with rates of inflation and they’re not able to afford as many goods on the world market.
Over the last thirty-five years, the French populace and citizens of other socialist states have become accustomed to being taken care of. The consequences are numerous: people don’t think for themselves; they lose incentive to consider being more successful; ambition leaves and all that is left is grey matter that is not stimulated to produce goods that would make an impact. The worst thing that government can do is give people something for nothing; the end result is often a dependent and bankrupt a country.
I wonder people of France will have to fall into economic depression to realize the mistakes of their past? The people there will have to be hungry, few jobs available, and crime could spread like a cancer. Sound familiar? This rioting is strangely reminiscent of the French Revolution, where it seems that there, too, a large enough group thought they could change the direction of the government. In this case, they protest to keep it from changing. The future here could also be more radical views on how to run the government. We’ll see if these views are accepted. They will either live with their poor socialist form of government or will join the world in the free market.
As social liberalism in America becomes more of culture than a political philosophy, those of us who work for a living must look at France and see the consequences of having a government that spends a majority of its money on entitlement programs. If we do not get those living on entitlement programs people working, entitlement will be an accepted way of life, a virus that will spread throughout our communities. Of course, workers will be the ones left paying for their life failures.
Everyone gets a vote here in the United States. Sometimes I think that this is unfortunate. The larger our entitlement population gets, the closer we move to the tyranny of the minority. Once these people with a sense of entitlement (and the elites who wish to control them) outnumber those of us who have a work ethic, the chance for reform may be too late. To counter this decline into socialism, it is fair to get those who aren’t working to work, to become self-sufficient. Make them earn what they have and understand that working is not a right, it is a privilege. Money isn’t something you’re entitled to, it’s something you earn by providing a service. God did not put people on this earth to be controlled by those who thrive on power, you are here to serve him by work, faith, and good deeds. Did you ever wonder why socialism is not supportive of religion? So will our country follow the example of the French or trail-blaze into the future with values and a free market system that continues to be the envy of the world?