Francois Hollande declared an "economic emergency" in France yesterday. He has finally figured out that zero economic growth doesn't grow the economic pie. Since taking office as France's president, Hollande has sought to divide an ever dwindling GDP.
France is a basket case. It has had no economic growth for the past ten years and the future looks worse than the past. This is a country with a mandated 35 hour work week, but we all know that the actual work week is less than that.
What does he propose? Not much. Whenever you hear someone proposing "retraining" of displaced workers, you know they don't have a clue. The problem is not that workers need retraining. The problem is that workers need jobs to be retrained for. It's exactly the same problem in the US and much of the western world.
The modern politician seems to believe that jobs grow on trees. The modern politician continues to press for punitive regulations and taxes on businesses and business owners, to demand more employee mandates (which are nothing more than taxes on employees), and verbally demonize successful entrepreneurs. Then, the modern politician seems surprised when there are no jobs.
Free markets, not expensive retraining programs, are what is needed to pull the western economies out of their slumps. Anti-capitalistic rhetoric turns into anti-capitalist regulations, taxes, and legislation. Result -- no more capitalism, which means no more jobs.
Hollande is just facing the reality of a France that is morally, politically, and economically bankrupt, like most of the western world.