Matt HealeyWednesday,7 November 2012

The Snap

This is the latest in the ongoing series of Why America Isn’t Fucked. This article doesn’t focus on Asia, rather the the other main train wreck in the world. Europe. I thought that today would be a good day to post this since most of the American media attention will be on the results of the presidential election. However today is also the day that French President Hollande is scheduled to release plans to make France more competitive.

The Download

I am sure that France wants to become more competitive, however, they, like the rest of Europe are unwilling to address the real problem. They are fundamentally lazy. I will except the Germans from this assessment. Lets take a look at some of the labor laws in Europe. France enacted a 35 hr max work week in 2000. Lazy. You want to know what we call people who only work 35 hours a week in the US? Part time or temp workers. Greece, in some cases, had a retirement age of 57.  Lazy. Spain has min vacation time of 22 days and 14 holidays. Lazy.

I clearly understand the desire to work less. After all I posted another entry about the lack of work life balance. But to have laws that force people to work less dramatically reduces the country’s competitiveness. This is fine if they are willing to live with lower growth and a lower standard of living. The problem is that the citizens are demanding high growth rates and an ever increasing standard of living. This lead them to a debt fueled expansion that is now presenting problems. So the Europeans reaction – riots which  I suspect will continue in 2013. Actually that gives me an investment idea – can I buy tear gas futures?

Hat Tips

French Work weekRetirement AgesEuropean Vacation Days; Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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