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November 03, 2005


John Gillmartin

Outside Islamic countries, one need only look to the countries with significant Muslim-immigrant problems (France, Germany, Netherlands, Canada, and Spain) to see a common thread of failed social engineering to understand why they are having the problems.

Social engineering originates from a philosophy of weakness; most Third World men respect strength and see weakness as a sign of masculine failure. Ergo the French riots. And they may be closer than we think!

Glenn Carlyle Smith

> The long-run failure of the
> French system to provide jobs [...]

The above is a very common turn of phrase to describe job generation problems within a social/economic system, including that of the U.S. However, it suffers from the weakness that it's a bit ambiguous as to what “system” is failing.

Is the French government failing to provide jobs? As they're spending 54% of the country's GDP providing services, they could hardly provide many more jobs without running out of people and businesses to tax. It is the French social system itself that is failing. But why risk ambiguity about the failure -- particularly when people are so easily confused, as we sometimes see from U.S. elections, about the role of government in "providing jobs".

I suggest going forward we refer not to "the long-run failure of the French system to provide jobs", but rather to “the long term problem of French government (or French people) erecting barriers to job creation.” This more narrowly identifies the problem, and more obviously points out the solution.

Bill, it’s good to see you blogging up a storm again. Congratulations on the BBC interview!

Bill Rice


A very thoughtful comment indeed. It is also a pleasure to nave regained you as a reader of DEL!

Your point is valid and well taken. Regular readers such as yourself probably understand where I am coming from on this issue, but clarity is always the best policy.

To sum up my thoughts. The French people, through their choices in their representative democracy have sought immediate gratification in having benefits now at the expense of long term structural issues. As a few examples of these thoughts:
1) Socialist policies that create massive negatives for employers to hire, especially entry level jobs. These policies in turn have led to long term structural unemployment, especially among the young and migrant workers.
2) The fiction that 35 hour work weeks would create more jobs, rather than again incentivizing companies to make do with fewer workers and more capital (ie., efficient technological business methods).
3) Early retirement that gives gratification now at the expense of a labor force in the future of younger workers (much fewer) to take care of a massive population of several generations of retirees.
4) Lack of entry level jobs has cost France (according to one Economist article) 3.2 million jobs.
5) Protection of rural farmers at the expense of the developing world and long term French economic interests. The unions have a strangle hold on French political decisions that weaken the EU, France and hurt the developing world, not to mention the promotion of ever increasing non competitive jobs from a comparitive advantage perspective.

Hopefully this helps clear up what I am discussing above. Ther are many more expamples, readers are encouraged to list them here!

Kind regards,

Bill Rice
Dawn's Early Light


As you would expect, there is a lot of fretting here in Europe about why young Muslims seem to not want to integrate into ‘European society’. The French have recently tried to define French-ness and what it means to be French by banning Islamic headwear from schools etc. In the UK they have introduced a ‘citizens test’ to try and get immigrants to identify more with Britishness – with hilarious results.

Apart from the fact that many Brits can’t even pass the test – which seems to equate ‘belonging’ to knowledge of UK history trivia – the French and Brits are missing the point. Nationality has lost its meaning to a large extent in Europe. Conservatives are distraught about this and long for yesteryear to make its reappearance. It won’t. Meanwhile, lefties have long since given up on the nationality thing and have been pushing multiculturalism and relativism as the answer – which it clearly isn’t

The left used to be about demanding equality for everybody and finding common bonds between people to unite them. But since concepts like ‘class’ have been tossed into the history bin alongside nationality, they have abandoned this idea and fallen back on what makes us different – which is the main plank of multiculturalism.

And western European culture has been thrown into disarray as a consequence. The only way we are going to integrate different communities is by trying to form an identity that we can all feel included.

The alternative is to watch our cities burning.

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