A Rasmussen poll here in America has just found that only 53% Americans prefer capitalism to socialism. Care to see what the alternative looks like?
“Strike closes Eiffel Tower; worker’s demands not known,” read the headline of a Canadian Press story this week. Apparently 500 people who work in the city’s largest tourist attraction all just walked off the job. No one even needs an excuse not to work in France anymore. Coming up with things like “demands” takes work and effort. And why bother going through the rigmarole of requesting time off, jockeying for prime vacation days with your colleagues, or even notifying your boss of your absence when they could have it so much worse and really should be so lucky that you just decided not to show up.
For those French bosses who audaciously impose things like “schedules” and “work days” on their underlings, the French will be willing to foist work upon themselves as prison guards, holding their boss hostage in the workplace. That’s what happened recently to the executives at France’s 3M, Caterpillar and Sony plants. With 45% of French approving of this tactic, according to a poll this week, things aren’t likely to be changing anytime soon.
Having spent some considerable time recently in Paris, France, I just happened to be there during one of the country’s national strikes. From where I was that day in the upper-scale 16th arrondissement, it wasn’t too noticeable. The subway operated normally, and students whose teachers were on strike appeared to have some studying to do. Mainly because they’re told that unless they qualify for certain universities and programs, they can pretty much kiss their entire lives goodbye. Attending the right schools in France determines whether you will, in the future, be locking up a superior in a private industry job…or, alternatively, being wrapped up in duct tape by an underling.
But just south of where I was, at the Place de la Nation, the police spent the national strike day fighting off rioters, who apparently had nothing better to do after a long day of being paid not to work.
Don’t get me wrong, there are people who work in France – aside from Nicolas Sarkozy and the people around him. There are the entrepreneurs who can’t, for example, just walk off the job at their handbag store in the Palais des Congres at 2pm. They’re just as frustrated and fed up as anyone in America would be with the same situation. But they are seriously outnumbered.